Muslim man axes Jewish roommate’s skull, burns face off

Worried family members asked the murderer if he had seen his roommate.

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

A 34-year-old Jewish man was axed to death by his Muslim roommate before having his face burned off in a commune in north-central France, an antisemitism monitoring group said on Monday.

The victim, identified as Eyal Haddad, was living in a commune in Seine-et-Marne, the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA) said. Originally from Djerba, Tunisia, Haddad’s family now live in Beersheba in southern Israel.

According to BNVCA, the murderer, identified as Baha Deridi, was owed 100 euros by Haddad who did not pay him back. Deridi “smashed his victim’s skull with an ax, then he burned his face and even began to bury the body,” on August 20, the group said in a statement.

After he was not contactable for several days, Haddad’s family started to worry about him. Family members asked Deridi if he had seen his roommate. Deridi then turned himself in to police and confessed to the murder.

Haddad’s body, partially mutilated, was retrieved from a hole dug in an open field in Longpré-le-Sec.

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Deridi admitted that he had killed Haddad because he was Jewish, the statement said.

The murder received minimal media attention and BNVCA said it was concerned by “the silence surrounding this case,” especially in light of other antisemitic murders in the country, including that of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman beaten to death in her apartment in April 2017.

Police said it was investigating whether the murder was the result of a dispute between the roommates. The antisemitism monitoring group urged authorities to prioritize the case and “examine its antisemitic character.”

Yonathan Arfi, president of the Crif Jewish umbrella organization in France, similarly called on French police to consider “the possibility of the aggravating factor of antisemitism.”