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Theodore Luhaka: Aspiring footballer left with ‘serious anal injuries’ – police officers given suspended sentences | World News


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Three French police officers have been given suspended prison sentences for leaving a man with “serious anal injuries” after a stop and search arrest.

Theodore Luhaka was also teargassed and hit in the head when he was stopped by police at the age of 22 in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois in February 2017.

The assault with a baton left his anus perforated and he is now incontinent, the trial heard.

The police officers who stopped him, Marc-Antoine Castelain, Jeremie Dulin, and Tony Hochart, were convicted of voluntary violence on Friday. Protesters outside the court chanted slogans calling for them to be jailed.

Castelain, who was initially charged with rape, was handed a one-year sentence, while his colleagues, who were found to have beaten Mr Luhaka, were given ones of three months.

The case of Mr Luhaka, known as Theo, sparked two weeks of rioting throughout Paris’s suburbs and across France.

He had no criminal record and was about to move to Belgium to start a professional football career.

After the incident, he garnered support from actor Omar Sy and was visited in hospital by then president Francois Hollande.

Victim says he is ‘living dead’

Mr Luhaka, now 29, says he has been “living dead” since the day he was arrested.

The court failed to class his injuries as a permanent disability and therefore dropped rape charges against Castelain.

He previously said he would support any guilty verdict, irrespective of the sentence.

Protesters in a stand-off with police in Paris over the assault of Theodore Luhaka by police in 2017
Protesters in a stand-off with police in Paris over the assault of Theodore Luhaka by police in 2017

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But protesters outside the court were outraged.

Among them was Samia el Khalfaoui, whose nephew Souheil was killed by a police officer in 2021.

She said: “It is a masquerade to have a suspended sentence for mutilating Theo for life.”

Mr Luhaka’s lawyer Antoine Vey described the outcome as a “victory”, which “confirms Theo was a victim and nothing justifies that he was beaten”.

It comes after a 17-year-old boy, Nahel Merzouk, was shot dead by police in the Paris suburb of Nanterre in June last year.

Incidents of rioting in French cities and suburbs have most often been sparked by incidents of police brutality against people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

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Written by: radioroxi

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