A French farmer who nearly died at the hands of a knife-wielding jihadist, who was supposed to be under house arrest, has slammed “double standards” from the media and criminal justice system concerning his case.
The Lot-et-Garonne farmer, who was left in a serious condition after being stabbed several times on June 18, told Le Figaro he has his young assistant to thank for still being alive today.
“I saw [the attacker] preparing his blade, and shouting ‘Allahu akhbar’ or, I don’t even know what’,” he said, adding that without his assistant “the jihadist would have finished me, and had me dead on the ground”.
The 58-year-old left hospital last week with 23 stitches and a permit entitling him to almost a month’s ‘disability from work’ insurance.
But, left with psychological scars from the attack, the Frenchman saw the lack of media attention garnered from his ordeal as “double punishment”, complaining there are different rules when it comes to attacks on politicians compared to attacks on regular people.
“The media would have had plenty to say, had I been jostling with my political views in the streets. But hey, I’m just a yokel,” he shrugged, comparing the number of column inches dedicated to his ordeal compared to centre-right lawmaker Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who was left unconscious in clashes with a protester days prior to his own hospitalisation.
“I must be told how it was that this man found himself in my field, 20 kilometres from home, at a time when he was supposed to be under house arrest,” the farmer said of confirmed Islamist. The jihadi was on the ‘Fiché S’ terror watch list, which means he was under surveillance.
Laroque-Timbaut’s centre-right mayor Lionel Falcoz, said: “There are feelings of misunderstanding and anger among the victims’ relatives. Some feel that the response from criminal justice is not up to scratch, and people don’t understand why the man’s profile — an obviously very radicalised Muslim, who was found to have 31 extremely violent ISIS videos on his phone — will no longer be taken into account by the prosecution.
“I have heard from farmers who have been telling me they feel they now have to work in defensive groups, as in the Westerns. Public safety is not best served by self-defence militias,” he said.