Transgender woman is abused and attacked in Paris during protest by Algerians, before being rescued by police
- Harrowing footage shows the trans woman being surrounded by a jeering mob
- Julia, 31, then confronts one of the men who starts beating her across the arm
- Police officers saved her and escorted her from the Place de la Republique
- Algerians were protesting their now former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
A transgender woman was jeered by a mob and assaulted in Paris before being saved by police on the fringes of a protest by Algerians on Sunday.
Julia, 31, says she was trying to make her way to the metro from the Place de la Republique in the French capital when she was heckled and abused by men who were out protesting against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Footage shows her being shouted at before she goes to confront one of the men who then beats her repeatedly across the arm.
Members of the crowd can be heard jeering in the background as others try to intervene before the police take hold of the situation.
A protester can be seen wildly striking Julia, 31, repeatedly across the arm after she confronts him near the Place de la Republique in central Paris on Sunday
Julia, 31, jostles with the crowd as the transport police move in to diffuse the situation (left) and before the violence she cuts a lonely figure on the steps, surrounded by loud protesters (right)
Transport police officers intervened and protected Julia from any further assaults.
She has since told local media that she was trying to get to the metro, but that ‘three individuals blocked me.’
She added: ‘One of them said to me, “But you are actually a man, and anyway, you will not pass.”
‘One of the three individuals said to me “But you have breasts, can I touch?” And then, he put his hand on my chest.’
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Julia continued: ‘I found myself in front of a man who took out his penis in front of me and told me that I had to make him happy.
‘The men above me threw beer at me. And the person who touched my chest came back to me and slapped me and then you saw the next part on the video.
‘I had never experienced a situation like this.’
She added: ‘Violent acts are committed against this community on a daily basis. There are people who will not have the strength that I have and who will be destroyed by this kind of assault.’
According to local media, Julia is filing a complaint for ‘sexual assault.’
Julia begins walking up the stairs to confront the man (left) and appears unsure of how to deal with the situation (right)
The video was shared on social media by LGBTQ+ activist Lyes Alouane who said: ‘Transphobic aggression. This is indeed in the centre of Paris, at [Place de la] Republique. Shameful for our country [French flag emoji].
‘Shameful for the flag you thought to honour [Algerian flag emoji].’
Mr Alouane told local media: ‘Men began to humiliate her by singing a song meant to sexualise her, to ridicule her. Then a man spat on her. The victim got angry and tried to get out of the way. So the man started to hit her.’
The incident took place on Sunday but was only shared online on Tuesday morning and has picked up more than a million views since it was posted.
The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said an investigation was to be launched to identify the attackers and local media are now confirming that investigators have officially opened a case.
The Mayor tweeted that she was ‘indignant at this transphobic aggression, which I condemn with the greatest firmness. I want to assure the victim of all my support.
‘The parties guilty of this intolerable act must be identified and prosecuted.’
Following protests at home and abroad Algeria’s Constitutional Council met on Wednesday to confirm President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation.
Protesters rally in the famous Place de la Republique in Paris to demand an end to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s rule on Sunday – he has since stepped down as President (there is no suggestion these protesters were involved in the incident)
Julia said she told local media that she was trying to get to the metro, but that ‘three individuals blocked me’ (pictured: protesters hold smoke grenades in the Place de la Republique on Sunday, there is no suggestion these protesters were involved in the incident)
Algerians woke to a new and uncertain era, after the departure of their ruler of 20 years.
A Bouteflika ally – the upper house of parliament’s president, Abdelkader Bensalah – is expected to take over as interim leader while Algeria plans presidential elections.
International neighbours are watching closely for what will happen next to the gas-rich country and key player in the global fight against terrorism.
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