South African Opera Singer, Pretty Yende, Alleges Paris Police Detained, Strip Searched Her

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South African opera star Pretty Yende has alleged that Paris police officers detained her, strip-searched her before holding her in a dark room in the country’s principal airport.

Yende touched down in the European country to film her starring role at a Paris theater. She says officers told her she did not have the correct documents to enter the country.

“Police brutality is real for someone who look like me. I’ve always read about it on the news and most of my brothers and sister end up being tortured and some fatal cases make headlines and dead bodies,” Yende wrote in a post shared to Instagram.

“I am one of the very very luck ones to be alive to see the day today even with il-treatment and outrageous racial discrimination and psychological torture and very offensive racial comments in a country that I’ve given so much of my heart and virtue to and still determined to do so as a legal International citizen on the global stage community,” she continued, adding that she was still “shaken.”

“I was stripped and searched like a criminal offender,” the soprano insisted. yENDE says she was left alone in a dark room and instructed to write down phone numbers of family and friends on a sheet of paper. “It was cold in there, there was no light in the beginning.”
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According to The Associated Press, a French official anonymously shared that police questioned Yende because she held a South African passport and did not have a French visa to enter the country.

“The documents she was showing did not allow her to enter French territory,” said the official. He said she arrived in Paris on Monday and was questioned from about 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. before being released.

Officially, French authorities have refuted Yende’s version of events. They say she was subjected to a “pat-down” carried out “professionally” by a female officer. She was eventually given the correct documentation.

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