A French court sentenced a man on 30th November to six months in prison after finding him guilty of attacking a Jewish graffiti artist in the city of Strasbourg, France.
The assault occurred on 26th August this year, when the artist was commissioned by the municipality to work on a project in the centre of the city. Two attackers noticed him wearing a t-shirt with the names of multiple countries and cities, including Israel, and verbally insulted and jostled him. One of the perpetrators said to the artist, “You are a Jew, you have no place here”, and proceeded to demand he change his t-shirt.
The victim changed his clothing and, upon return to the site, he was confronted again by one of the men, who forcibly took one of the paint canisters and graffitied offensive language and slogans across the ground, including “Forbidden to the Jews” with several expletives.
The incident was reported to the Strasbourg City Council and a complaint was filed with the local authorities.
The defendant, with previous convictions for violence and intimidation, later expressed remorse in court for his actions and the subsequent distress caused to the artist and the wider community. He claimed that he had undergone extreme emotional stress as a result of several issues in his personal life at the time, and had watched too many videos online about the Middle East.
In his testimony to the court, the artist described the incident as “the worst three hours of my life.”
As well as the six month prison sentence, the 38-year-old culprit has been ordered to pay damages of €500 to the vicim and a further €1,000 to SOS Racisme and Licra, two anti-racism organisations operating in France.