French teens charged for attacking Jewish schoolgirl

12th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

The 14-year-old girl was kicked in the legs and forced to eat snow outside her high school.

VILLIERS LE BEL – Four teenagers from the Paris suburbs have been charged with beating a Jewish schoolgirl and taunting her over the Israeli offensive in Gaza, officials said Friday.

The 14-year-old victim told investigators she was called a "dirty Jew", kicked in the legs and forced to eat snow by a group of youths outside her high school in the rough suburb of Villiers le Bel.

One of her attackers allegedly told her: "We don't like what your brothers are doing in Gaza," lawyers said.

A special judge for minors charged the three youths late Thursday with acts of violence linked to a person's religion, and a fourth for failing to prevent a crime, the state prosecutor's office said.

According to defence lawyers, the judge suggested the youths, aged between 13 and 15, could be sent on a course on the subject of racism and anti-Semitism.

All four have been suspended from school and are set to face disciplinary action.

France, home to Europe's biggest Arab and Jewish populations, has been on alert for an increase in anti-Semitic violence as the conflict in Gaza stirred communal tensions.

On Monday, unidentified attackers rammed a burning car into a gate outside a synagogue in southern France, while French Jewish groups have recorded a spike in anti-Semitic taunts and attacks.

[APF / Expatica]

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