France: Two hijab-wearing women to file complaint against police after violent attack
Two Muslim women will file a complaint against French police after they were attacked by officers last week, their lawyer announced on Monday.
The women, who both wear the hijab, were assaulted on April 14 at the Clichy Bridge north of Paris. Videos posted online show the women being violently slapped and forced to the ground by police.
Their lawyer, Nabil Boudi, said the victims were “still in shock” but remained “determined to see justice done”.
“A complaint for violence will be filed in the coming days,” he said.
Video footage, shared by the lawyer on Twitter, shows one woman in a black headscarf with her hands pulled behind her back being slapped and pushed downwards by police officers. When a second woman with a pink hijab tried to help, she was also attacked.
J’ai la haine, je suis triste et dégoûtée.. j’ai vraiment pas les mots ! On agresse nos sœurs, nos mères à cause d’un voile sur la tête, jusqu’à quand ???? pic.twitter.com/JjqOjNpqFx— مريم (@mtnssskl) April 14, 2022
Bystanders attempt to intervene and get the policemen to stop.
This was one of several anti-Muslim attacks in France recently caught on videotape and condemned by social media users.
Two young schoolgirls, one of whom wa wearing a hijab were assaulted by a man in Montpellier earlier this month in footage shared widely online. The man in question will be tried in court for the “racist nature of the aggression,” said Boudi.
This spate of Islamophobic violence has underscored the run-up to France’s final vote between incumbent president Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine le Pen.
Le Pen’s National Front party, which narrowed the gap between themselves and Macron’s centrist En Marche party in the first round of voting, has vowed to make banning the hijab in public places a “long-term goal”.
This policy is part of an extended history in France of politicising and policing hijab-wearing women. Last year, the French Senate passed a controversial law which banned girls under 18 from wearing headscarves in public places.