Paris police have charged two after a gang of four African men robbed and gang raped a couple in a shocking anti-Semitic attack, in which one of the perpetrators said: “You must have cash here because you are Jews”.
Two of the men, described as being of ‘African’ and ‘North African’ origin and twenty years of age have been charged with committing ‘hate crimes’ by police, another charged with aiding and abetting, and a fourth is on the run. The attack, which happened in Paris last month started when three of the gang broke into the apartment with a pistol and sawn-off shotgun, and robbed a young couple, who were tied up and threatened with death before the young woman was gang raped, reports France24.
The French interior minister has said the “anti-Semitic nature (of the attack) seems proven”. In full, the charges included gang rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and extortion followed by violence due to religious affiliation.
Victim Jonathan, 21, spoke on French radio of the attack: “They said they knew we had cash in the flat ‘because Jews have money and they never keep it in the bank’… they said, over and over, ‘We’re robbing you and we are attacking Jews at the same time – the two things in one”.
The robbers were not correct in their assumption that young Jewish couples don’t use banks, and found no cash in the apartment. The attack then became more sadistic as the young couple were held at gunpoint and forced to hand over their bank cards and pin numbers. The thief who went to the cash machine to complete the robbery said: “If I don’t come back, it’s because the codes were false. Kill them”.
The 19-year old woman was then dragged into the bedroom and gang-raped. After an hour-long ordeal, the attackers made off with jewellery and mobile phones.
French president Hollande has said the attack shows how “evil sweeps through our societies”. It has been identified as being part of the ‘new wave’ of anti-Semitism in the country, mainly perpetrated by recently arrived immigrants, rather than the ‘old’ anti-Semitism sometimes associated with the unreformed National Front party.
The area where the attack took place, the Sarcelles suburb, has a large resident Jewish population and has been the target for a number of anti-Semitic attacks recently. The same gang targeted an elderly man earlier the same day, and there have been a number of muggings and attacks in past months, including two men who were attacked with brass-knuckles outside a Synagogue.
A synagogue in the locality was also attacked during pro-Palestinian demonstrations earlier in the year, a now common excuse for naked anti-Semitism in many parts of Europe.