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In Paris, a rally calls for "justice for Julie" who accuses firefighters of rape

In Paris, a rally calls for "justice for Julie" who accuses firefighters of rape

Feminist collectives and demonstrators gathered this Sunday, February 7 at the Saint-Michel fountain in Paris to support “Julie”. While she accuses Paris firefighters of rape, they denounce the reclassification by the justice of the facts of rape in "sexual attack".

Nearly 300 people braved the cold this Sunday afternoon, February 7, at the call of the parents of “Julie” (pseudonym chosen by the family). To cries of " justice, accomplice " or " justice for Julie “, the demonstrators showed their mobilization in this affair and their support for the 25-year-old girl, who accuses Paris firefighters of having raped her between her 13 and 15 years.

On the few posters held by demonstrators of all ages, one could read "#StopJusticeSexiste", "Fire the patriarchy" or "Rapists, we see you, Julie, we believe you". Songs and slogans punctuated several speeches by feminist collectives.

Among the demonstrators, Jacquie and Eliane wave signs in the name of the Women's Alliance for Democracy with which they have been campaigning since the 1970s. We are in solidarity with Julie and her mother. Things are changing little by little, but there are always risks of regression », explains Jacquie. " That's why we're still here “, adds his comrade.

For their part, Noah, 15, and his sister Maya, 18, came together. " We don't have much in common apart from the fact that we are women and that we are victims of sexual harassment. That's why we're here today. We feel connected to Julie in one way or another “, testifies the latter. " I'm the same age as Julie when she was raped, I could very well have been in her place. And for me, it was important to show that we believe her by being there adds Noah.

Denounce "the wall of impunity"

In this case, Julie accuses 20 Paris firefighters of having raped her from the age of 13 to 15. If the officers interviewed by the police acknowledged the reports, only three of them were indicted. The Versailles court in July 2019 then the Court of Appeal in November 2020 however reclassified the rapes as " sexual abuse of a minor ". Direct consequence of this decision: the firefighters implicated are therefore sent back to the criminal court, and not to the assizes. They will therefore be tried for a misdemeanor, not a crime.

« The Court of Appeal of Versailles returned 40 pages of shame “, judged Corine Leriche, Julie’s mother, during her visit to the gallery. The activists who succeeded also recalled the shortcomings that there would have been in the instruction. " To shed light on Julie is to shed light on the shortcomings of all the other cases “, assured Sofia, spokesperson for the Femen. This group had also made an action the day before at the Paris courthouse.

The lawyers and the family of Julie denounce in particular the way in which the filing of a complaint took place. During the investigation, the police allegedly made violent derogatory remarks about the victim's situation.

Mobilization before going to the Court of Cassation

A few days before a cassation hearing, the mobilization was crucial for Julie's lawyers, Delphine Vignola and Lorraine Questiaux. Prior to the gathering, the latter confided that this made it possible to " rebalance the forces » and to make Julie's voice heard. His mother, for her part, affirmed her desire to make known to the general public a case that has been going on for almost ten years. " It's important these demonstrations of support, it does Julie a lot of good “, she advances, a sign in her hands which reads” 20 rapist firefighters – Justice for Julie “. The young girl also thanked the mobilized crowd in person by making a quick intervention.

Several other gatherings were organized throughout France. If the hearing in the Court of Cassation is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, the decision will not be made until later. Activists called for the mobilization not to falter, suggesting protesters continue to talk about the case online via the hashtag #JusticeforJulie.

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