An investigation was opened after the complaint of the lawyer Lucie Simon, target of numerous messages of threats and insults since she defends Imam Hassan Iquioussen, whom the Minister of the Interior wishes to expel, indicated Thursday the Paris prosecutor’s office requested by AFP.
The investigation, opened in particular for death threats or damage to property dangerous for people against a lawyer, was entrusted to the brigade for the repression of delinquency against persons (BRDP). Me Lucie Simon had filed a complaint against X in mid-August for endangerment, threats and cyberharassment. “Since the announcement, via Twitter by Gérald Darmanin, of the desire of the Ministry of the Interior to expel Mr. Iquioussen, our colleague has personally been the target of an odious outpouring of hatred and insults, because of her sole status of lawyer“, had denounced Tuesday his lawyers, Nino Arnaud and Romain Ruiz, in a press release sent to AFP.
On July 28, the minister announced the expulsion of Mr. Iquioussen, a preacher in the North and reputed to be close to the Muslim Brotherhood, for calls for hatred and violence against the Jewish community in particular. The Paris administrative court suspended this request on August 5, considering that this expulsion would cause a “disproportionate attack” on the “private and family life” of the imam, 57 years old and born in France, but of Moroccan nationality.
The Interior Ministry appealed. The Council of State will examine his request on Friday. “The attitude of the Minister of the Interior, who excessively publicizes individual cases and goes on a crusade on social networks against people whom he unilaterally considers as enemies of the Republic or as being ‘a minority of troublemakers’, undoubtedly oil on the fire“, reacted on Wednesday the Syndicate of Lawyers of France, of which Me Lucie Simon is a member.
In an interview published in the Journal du Dimanche on August 21, Gérald Darmanin notably accused Hassan Iquioussen of being “those who sow atmospheric jihadism“. He also stated: “We owe it to the vast majority of foreigners who love our country, and want to build their future and that of their children, to be firm with the minority of troublemakers.“
A magistrate, one of the three who signed the order suspending the imam’s expulsion, was also threatened and had her name published on Twitter. A complaint was filed on August 6.
“My client is understandably concerned that she has been personally targeted on social media for rendering a reasoned court decision in law“, reacted to AFP the lawyer of the magistrate, Me Alice Ouaknine. The judge, “who bears a foreign-sounding name, wonders about the reasons which led the far right to cite only his name when the decision was made collectively“, added Me Ouaknine.