French forensic police hold gory protest for equal rights

1 / 2

Dead bodies and bloody limbs piled up outside the Louvre in Paris as protesting forensic investigators staged a crime scene, horrific but fake, to demand the same labour benefits as their colleagues in blue

Dead bodies and bloody limbs piled up outside the Louvre in Paris as protesting forensic investigators staged a crime scene, horrific but fake, to demand the same labour benefits as their colleagues in blue (AFP Photo/STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)

Paris (AFP) - French forensic investigators on Wednesday set up a gruesome but staged crime scene in Paris complete with bloodied bodies and dismembered limbs, in an eye-catching protest to demand the same labour benefits as their regular, armed police colleagues.

Several hundred forensic police, many in white lab coats and blue gloves, took part in the demonstration, displaying banners and placards proclaiming "I am a cop", and "My job is not dangerous, that's why I have a bullet-proof vest."

Several dozen protesters lay on the ground posing as blood-spattered corpses amid a field of fake severed arms and legs, a scene that a banner proclaimed as "Our daily reality".

They complain of being denied benefits enjoyed by their armed police colleagues, who have an "active" employment status while they are categorised as "sedentary".

Active police members qualify for earlier retirement.

"We have an ambiguous status even though the majority of people here... have been confronted with criminals, and regularly see corpses," said one protester who carried a sign around his neck stating: "Charlie Hebdo, I was there too" in reference to the deadly 2015 attack on the Paris-based satirical magazine.

The job is "extremely difficult" with "many strains", said Soazig Henrio, of the Snipat union for forensic and scientific police.

"We want the danger and the difficulty of our work to be recognised," she said, as other protesters held up posters declaring: "Have you ever slipped on the bodily fluids of a putrified corpse? I have."