French police force elderly Orthodox Jewish woman to remove her wig

While handcuffed on the floor, she was ordered to remove her wig while officers made disparaging remarks about her Jewish faith. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

An Orthodox Jewish woman in France has filed a complaint against police over the officers’ allegedly violent, antisemitic and sexist behavior during her arrest, BFMTV reported.

The incident, which was first reported by Mediapart, occurred last June when the 67-year-old woman, a resident of Créteil outside of Paris, was taken to a police station after allegedly failing to comply with police instructions at a traffic stop.

In a video posted to X, she can be seen at the station lying on the floor, handcuffed to a chair and screaming while the police order her to remove her wig an make disparaging remarks about her and her Jewish faith.

The woman, who calls herself Sarah to maintain her anonymity, wears the wig as part of her religious Jewish practice.

Sarah filed a report France’s General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), which is charged with examining complaints about police misconduct.

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However, the IGPN rejected Sarah’s complaint because of an “absence of a serious offense.”

Sarah has now reopened the case and is pursuing legal action charging that she experienced violent, sexist and antisemitic abuse at the hands of police officers.

Since October 7th, antisemitic harassment and violence has been on the increase around the world.

The French interior ministry and the Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), a security watchdog group, reported 1,676 antisemitic acts in 2023 compared to just 436 a year ago.

Of these incidents, 60% involved the use of physical violence, dangerous threats or menacing gestures and 13% took place in schools.

The report says, “We are witnessing a rejuvenation of the perpetrators of antisemitic acts. Schools are no longer a sanctuary of the Republic.”

CRIF revealed that the rise in antisemitic incidents was the worst it had seen since it began keeping records in 2012.

The organization cautioned that it can only count incidents which have been reported to the police and in reality, there are many more than the published figures.