France detains 21 after migrants occupy Pantheon

PARIS (AFP) – France last Saturday detained 21 African migrants who surged into the Pantheon in Paris to push their claims for regularised status, police said.

The 21 will be held pending investigation into potentially “violating legislation on foreigners,” the local prefecture said.

One demonstrator was also detained on a charge of violent behaviour against a police officer, the Paris prosecutor said.

A small crowd gathered outside the police commissariat in Paris’ fifth district where the migrants were detained. Some brandished placards urging the authorities to “free the gilets noirs (black vests)” and “police racists”, according to an AFP photographer.

The ‘Black Vests’ is a Paris-based migrant association that takes its name from the “yellow vest” anti-government protest movement.

French authorities had arrested 37 people last Friday after around 700 undocumented migrants stormed the Pantheon, the final resting place of France’s greatest non-military luminaries including the writers Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.