Protesters will gather in London this weekend to support the outraged Jewish community of France, where a court ruled the killer of a Jewish schoolteacher cannot stand trial because of the effects of cannabis.
The country’s highest court ruled last week that Kobili Traore was not criminally responsible for the death of Sarah Halimi, 65, because he had succumbed to a “delirious fit” after smoking the drug.
Halimi died four years ago after Traore attacked her in her Paris flat while shouting “Allahu Akbar” and pushed her out of the window of her Paris flat onto the street below.
Last Wednesday the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld rulings by lower courts that her killer could not stand trial because he had been too intoxicated to be responsible for the murder.
It rejected arguments by lawyers representing Halimi’s family that Traore had previously demonstrated antisemitic attitudes.
French president Emmanuel Macron this week called for a change in the law.
“Deciding to take narcotics and then ‘going mad’ should, not in my view, remove your criminal responsibility,” Macron told the newspaper Le Figaro.
This Sunday 25th April, to coincide with demonstrations in France, we will rally outside the Embassy of France in London…
“But I want to assure the family, relatives of the victim and all fellow citizens of Jewish faith who were awaiting this trial of my warm support and the determination of the Republic to protect them.”
Halimi’s family said it is considering filing a case at the European Court of Human Rights, but last week’s ruling means there is no judicial route remaining in France for Traore to face trial.
He has been held at a psychiatric hospital since his arrest shortly after Halimi died in 2017.
Protests against the ruling organised by Crif, the French Jewish community group, will take place on Sunday in several French cities including Paris and Marseille.
A parallel rally organised by the Campaign Against Antisemitism will be held outside the French Embassy in London at 1pm.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.