The death of a teenager, stabbed during a ball in a village, attacked by a gang of young people, arouses tensions in a town in the south-east of France, where the ultra-right is trying to demonstrate.
The investigation has not yet made it possible to fully elucidate the circumstances of the tragedy, which sparked a cascade of virulent reactions from the far right and the right on the theme of insecurity and immigration, some accusing the “scum” of “anti-white racism”.
Nine young people, including three minors, some known to the police, were indicted for various reasons including “organized gang murder” in connection with the death of young Thomas, 16, who died on November 19 as a result of his injuries. received at a ball in the Drôme, in Crépol, near Romans-sur-Isère.
Eight people were also injured during the attack.
President Emmanuel Macron denounced a “terrible assassination”, “which marked us all”.
On Sunday, around forty ultra-right activists gathered in small groups in the center of the town of Romans-sur-Isère, and were dispersed by the police, according to the prefecture, which counted a total of seven arrests.
Friday evening, around a hundred ultra-right activists from different cities across the country marched hooded through the streets of Romans with the aim of “fighting” with young people from the sensitive district of La Monnaie, from which some of the suspects come, according to a police source.
An identity activist from the west of France was “beaten up” by strangers and his vehicle “burned”, declared Sunday the prefect of Drôme, Thierry Devimeux, condemning “all excesses of violence” during a press briefing relayed by BFM TV and France 3.
On Sunday, voices were raised on the left to denounce the “political recovery” and “the return of the ratonnades”.
Tags on a mosque
At this stage, the investigation draws the scenario of violence occurring for a “futile reason” and not of a premeditated attack targeting the guests of the ball because of their belonging to an “alleged race, ethnicity, nation or specific religion”, according to the Valencia prosecutor, who warns against “denunciations without proof” and “hasty interpretations”.
It was apparently a remark linked to “a haircut” which sparked an altercation in the Crépol village hall, before degenerating outside, while the ball was ending and a hostile group arrived by car on site.
“All individuals outside Crépol are described as carrying blows, some stabbing”, nine of the 104 witnesses heard mentioned hostile remarks “to white people”, according to the prosecution.
“It appears to have been a fight that got out of hand. Things went beyond understanding in a fortuitous way,” assured Me Bilel Hakkar, the lawyer for one of the defendants.
Since the tragedy, the ultra-right has led a virulent campaign on the Internet, including a list of names of people all from immigrant backgrounds and photos presented as those of the attackers.
Saturday morning, a mosque in Valence, in the same department of Drôme, received an Islamophobic letter mentioning the tragedy of Crépol and tags were discovered on the walls of the mosque in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, in Normandy (north). west).
In a heavy, but apolitical atmosphere, more than 6,000 people marched on Wednesday in Romans-sur-Isère, for a large white march in memory of Thomas, before his funeral, followed by 2,000 people on Friday. A minute of silence was to pay tribute to the young junior captain during rugby matches scheduled throughout the weekend.