Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with sale of warships to Russia

    Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

France

French prosecutors to appeal 'catastrophic' gang rape verdicts

Latest update : 2012-10-13

French prosecutors announced Friday they would appeal the lenient verdicts in a gang rape trial as public outrage over acquittals and soft sentencing grows. Women's organisations called the verdicts "catastrophic" and decried a culture of "impunity".

Lenient sentences and acquittals for 14 men accused of gang raping two teenage girls are causing a stir in France, where women’s organizations decry what they call a culture of impunity and even politicians from the governing party have expressed shock at the ruling. The prosecutor’s office said Friday it would appeal.

On Thursday, a court in Creteil convicted four of the men of repeatedly gang raping one of the girls in a tough neighborhood outside Paris more than 10 years ago. The 10 others were acquitted, including all those accused of raping the second girl.
 
Most of the prison time handed out was suspended. The longest term was for five years, four of which were suspended. The lightest term was for three years, all suspended.
 
Clothilde Lepetit, a lawyer for the victims, called the verdict a “slap in the face,” according to the Sipa news agency.
 
The prosecutor’s office for the Paris region said Friday it would appeal all four sentences and four of the acquittals, Sipa reported.
 
But that has not stopped outrage from many quarters, including from more than 30 women’s organizations, which have started a petition online demanding a government response, including stronger laws to protect women.
 
“This verdict is catastrophic,” the petition on www.change.org says. “It seems to say to victims, bringing charges is worthless, and to rapists, you will not be condemned or barely!”
 
The petition, which has gathered more than 2,400 signatures, laments a France in which few victims report their rapes, even fewer get convictions and where a woman who does come forward is immediately shamed and discredited.
 
While the petition is calling for better laws to fight violence against women, it recalls a debate earlier this year over rampant sexual harassment in France, where catcalling in the streets in considered a sign of appreciation and off-color remarks are common in the workplace. A new law now makes sexual harassment a crime punishable by jail time after the old one was struck down for being too vague.
 
Government ministers also expressed surprise and disappointment at the ruling.
“This affair won’t encourage ... victims to come forward,” Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on French radio France Inter.
 
Before the prosecutor’s office announced it would appeal, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said she was dismayed by the verdict. This decision is “unacceptable from an ethical point of view and for the integrity of the victims,” she told Europe-1 radio.
 
(AP)

 

Date created : 2012-10-13

  • FRANCE

    French man receives 800,000 euros for wrongful rape conviction

    Read more

  • USA

    Romney urges congressman to quit after rape remarks

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Suspected serial rapist arrested after French campsite attacks

    Read more

COMMENT(S)