POLITICAL VIOLENCE

Man arrested over flour bomb attack on French far-left leader

France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Melenchon takes part in a "freedom march" against right-wing ideology on June 12, 2021 in Paris.
France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Melenchon takes part in a "freedom march" against right-wing ideology on June 12, 2021 in Paris. AFP - SAMEER AL-DOUMY

Police have arrested a man suspected of pelting flour at French far-left political figure Jean-Luc Mélenchon during a street march in Paris on Saturday. A second man was also placed in police custody.

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The suspect has been charged with "voluntary violence" over the incident, which took place during a demonstration against extreme right ideology.

Mélenchon’s face and upper body were doused in flour while he was speaking to journalists at the start of the rally, at Place de Clichy.

The leader of the France Unbowed party at first reacted with humour, saying “white suits me”, but later denounced the act as “cowardly”.

His flour-bombing comes days after President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face during a trip to a village in south-eastern France.

The man filmed throwing flour at Mélenchon told journalists after the incident that he was a "sovereignist" carrying out “an act of protest”.

Internet users recognised him as the host of the right-wing YouTube channel Why Does It Suck.

Hundreds of marches were held across France on Saturday to denounce right wing extremist hatred, which protesters say is influencing French law.

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