Posted by: becketfund | May 4, 2009

France: Closed Trial of French Jew Causes Outrage

PARIS – For the Jewish community in France, the decision to bar journalists from the trial of gang members accused of kidnapping and torturing a 23-year-old French Jew to death has struck a raw nerve, the JTA reported on May 4.  The Paris court’s April 29 ruling adds insult to injury, French Jews say, by further suppressing what many believe was the motive for the murder of Ilan Halimi: anti-Semitism. “It was the law of silence that killed Ilan Halimi,” said Francis Szpiner, a lawyer for the Halimi family. “And it has imposed itself again.”  Halimi was abducted in late January 2006, and was held and tortured for more than three weeks before his broken body, burned and stabbed, was dumped near railway tracks in a suburb south of Paris. He was found on Feb. 13, 2006 and died on the way to the hospital.  The killing prompted a mass demonstration of solidarity with the Halimis, mostly from the Jewish community, and against anti-Semitism several days later in Paris.  Many, including the victim’s mother, criticized the police for their refusal to investigate the possibility that the kidnapping was anti-Semitic in nature.

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