(Translated from BFM) France is the only country in Europe to use explosive grenades to keep the most violent demonstrators away from rallies. This is explained by a joint report from the General Inspectorate of Police and the Gendarmerie.
This explosive grenade is called the GLI-F4. It is the same one which ripped off the hand of a demonstrator from the Notre-Dame-des-Landes ZAD who tried to pick it up in 2017. It was this same grenade that wounded a demonstrator in Bure, Lorraine, in August 2017.
A strong blast
This grenade has three characteristics when it explodes. It releases tear gas which causes an intense noise estimated at 165 decibels within a radius of five meters. By way of comparison, it is stronger than a take-off aircraft that produces about 140 decibels. Above all, it causes an intense explosion due to an explosive that used to be present in another grenade, the OF-F1. This was responsible for the death of Rémi Fraisse in October 2014 in Sivens. It has since been banned.
Even the police have acknowledged that this grenade is a risk. In 2014, the Inspectorates-General of the Police and the Gendarmerie acknowledged in a report that these devices were “likely to mutilate or fatally injure an individual” and that they were “the last stage before having to use firearms“.
Used until the stocks last
If it has not been banned, the GLI-F4 may be banned in the near future. On May 24, 2018, according to the official bulletin, the Ministry of Interior indicated that it would renew its stocks of grenades, but did not order new GLI F4s. “It was decided not to manufacture this grenade anymore,” the ministry explained. However, it will continue to be used until stocks run out.
It will be replaced by the GM2L, which already exists. According to the Ministry of Interior also contains a tear gas and deafening effect, but does not have the deflagrating effect of GLI-F4.