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Angry punter throws acid over prostitutes in Lyon

Ben McPartland · 14 Mar 2013, 16:07

Published: 14 Mar 2013 16:07 GMT+01:00

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The three women, aged 26, 27 and 30 were attacked in the second and fifth arrondissements of the city, a police source told France’s TF1 TV this week.

According to the source the attack in January was sparked after a fall-out with a punter over sexual services.

It is not clear how badly injured the three women were left.

A 46-year-old suspect was arrested earlier this week after he was spotted by one of the victims. According to French newspaper La Dépêche he was found in possession of a flask of chemicals.

Tests later revealed the substance to be a mixture of ammonia and hydrochloric acid. The suspect remains in custody and a judicial inquiry has been opened.

Julie Muret, a spokeswoman for women’s rights group Osez le Feminisme said the attack highlights the dangers prostitutes face on a daily basis.

“Whatever the conditions prostitutes work in, whether it’s in the middle of a forest or in a house with warm water etc they are working in a violent environment," Muret told The Local.

“These women can be attacked, whether it’s by a client who refuses to have sex without a condom or one that doesn’t want to pay. They are spat at, insulted and punched. This is because prostitutes are not treated like people, or even employees, but like objects.”

Shortly after being appointed as France’s Minister for Women’s Rights, 34-year-old Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said her objective was “to see prostitution disappear”.

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A bill on making it illegal to pay for sex is expected to be put to the French parliament later in the year.

It would be supported by Osez le Feminisme.

“We simply want an end to women being sold for sex,” Muret said.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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