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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 July, 2004, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Mother of 'victim' wants justice
A member of the Jewish community looks at a desecrated tombstone in Herrlisheim, France on 30 April 2004
The reported assault followed a rise in anti-Semitic attacks
The mother of a French woman who made up a story about being the subject of an anti-Semitic attack has said she hopes justice will be done.

She told RTL radio "it was not right that she had put France in such a state" but hoped her daughter would receive treatment if she was ill.

The 23-year-old's claims outraged France and drew condemnation from the President, Jacques Chirac.

On Wednesday, Mr Chirac said it was regrettable, but stood by his comments.

He said France was going through "a period where, without question... racist behaviour is increasing". He said vigilance and action was needed.

But Mr Chirac said that in such periods there can always be cases where the situation is manipulated.

It's not right that she has put France in such a state. There were demonstrations for her
Woman's mother
"Whenever there is manipulation, the manipulator must be punished," he said during a televised interview on Bastille Day.

He rejected suggestions he may have been too hasty in condemning the alleged assault.

The woman had claimed that she was on a train just north of Paris on Friday, with her 13-month-old baby when she was attacked.

She said six men surrounded her and rifled through her bag before pushing her over. She said they used a knife to cut her hair and her shirt open, and drew swastikas on her stomach with a marker pen accusing her of being Jewish.

Fragile

But police had doubts about inconsistencies in her story after no witnesses came forward and footage surveillance cameras failed to show the attackers.

Soon after she was taken into custody for questioning on Tuesday, she admitted she had lied.

The woman's mother told RTL her daughter's actions were not right.

"There were demonstrations for her. I don't accept this kind of thing, and so I want justice to be done," she said.

"But if this happened because she is sick, please let her get some help."

She said the family "knew she was fragile" and that she had already received psychiatric care. But she added: "You can't treat someone against their will."




SEE ALSO:
'Swastika attack' woman detained
13 Jul 04  |  Europe
Racist vandals strike in France
14 Jun 04  |  Europe
France 'forming ethnic ghettoes'
06 Jul 04  |  Europe
French mosque fires draw protest
07 Mar 04  |  Europe


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