The disturbing case of the 20 year-old, who was abducted and brutally beaten by residents of a French housing project when a group of ‘ultra-Right’ protestors attempted to march on the neighbourhood last weekend, is even more disturbing than it originally appeared. It now turns out that the young man had not even been a participant in the protest march. The below still, which has circulated widely on French social media, shows the young man bloodied and apparently unconscious after the beating.
As previously reported on the Daily Sceptic here, the protestors had descended upon the La Monnaie neighborhood in Romans-sur-Isère in southern France in order to demand justice for 16 year-old Thomas Perrotto, who was killed in a knife attack on a village ball in nearby Crépol. Many of the suspects in the Crépol attack, who are reported to have made racist comments about ‘whites’ while stabbing and slashing their victims, are known to come from the largely North African Arab ghetto.
But according to an internal police document, cited by the French daily Le Monde, while the young man had indeed come to Romans from his home in Mayenne in northern France to take part in the protest march, he had been dissuaded from doing so by the large police presence which greeted him and his companions upon their arrival. According to his own account, when questioned by the police after receiving treatment for his injuries, he had travelled to Romans in a minibus with eight other people whom he hardly knew.
Noting the large police mobilisation, he chose to return to the minibus on the margins of the protest. But he would be pulled from the vehicle and beaten by a group of young locals. Some of them “had a jerrycan full of gas and threatened to burn him alive if he did not undress”. The below still from a video recorded on the night of the events shows the young man naked and surrounded by his tormentors.
On the young man’s account, after he undressed, the beating continued and he lost consciousness before coming to in the entry hall of a building.
According to an unnamed police source quoted by Le Monde, the beating only came to a halt thanks to the intervention of older residents of La Monnaie, “including at least two people known for their past links to radical Islamism”.
It is not clear just how investigators are supposed to know this. If they know why the assailants ultimately spared the young man’s life, it is reasonable to assume that they know who the assailants are. Many of the latter were, in any case, filmed while abusing the young man. Nonetheless, no arrests have been announced.
Furthermore, nothing in the police account related by Le Monde indicates that the young man had any ideological affinity with the so-called ‘ultra-Right’. He is merely supposed to have made the trip to Romans after having received a message the day before inviting him to “pay homage to young Thomas”.