The following alerts are based on ISA's direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, and expert consultation.
Friday, January 30, 2015
During the afternoon of Saturday, January 31st, a big demonstration is scheduled to take place in Madrid between 12 pm and 3 pm. The protesters will march from Plaza de Cibeles to Puerta del Sol in the center of the city. The protests are being organized in opposition to government cuts to education, health services, science and social services. All ISA Madrid students have been informed of these demonstrations and advised to avoid the designated areas during that time. Students were also reminded that the ISA Code of Conduct prohibits participation in demonstrations of any kind.
Monday, January 12, 2015
On Sunday, January 11th, a unity rally was held in Paris in support of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks as well as innocent victims who were killed in its aftermath. Forty different world leaders came together to lead the rally, and an estimated 1.5 million people were in attendance. Similar marches took place in other French cities and across the world. The rally, which has been reported as the largest demonstration of its kind in the capital city's recent history, was peaceful and there were no reports of violence.
France continues to monitor its security situation, and as a precautionary measure, on Monday, January 12th, the French government announced that it will deploy approximately 10,000 troops across the country. Troops will be visible at various high-risk locations, such as major transportation points, shopping centers, schools, tourist attractions, and other highly trafficked areas. ISA students are reminded to continue to be aware of their surroundings and follow instructions provided by their on-site staff.
Friday, January 9, 2015
On January 9th, two hostage situations developed around the city of Paris. In Dammartin-en-Goele, a suburb outside of Paris located northeast of Charles de Gaulle airport, the two suspected gunmen from the Charlie Hebdo attack on January 7th took refuge with a hostage in an industrial building and were cornered by police. The two gunmen were killed by police forces and the hostage freed.
In Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris, on the periphery of Paris' 12th and 20th districts, a separate hostage situation arose at a kosher grocery store. This siege also ended with the suspect being killed by police. Early reports indicate that four hostages may have been killed by the suspect before the siege ended. The same suspect is believed to be responsible for the shooting of a police officer yesterday in Montrouge, a neighborhood just south of Paris. His female accomplice in the shooting of the police officer was not linked to the hostage situation and is believed to be at large. Reports suggest that the suspect in the second hostage situation may have had ties to the gunmen involved in the Charlie Hebdo shooting.
Disruption to public transportation around both incidents can be expected. All ISA Paris students have been accounted for and are safe, and we will continue to advise them on the situation.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Early on Thursday, January 8th, local time, French officials announced that one of the three suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting attack was arrested after turning himself into authorities. Authorities released photos of the other two suspects, who remain at large. Security remains heightened throughout the city, and the ISA Paris staff has been in communication with our host universities regarding their increased security measures since the shooting. ISA students currently in Paris remain safe and in communication with resident staff.
Paris, Wednesday, January 7, 2015
On Wednesday, January 7th, three armed gunmen attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French newspaper based in Paris' 11th district. Reports indicate that twelve people were killed, and several others were injured in the attack. As of the time of this report, the three gunmen remain at large. As a result of the attack, the French Government has raised its threat level for the Paris region to the highest level. According to the U.S. Embassy, security measures throughout Paris have been increased, including around media outlets, places of worship, major shopping outlets, and transportation networks. All ISA students currently in Paris are safe and accounted for. Demonstrations in support of Charlie Hebdo and the victims of today's attacks can be expected throughout France. ISA students are reminded that participation in demonstrations of any kind is prohibited. ISA is continuing to monitor the situation and will advise students accordingly.
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