The parents of a French schoolgirl whose gruesome murder has shocked the country have urged right-wing politicians to stop politicizing her death.
A 24-year-old Algerian woman with a history of psychiatric disorders has been charged with the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl known only as “Lola” last week.
Investigators determined that the woman had overstayed her student visa and had failed to comply with an August notice to leave France within 30 days.
The case has been used by conservative and far-right parties to accuse President Emmanuel Macron’s government of failing to enforce immigration laws, claiming that strict enforcement of deportation orders could have prevented the murder.
Her parents, who met with Macron earlier this week, pleaded with politicians on Friday to stop exploiting their daughter’s murder after her photo was displayed at a far-right protest in Paris the day before.
In a statement sent to AFP 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 such as Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and Eric Zemmour’s Reconquest marched in Paris in tribute to the victim, waving photos and portraits of her.
Worshippers at a mosque in Pessac, near Bordeaux in southwest France, discovered it had been defaced with slogans referring to the case and criticizing the government on Friday morning.
And police have launched an investigation after one of their officers revealed graphic details of the case in an interview with BFMTV. The interview, which was filmed in order to conceal his identity, aired on Friday.
Dominique Sopo, president of the anti-racism organization SOS Racisme, has already condemned the “crass indecency” of the case’s political exploitation.
Alexandre Silva, the woman charged’s lawyer, has called for an end to the “misinformation” surrounding the case.
On the sidelines of a summit in Brussels on Friday, Macron said the family deserved “the nation’s respect and affection.”
On Monday, “Lola” will be laid to rest in the northern French town of Lillers.