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South African Opera Singer Says She Was Detained and Strip Searched by Paris Police

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Acclaimed soprano, Pretty Yende, arrived in Paris this week for a starring role at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees.

South African Opera Singer Says She Was Detained and Strip Searched by Paris Police

A South African opera star said she was detained and strip searched by Paris police this week. Acclaimed soprano, Pretty Yende, took to Instagram and Facebook to share her story, saying she was held in a dark room at Paris' main airport after arriving this week for a starring role at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees.

"Police brutality is real for someone who looks like me," wrote Yende, who is Black. "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 suddenly appear with made up stories."

Of the incident, Yende recalls, "I was stripped and searched like a criminal offender."

An officer told her, "Listen to me carefully, you will not have your phone."

"I asked, 'Am I a prisoner?' He rudely said 'Yes,' and I decided to comply and just do what they say," she writes. "The experience was traumatizing and scary. I was filled with so many negative thoughts. I'm still shaken thinking that I am one in a million who managed to come out of that situation alive."

Read Yende's full account below:

A French official, spoke anonymously with ABC News about the incident, saying that Yende was questioned by police 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. After a verification process, Yende "received a visa regularizing her situation. She thanked the police officers when she was allowed to leave."

Read more on ABC News.

Yende later thanked her friends and followers for their support in a follow-up post.

"Let's be thankful I am alive to tell my story, and I wasn't 'brutally interrogated' & physically tortured like many to even this day, families are still wondering what happened and with no answers," she wrote.

Read the follow up post below:


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