A 74-year old Jewish woman was brutally beaten and robbed in her Paris apartment on December 13, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) said on Sunday.
The Paris-based BNVCA, an organization that assists French victims of antisemitism, released a statement describing how the victim – identified as “Ms. LU, a 74-year old pensioner” – was assaulted by two teenagers, thought to be between 16 and 17-years old, who rang her doorbell claiming to be caretakers.
When Ms. LU, who lives alone, opened the door, the two attackers forced their way into her apartment. Once inside, they assaulted the victim, severely beating her over her whole body.
Demanding to know where she kept her jewelry, the assailants tied her up and placed her on the sofa. One of the attackers stayed with her in the living room and continued to hit her while repeatedly placing a piece of tape over her mouth to muffle her cries for help. The other attacker searched her apartment for valuables.
This continued for half an hour until the other attacker found Ms. LU’s gold Jewelry, which the attackers took and fled.
The BNVCA said it considered the attack to be antisemitic in nature with the victim being identifiably Jewish due to the mezuzah on the front door of her apartment, which is located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.
“In the same way that a Jew is identified as such by wearing a kippah, the apartments inhabited by Jewish families are identified by the presence of this [identifiably Jewish] religious item, the mezuzah,” the BNVCA said.
Ms. LU suffered wounds and bruises to her face and leg, and remains in shock, according to the organization.
She has lived in the apartment building for 30 years but now wants to move, she said, especially given that the previous week, a Jewish family who live in an apartment on a neighboring street were similarly attacked in an antisemitic robbery.
The BNVCA called on the police “to do everything possible to identify the two attackers, and to carry out patrols in order to protect the citizens of this neighborhood which has become dangerous and infamous.”
“We instruct our counsel, Maître Franck Serfati, to provide legal assistance to the victim and to file a complaint against the perpetrators on behalf of the BNVCA, which becomes a civil party,” the BNVCA said.