Jewish rights group presses for hate crime terror charges in France

by WorldTribune Staff, July 3, 2017

The murder of a Jewish woman by a Malian immigrant in France sparked an outburst by a Jewish rights group.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center called for an end “to the culture of apology” that excuses the rise in recent years of rampant antisemitism by treating French Islamist perpetrators “as psychiatric cases rather than hate crime terrorists.”

Sarah Halimi

Sarah Halimi was murdered in the early morning hours of April 4 when Kobili Traore “broke into her apartment, beat her savagely while shouting Islamist slogans, and then tossed her from a third-floor window,” according to a July 2 report in The Algemeiner.

Traore is currently in a hospital awaiting a psychiatric evaluation.

“Despite reportedly having no known history of mental instability, if Traore is deemed mentally unfit, he is likely to escape criminal responsibility for Halimi’s torture and murder,” the report said.

Shimon Samuels, Director of International Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), said that “the perpetrator (of Halimi’s murder) must be arraigned, charged and a date set for his trial without further delay.”

“Madam Minister, does it take not even the murder of a Jew qua Jew – as in the case of Dr. Sarah Halimi – to be recognized as an act of antisemitism?” Samuels asked in a letter to Nicole Belloubet, who was appointed to head the justice ministry by French President Emmanuel Macron on June 28.

“Further procrastination in addressing the murder of Jews as if they were simply targets of the insane or the greedy will register as indifference to their fate,” Samuels said.

Samuels referenced other instances in France that he said shared common characteristics with Halimi’s murder – among them the kidnapping and murder of her namesake Ilan Halimi in January 2006, by a gang who had set out to hold a “wealthy Jew” for ransom, and the dismissal of the charge of antisemitism in the 2014 case of a young Jewish couple “taken prisoner in their own home, beaten and – in the case of the wife – raped.”

“Media silence, the lack of an indictment and the very thought of dismissal by the investigating magistrate, is an abuse of the human rights of Jewish victims of antisemitism and an encouragement to further jihadist terrorism,” Samuels warned.

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