Family members left a daughter with a broken rib, potentially permanent damage to her ears, and a shaved head after she expressed a desire to marry her Christian boyfriend.
Sarajevo – A Bosnian Muslim family in France who severely beat and shaved the head of a 17-year-old daughter is set for deportation after their trial.
French authorities rejected the parents’ asylum request in December 2019, L’Est Republican reported, but pandemic border closures ultimately prevented their expulsion. The uncle and aunt involved in the abuse have refugee status, although Doubs Secretary-General Jean-Philippe Setbon said that “we can re-examine their situation and we will do it.”
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin condemned the act on Twitter on August 23, saying the family will be taken to the border after the legal proceedings as they have “nothing to do on French soil.”
The young woman sustained the abuse after she engaged in a relationship with a Christian Serb. She had fled her family’s apartment after they condemned talk of marriage to her boyfriend, and upon returning faced brutal abuse by her mother, father, uncle, and aunt.
The incident took place in the Clairs-Soleils district of Besancon, a city in Eastern France, close to the border with Switzerland, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The four family members currently in custody, as well as the daughter, are originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and came to France in 2017.
The young woman started seeing the 20-year-old Serbian man 11 months ago, and initially kept the seriousness of their relationship a secret from her family.
On August 24, four days after fleeing her family’s apartment in France, the young woman, her boyfriend, and his family visited the Bosnian Muslim household in the low-income neighborhood of Besancon.
The situation quickly escalated, and the daughter was taken to a room in the apartment and brutally beaten. “She was shaved, according to her testimony, by her uncle — her father’s brother — while being beaten, Deputy Prosecutor Margaret Parietti told AFP.
The boyfriend and his family quickly alerted the authorities. After hearing the police sirens, the Bosnian Muslim family attempted to hide their daughter, but France’s police quickly located her and rushed her to the hospital.
The young woman was left with a broken rib, multiple bruises across her body, as well as potentially permanent damage to her ears.
Parietti said the four family members will be tried for violence against minors. The trial is set to occur in October.
The violent act is perhaps a result of a long history of ethnic tensions between the Muslim and Christian populations in the region. This history includes a violent war in the 1990s that resulted in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Bosnian Muslims, as well as caused one of the worst refugee and humanitarian crises in Europe since WWII.