France: Feminists protest appointment of minister accused of rape in Paris

Thousands gathered on the square in front of the City Hall in Paris on Friday to protest the recent appointments of Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, accused of rape, and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, a criminal attorney critical of the #MeToo movement. «Without calling into question the fundamental principle of the presumption of innocence, the appointment of a man accused of rape indicates to which extent sexist violence and sexual assaults are trivialised, minimised, including at the highest level of the state,» said one of the activists who spoke to the crowd gathered in protest. Answering calls from the feminist collective Nous Toutes, protesters denounced rape culture, an issue they say is prevalent in French society and actively exacerbated, according to them, by figures such as Darmanin and Dupond-Moretti. Darmanin is under investigation for the alleged rape of Sophie Patterson-Spatz in 2009, an accusation which he denies. In June, an appeals court in Paris ordered prosecutors to reopen the case after a series of appeals and dismissals. French President Emmanuel Macron's office said on Monday that the complaint was «not an obstacle» to his appointment as Minister of Interior.

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