Racist incidents decreased in France in 2017: ministry

2018-02-01 11:25
A French flag flying half-mast above the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP)

A French flag flying half-mast above the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP)

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Paris - Racist incidents ranging from vandalism to physical attacks decreased overall in France last year, despite a rise in violence targeting Jews and Muslims, an official report said on Wednesday.

The interior ministry issued its latest figures just two days after a suspected anti-Semitic attack on an eight-year-old boy wearing a kippa in the Paris region.

In 2015, following the jihadist attacks of January and November, incidents reported to police including violence, fires and vandalism as well as threats spiked at more than 2 000.

Racist incidents declined considerably in 2016, and last year 950 acts were recorded, a drop of 16%.

However, violent acts targeting minorities increased, from 67 to 72 against Muslims and from 77 to 97 against Jews, the report said.

Monday's attack on the eight-year-old Jewish boy in Sarcelles, north of Paris, prompted a denunciation by President Emmanuel Macron.

The ministry's figures for attacks on religious sites painted a mixed picture.

For the first time since 2008, such attacks have decreased overall, down 7.5% from 2016.

Christian sites, the most heavily targeted, saw a 7.5% drop to 878 incidents, and attacks on Muslim sites fell 15% to 72.

But Jewish sites saw a 22% spike in attacks - even though the total number was relatively low at 28.

Read more on:    france

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