A French lawyer has expressed deep concern over the recent assault of two veiled young Muslim women by police officers at the Pont de Clichy in the northwestern part of the capital Paris.
Video footage showing police officers involved in the incident on April 14 went viral, triggering tensions.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Nabil Boudi, who is representing the two plaintiffs, said while the incident was not new, there is a growing trend of violence against Muslims.
“Within one week, several attacks occurred on veiled women, the latest being that at the Pont de Clichy. Similar attacks have happened in Montpellier city, where two veiled girls were assaulted by a retired police officer, and another in an amphitheater in Lyon,” he said.
Describing it as worrying, Boudi, a member of the Paris Bar, attributed the successive attacks to the “labeling of certain categories of French Muslims as enemies.”
The fact that police officers orchestrate violence against Muslims compounds the problem, he said.
The lawyer said his clients wonder where they will report their cases now that it is the police who are assaulting them.
The victims of the Pont de Clichy incident and the police officers are expected to meet at the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) in attempting to address the case.
Boudi also castigated an identity check subjected to one of his clients, which he said is regulated in France and must be justified by the commission of an offence.
“I consider that they (his clients) were victims of a racist and growing trend of Islamophobia. One of the police officers attacked one of the victims by trying to tear off her veil,” he said, adding that a medical examination confirmed that the victims were assaulted.
The police officers involved in the assault filed a case against the girls, accusing them of “contempt and rebellion.” However, Boudi wondered how the police officers came up with the charges yet they did not arrest the alleged suspects.
The police only filed a complaint after video footage of the incident circulated on social media, he said.
“They know that they violated the law and that they have committed very serious offenses but filed a complaint to justify the violence,” the lawyer said.
The two girls contend that it is a serious offense for persons holding public authority to orchestrate violence against people because of their religious affiliation./aa