The far right is trying to make the death of Jérémie Cohen a “state scandal”

Prosecutor Eric Mathais, during a press conference on the death of Jérémie Cohen, April 5, 2022 at the Bobigny courthouse.

Can the weight of images change the course of a presidential election? Twenty years ago, the tears of “Papy Voise”, this septuagenarian beaten up in Orléans before his house was burned down, had invaded the news two days before April 21, 2002 – LCI had broadcast the report nineteen times in one day – until it became a symbol of insecurity in France. On the far right, many dream, in private, of a helping hand from fate that would propel them to power. The reactions to the dramatic death of Jérémie Cohen, a young Jewish man knocked down on February 16 by a tram in Bobigny while fleeing a group of fifteen violent attackers, has been an illustration of this since Monday April 4. – even if, according to the first elements of the investigation, the prosecutor doubts an anti-Semitic act.

Five days before the election, the case is timely for Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, who have the greatest difficulty in reacting to the terrible images of massacres in Ukraine and are careful not to overwhelm the Russians. The candidate of the National Rally (RN) estimated, Tuesday on France Inter, that it was necessary “a UN investigation” for “determine who is responsible for these war crimes”. “We are typically in a situation where you have two belligerents who accuse each other”, she had explained the day before. Eric Zemmour, he expressed doubts. “Let us beware of images”, he reacted on France 2, Tuesday: ” You should be careful. We must be sure that these massacres are the work of Russian troops. »

“Suppressed affair”

The far-right candidate was more comfortable talking about “scum” and “barbarians” responsible for the death of Jérémie Cohen. He released the video of the young man’s attack on Monday, before removing it at the request of the family. “Why is no media, politician or government official talking about the death of Jérémie Cohen, beaten up by scum? », tweeted Zemmour. Then : “Did he die because he was a Jew? Why is this case hushed up? » The first articles indeed reported a “pedestrian” deceased “after being hit by a tram”, for lack of knowing more. It was then the Cohen family who discovered, by multiplying the calls for witnesses, that Jérémie had been savagely attacked, facts supported by the investigation.

Read also: Death of Jérémie Cohen: what we know about the second ongoing investigation

Marine Le Pen immediately engaged, in a conspiratorial vein, by suggesting that“an anti-Semitic murder” was passed over in silence. “Haven’t we disguised this dreadful act (…) because we didn’t want to talk about that during the presidential campaign? Why did you accidentally hide that? », she wondered on Tuesday, believing that a parliamentary inquiry would make it possible to know “if this concealment was voluntary” – while a judicial investigation is in progress.

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