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On 3 October, the French National Bureau of Vigilance against Antisemitism (BNVCA) reported in a press release on the tragic story of a 10-year-old girl. Her mother had contacted the BNVCA because her daughter, student at an elementary school in Paris’ 18th district, had been insulted, struck and beaten by some of her classmates. According to the girl’s and her mother’s statements to the police, this was solely due to the girl being Jewish.

The BNVCA claims that from declarations made by the mother and her daughter, Ness C., to the police, the girl had been suffering from the abuse over the course of several days.

The beatings were so severe, that trauma to abdomen and ribs lead to the mother bringing her child too hospital. There, medical doctors found her injuries so severe, that they ordered a ten-day investigation of the girl. This so-called ITT-investigation is the legally prescribed response in cases of psychological and physical violence, and serves as the prosecutors base for criminal penalties.

The BNVCA has demanded that the police make every effort to confirm whether or not, as claimed by the girl, the incidents had an anti-Semitic background. The mother, meanwhile, has complained that the school’s management did not take sufficient measures to protect her daughter, nor sanction the youthful aggressors. The BNVCA meanwhile, contacted the Paris’ rectorate, which has confirmed receiving the complaint. The rectorate takes the situation seriously, and has accepted the mother’s demand her daughter be transferred to another school of her choice.

The abuse is the latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents in France, following the murder of Sarah Halimi in April and the attack on two Jewish brothers, cut and racially abused in a street attack in Seine-Saint-Denis in February. There was also the burglary with anti-Semitic overtones and violence in September. In August, a stele commemorating Jewish victims of the Second World War was vandalised.