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Mourners pay tribute to murder victim “Lola” in Fouquereuil, northern France, on October 21. Photo: AFP

Parents of murdered girl tell French right-wing politicians to stop exploiting her death

  • A woman from Algeria with a history of psychiatric disorders has been charged with the rape and murder of 12-year-old ‘Lola’
  • Lola’s parents pleaded with conservative politicians to stop exploiting her death after parties used the case to target Macron government’s immigration laws

The parents of a French schoolgirl whose gruesome murder has shocked the country, on Friday urged right-wing politicians to stop exploiting her death for political ends.

A 24-year-old woman from Algeria with a history of psychiatric disorders has been charged with the rape and murder last week of the 12-year-old girl, identified only as “Lola”.

Investigators have established that the woman had overstayed a student visa and had failed to comply with a notice issued in August to leave France within 30 days.
Conservative and far-right parties have used the case to accuse President Emmanuel Macron’s government of failing to enforce immigration laws, arguing the strict application of deportation orders could have prevented the murder.

But her parents, who met with Macron earlier this week, on Friday pleaded with politicians to stop exploiting their daughter’s murder, after her photo was displayed at a far-right demonstration in Paris the day before.

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In a statement on Friday, they called for an immediate end to “any use of the name and image of their child for political ends” so they could “honour the memory of their child in peace, respect and dignity”.

Photos and drawings of the girl have been posted widely across social media, with far-right activists using the case to berate the government over its record on illegal immigrants.

On Thursday, activists from far-right parties including Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and Eric Zemmour’s Reconquest took part in rallies in Paris in tribute to the victim, brandishing photos and portraits of her.

On Friday morning, worshippers at a mosque in Pessac, near Bordeaux in southwest France, discovered it had been defaced with slogans referring to the case and denouncing the government.

And police have opened an investigation after one of their officers, gave graphic details of the case in an interview with the television station BFMTV. The interview, filmed so as to conceal his identity, was broadcast on Friday.

A protester holds a portrait of “Lola” during a far-right rally in Paris on October 20. Photo: AFP

Dominique Sopo, president of anti-racism group SOS Racisme, has already denounced the “crass indecency” of what he described as the political exploitation of the case.

Alexandre Silva, the lawyer for the woman charged, has called for an end to the “misinformation” around the case.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Brussels summit on Friday, Macron said the family needed “the nation’s respect and affection”.

“Lola” is to be buried in the northern French town of Lillers on Monday.