A website set up by a group claiming to want to expose violent and racist police officers has been threatened with closure.

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POLICE

Ministry seeks ban on police watchdog site

A website set up by a group claiming to want to expose violent and racist police officers has been threatened with closure.

The site, Copwatch, publishes photos and videos of officers it claims are engaging in inappropriate behaviour or expressing racist views. The policemen concerned can be clearly identified in the pictures.

Images shown on the site include officers drinking alcohol, under the title “police having fun in the barracks”, a policeman who states his membership of a far-right political group on his Facebook page and pictures of others the group claims are violent and racist.

The site has caused anger at the interior ministry as well as with officers and their unions. One policeman has filed an official complaint after he received hunting cartridges in the mail. The officer concerned said he was identified on the Copwatch site. Police unions have also lodged complaints.

The group behind the site has said it is a “collective of citizens who want to fight against police violence with transparency and information.”

Interior minister Claude Guéant has described the site as “completely unacceptable and scandalous.”

A Paris court will consider the case on Wednesday.

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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