France has a right to exist

Large protest in Paris against the judicial decision in the Halimi case

In Paris and other French cities such as Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg, more than 25,000 people protested against a decision by the French judiciary in the case of the murder victim Sarah Halimi, according to the Interior Ministry. "The outcry has risen and hope has returned. This is the hope you are all here," said Halimi's brother William Attal in front of thousands of demonstrators on the Trocadero promenade in Paris. Representative Christophe Castaner, who heads President Emmanuel Macron's "Republic on the move", also took part in the rally. The former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni, wife of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, was also among the demonstrators.

In Israel, hundreds of people gathered outside the French embassy in Tel Aviv and waved French and Israeli flags and posters with slogans such as "Shame on France". "I am ashamed to be French, the France of my childhood no longer exists," said Roselyne Mimouni, a French-Israeli pensioner. MPs from across the political spectrum attended the rally. Israeli Diaspora Minister Omer Yankelevitch called the court's decision "absurd, scandalous and dangerous".

Offender in psychiatric treatment

In April 2017, a 27-year-old neighbor had beaten Halimis with shouts of "Allah Akbar" (God is great) on the 65-year-old Jewish woman, quoting verses from the Koran and throwing her over the balcony of her social apartment in the east of Paris. However, he was declared insane in court because of a psychosis as a result of cannabis and alcohol use and has now been in psychiatry for at least 20 years.

The surviving dependents of the Jewish woman complained against it, but were defeated last week before the Paris Court of Cassation, the highest judicial authority in France. You now want to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to get a trial against the perpetrator.

Changes to the law soon

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced on BFMTV that a street in the capital would bear the name of Sarah Halimi. Justice Minister √Čric Dupond-Moretti announced a draft law for the coming month to close the legal loophole that had become clear in the Halimi case. "This tragic story, which has shaped us all, will advance our rights," he shared via Twitter.

About a week ago, President Emmanuel Macron campaigned for a change in the law. He told the newspaper "Le Figaro" that perpetrators such as the Halimi case should no longer be declared incompetent for drug use. "If someone decides to use drugs and goes nuts, that shouldn't reduce their criminal responsibility in my opinion," stressed Macron.

kle / wa (afp, dpa)