• France's news in English
 
Teenage victim of veil attack attempts suicide
File photo: A French police officer speaks with Muslim women during an identity check in Lille in 2012. Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

Teenage victim of veil attack attempts suicide

Ben McPartland · 27 Aug 2013, 08:43

Published: 27 Aug 2013 08:43 GMT+02:00

The teenager, who was attacked on August 12th by two men who threatened her with a box cutter before ripping off her veil, is in a "critical" condition at a hospital in the French capital.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, the teenager threw herself out a window at her family home in the suburb of Trappes, at around 7.30pm on Monday.

It is believed she had already made a previous unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills last week.

The motive for her actions is not clear. 

With tensions already high in the suburb of Trappes, which was the scene of violent clashes between youths and police last month, authorities feared the suicide attempt may spark further outbreaks of trouble.

Riot police were sent into Trappes on Monday evening and were stationed around the police station, the focal point of last month's violence. No outbreaks of disorder were reported, however.

On the day she was attacked, the teen victim told police she was leaving a friend’s house in Trappes at around 5.45pm  when two “European-looking” men confronted her near Square Berlioz.

The victim reported her assailants shouted racist and anti-Muslim insults at her before brandishing a boxcutter. She said they then tore off her veil, pushed her to the ground, and hit her.

"The first man started to touch my chest and then I managed to slap him, but then he punched me in the chest. He then took out a sharp object and started to cut my face with short, quick movements," the victim told The Huffington Post in the aftermath of the attack.

OPINION: France is having an identity crisis over Islam

The victim was saved when a third man intervened, and the attackers – one of whom was described as having a shaved head – fled the area by car.

She was driven to hospital in Trappes, in the department of Yvelines, where she was found to have “light scratch marks” on her face and throat, a source told French daily Le Parisien.

She reported the incident to local police the following day, who opened up an official investigation and are studying CCTV images and trying to track down any witnesses to the attack.

Investigators in Yvelines confirmed the girl had been attacked but according to Le Parisien newspaper had not been able to find any proof to back up her version of events. The police probe has been made more difficult by the fact that no eyewitness has come forward to help enquiries.

It was not clear whether the victim was wearing a headscarf, known as a hijab, or a full-face veil, known as a niqab, which was banned from being worn in public in France in 2011.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned the attack at the time, expressing his “indignation” to French television BFMTV.

“I severely condemn this newest demonstration of anti-Muslim hatred and intolerance,” Valls said.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Anti-Islam protestors clash with police in Calais
French riot police at the Calais ferry terminal. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Anti-Islam protestors clash with police in Calais
16 hours ago

Anti-migrant protesters in the French port city of Calais on Saturday clashed with police as they defied a ban and rallied in support of a Europe-wide initiative by the Islamophobic Pegida movement.

'Video row has ruined trade': Paris attacks restaurant owner
Flowers in tribute to the November 13th attack victims are displayed in front of the "Casa Nostra" restaurant. Photo: Patrick Kovarik

'Video row has ruined trade': Paris attacks restaurant owner
18 hours ago

A Paris restaurant hit in last November’s terror attacks officially reopened Friday - with the owner complaining business had been ruined by claims he sold footage of the onslaught to a British newspaper.

France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
France's rugby union team captain Guilhem Guirado. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
22 hours ago

France and Italy kick-off the Six Nations on Saturday under a massive security operation as international sport returns to Paris's Stade de France for the first time since suicide bombers targeted the city on November 13.

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
Photo: Whitecatsg/Flickr

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
1 day ago

The first French person to be given the designation "neutral gender" appeared in court on Friday to testify in an appeal of the decision.

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen. Photo: AFP

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
1 day ago

National Front leader Marine Le Pen has been voted as the "biggest liar" of 2015. But why?

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
Photo: Kent Wang/ FLickr

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
1 day ago

As Paris gets its first automatic meat dispenser it seems "Only in France" could you buy bread, cheese, steak and pig's intestines from 24-hour street vending machines.

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
Children in the Jungle camp in Calais. Photo: AFP

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
1 day ago

This time it's the United Nations that has blasted France for the conditions at Calais.

Americans in France
Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
Photo: AFP

Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
1 day ago

Can you guess which region in France only 55 Americans call home?

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
The Canal Saint Martin area of Paris that has been plagued by litter problems. Photo: AFP

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
1 day ago

Yes, you read that right.

State of Emergency
Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
Photo: AFP

Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
1 day ago

The French PM defended the ongoing state of emergency in France on Friday claiming that the sweeping powers helped them foil a terror attack.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
Culture
Say good bye to 'oignon': How 2,400 French words will get new spellings
Sport
US calls on French help to prevent 'Paris-style' attack at Super Bowl
Culture
Betty Blue star Béatrice Dalle says she ate a dead man's ear (while on acid)
Analysis & Opinion
It's no surprise the French are losing faith in Hollande's war on terror
Culture
What's on: Here are 10 great things to do in France in February
Culture
The 300-metre monument Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower
How a drunken stunt with a mattress on an Alps ski slope ended in tragedy
Culture
Chandeleur - The day the French get superstitious
Culture
Did fear of losing success drive top French chef to commit suicide?
See what changes in France from February 1st
Culture
'S**t! B**lox!'- Ramsay sees Versailles restaurant lose star
Lifestyle
Le Chandeleur: Why do the French eat crêpes on February 2nd?
Culture
Mad Max director to head Cannes Film Festival jury
National
'And what if your daughter married a Muslim?' - Survey shocks France
Features
Are these really 'the only streets in Paris' you need to go to?
Culture
Is the Michelin guide worth the paper it's written on?
Society
VIDEO: See the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris in 1926
Society
Is this the simple solution for Brits stressed out by driving in France?
3,531
jobs available