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Four students sentenced for violence on right-wing day of rage

Far-right demonstrators on Sunday's "Day of Rage" protest
Far-right demonstrators on Sunday's "Day of Rage" protest Retuers/Philippe Wojazer

A Paris court on Tuesday passed suspended prison sentences on four students arrested at Sunday's right-wing "Day of Rage" demonstration against President François Hollande. The defendants' lawyers accused police of political victimisation.

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The court handed found Aymeric Barthelemy de Saizieu, 20, Louis Marie Meurin, 18, and Loïc Rey, 18, of throwing a barrier from a building site towards a line of gendarmes during

the protest, which was called by a number of right-wing groups to oppose Hollande's policies.

Another protester, Hughes Roumier, was found guilty of throwing firecrackers towards the police.

All four were given two-month suspended sentences.

Charges against school student Sybille Durand, 18 - who was accused of throwing an empty beer can at police - were dropped for procedural reasons.

Prosecutors had asked for the first three to be jailed for two months, describing them as immature individuals incapable of self-control who could have caused serious injury, one month for Roumier and a monthy suspended for Durand.

Rey's lawyer, Antoine Vey, accused the authorities of exploiting the law for political ends, claiming that the accused were "judged for their presence at a demonstration".

Police arrested 262 people after Sunday's protest, releasing 226 of them.

The Trotskyist New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) has called on the hard left to try to regain the initiative after Sunday's demonstration with a "weekend of revolt" in February.

Former NPA presidential candidate Olivier Besancenot said that Left Front leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon and another Trostkyist group, Lutte Ouvrière, have agreed in principle to the idea.

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