At least 14,000 ethnic Chinese have gathered on the streets of Pairs to protest a crime wave targeting France’s Chinese community.
Protesters, clad in T-shirts printed with slogans such as “Stop violence, muggings, insecurity” or “Equality for all, security for all,” marched from the Place de Republique square to the Bastille in eastern Paris on Sunday.
“At first it was just stealing bags, then it was stealing bags with violence, and now it’s stealing bags and killing. It could happen to anyone,” said one protester.
“The people here are angry. We can’t feel relaxed in the street, and if we don’t even get a basic welcome in the police station people start to wonder,” he added.
A Chinese textile designer, Chaoling Zhang, died after being mugged last month in the northern Paris suburb of Aubervilliers which has a large Asian community.
Members of the community claim that Chaolin Zhang’s death is but the latest in a series of targeted attacks.
"He came to France in search of a better life... he found violence and insecurity," said a spokesman of France's 300,000-strong Chinese community.
"These hooligans have destroyed our faith in France. Let our voice be heard," he added.
A stereotype that the Chinese habitually carry large sums of money on their person is attributed to the spike of violent robbery against Chinese community which has tripled over the past year.
Following the march, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve vowed to bolster the police presence in Aubervilliers and allocate funding for more security cameras.