France details anti-Semitic attacks count

9th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 9 (AFP) - French officials have recorded 180 anti-Jewish acts so far this year, including assaults, arson and verbal insults, Justice Minister Dominique Perben said Wednesday after meeting the head of a Jewish representative group.

PARIS, June 9 (AFP) - French officials have recorded 180 anti-Jewish acts so far this year, including assaults, arson and verbal insults, Justice Minister Dominique Perben said Wednesday after meeting the head of a Jewish representative group.

Perben said that of the "absolutely unacceptable" total, all but 35 have gone unpunished because the perpetrators have not been identified. Of those who have been arrested, 20 were adults and 41 were minors, he said.

His ministry said no comparison was available with previous years because this was the first time anti-Jewish acts were being recorded in such detail.

The French government has become sensitive to criticism that anti-Semitic crime is on the rise in the country, a perception strengthened by some high-profile cases such as the stabbing last Friday in a Paris suburb of a 17-year-old Jewish student who was wounded in the chest.

A suspect in that case, an unemployed man of North African Arab origin, is in custody and being questioned about the attacks on the student and on six other, non-Jewish victims.

According to the justice ministry, 46 of the 180 anti-Jewish acts were directed against individuals and included assaults and insults. Another 104 targeted property, and involved graffiti and arson. The remaining 30 dealt with publications urging racial hatred.

The head of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions who met Perben, Roger Cukierman, said that he was unhappy with the "extremely small" number of convictions related to the recorded acts.

Of the 35 cases in which suspects were arrested, six were closed without further legal action: in two cases the individuals were let off with a warning, in another two reparations concluded the matter, in another the act was insufficiently characterised, and in the last the perpetrator was only six years old.

© AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article