Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 - 14 of Sivan, 5780

Several thousand people – Jews and non-Jews- rally in France to demand ‘justice’ for Sarah Halimi

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“Justice for Sarah”, shouted several hundred demonstrators who gathered at Place de la République in Paris, while others, coming in scooters and motorcycles, sounded their horns. Around the base of the statue, a banner proclaimed: “Sarah killed because Jewish”.

PARIS—Several thousand people, Jews and non-Jews, rallied on Sunday in several cities throughout France and called for justice for Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman brutally killed in 2017 in her apartment in Paris.

The rallies followed an appeals court decision last month stating that Halimi’s murderer, Kobili Traoré, a 29-year-old Muslim, was responsible for the murder on April 4, 2017, but was not legally liable due to his consumption of cannabis before the incident. The judges considered that this cannabis user was then in the grip of a “delusional whiff”. He cannot therefore be judged at the assises criminal court.

The decision not to put Traoré on trial has sparked outrage in the French Jewish community and beyond.

“My sister was massacred,” said William Attal, one of Sarah Halimi’s brothers.

Sarah Halimi was brutally beaten and thrown out of the window of her apartment by Traore. The 27-year-old man, who lived in the same public housing project in eastern Paris as Halimi, broke into her apartment and shouted the words, “Allahu akhbar,” and, “Shaitan” (Arabic for “Satan”), as he rained kicks and punches on his victim, before picking up her bruised body and throwing her out of the window.

“Justice for Sarah”, shouted several hundred demonstrators who gathered at Place de la République in Paris, while others, coming in scooters and motorcycles, sounded their horns. Around the base of the statue, a banner proclaimed: “Sarah killed because Jewish”.

“My sister was massacred,” said William Attal, one of Halimi’s brothers, over a microphone above the crowd.

Last month, France’s Chief Rabbi Haïm Korsia published in daily Le Figaro an open letter addressed to the Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet, indignant that the “suspect could escape justice” and fearing that this decision amounts to issuing “a license to kill the Jews”.

Other protest rallies calling for Traore to be put on trial took place in several other French cities, including Marseille were  2,500 waved ironic signs reading: “Smoke joints, nothing will happen to you”.

 

 

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