Family members from Bosnia and Herzegovina who moved to France over two years ago will face abuse charges after they were accused of beating the 17-year-old girl for having "improper relations" with a local Christian man.
Last Monday in the eastern city of Besancon, the parents, uncle, and aunt of the teenage girl beat the child while shaving her hair in their apartment.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin shared that he was "deeply shocked by the act of torture" which happened because she "loved a Christian" in his Twitter.
Darmanin argues "This barbarism calls for the most severe sanctions" in his tweets.
The 17-year-old girl fleed her house with her 20-year-old boyfriend of Serbian origin for four days because her parents took away her phone and restricted her from talking to her boyfriend.
According to her testimony, the girl's mother and a male relative beat her until she confessed that the relationship was a lie. She had to make up the story about her relationship because she was afraid of the family. The family then reportedly shaved the girl's head.
"The first blow came from the mother, then there was an outbreak of violence. She was taken to a room and beaten," Deputy Prosecutor Margaret Parietti said. "She was shaved, according to her testimony, by her uncle - her father's brother - while being beaten."
"The two families knew each other and [their relationship] was not a problem," Parrietti said. "But when they started talking about marriage, the girl's parents told her: 'We are Muslims, you cannot marry a Christian.'"
Her boyfriend's parents were also said to be at the apartment at the time of the violence. Her boyfriend left to call the police and the girl was taken to a hospital once police arrived. She had bruises all over her body and suffered a broken rib.
Even though all four were released under judicial control, the girl's parents and two relatives were banned from contacting the girl for "violence against minors."
According to the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, the number of "anti-Christian incidents" has been increased dramatically over the last decade-plus.
OIDACE Executive Director Ellen Fantini said, "The French government reported 275, what they call, anti-Christian acts [in 2008]," which compares to the numbers that are little over 1,000 [per year] between 2018 and 2019. "So the increase from 275 to a little over 1,000 works out to an 285% increase."
These acts of anti-Christian include "anything from targeting a church [or statue] in some way with vandalism" to "actual assaults against French Christians with an anti-Christian bias," Fantini said.