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French police prevent stabbing attack at Jewish school, kosher store

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This story was first published by The Dark Wire Investigation Foundation

A man attempted an attack on a Jewish school in Marseille, France on Friday morning, The Jerusalem Post reported.

According to reports, the suspect was seen emerging from a vehicle near Yavne Jewish high school with a knife.

The attacker attempted to enter the school but was turned away by the Yavne School security. He then tried to stab Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket in the city, where he was once again prevented from entering.

The suspect was arrested by French police 10 minutes after the attempted attack.

A police spokesperson said no one was hurt in the incident and the man’s motives remain unclear.

French police immediately notified Jewish areas around the city to tighten security following the incident.

A witness told The Associated Press that the area where the attempted attack occurred is a gathering place for people in the local Jewish community.

“When the students get out of school they buy sandwiches here, buy meals for the sabbath, and a lot of parents from the school get their coffee and croissants there and drink it outside… He saw this gathering of people,” the witness told The AP.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog said the incident was “a warning bell for the anti-Semitism bubbling under the surface.”

“The attack in Marseille today is a red flag that should alert us to the antisemitism that is happening below the radar, and is simply waiting to break free once the movement restrictions of the pandemic come to an end,” Herzog warned, according to JPost.

“While the coronavirus has silenced the world in many ways, it has not silenced antisemitism, or the resulting danger for Jews,” Herzog said.

The city of Marseille has been a victim to previous antisemitic attacks.

In 2017, two Jewish women were stabbed to death at a train station and a man was attacked in 2016 outside of a synagogue.

Marseille saw several stabbing attacks targeting Jewish men in 2015-2016, in which five were injured, The Times of Israel noted.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

Click here to read the original report

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China

REPORT: China uses psychiatric institutions to suppress dissent

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China has a vast network of psychiatric institutions that it uses to suppress dissent, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. The report compiled data found on 99 victims involved in 144 instances on involuntary hospitalizations in 109 institutions from 2015 through 2021. Of the 99 victims in the report, 80 were petitioners [i.e., those who file complaints against officials] and 14 were activists.

But this is hardly a new phenomenon. “China’s regime has been torturing, maiming, and killing dissidents and others in psychiatric facilities for seven decades,” said Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War. “The only way to end the horrific abuse is to end the rule of the Communist Party.”

The report detailed especially harsh treatments, which include: forced medication (in 77 percent of cases), physical restraints on the bed (60 percent), beatings by staff or other patients (25 percent) and electroshock therapy (14 percent). Otherwise normally healthy people were given anti-psychotic and psychotropic medications, causing severe side effects like memory loss, insomnia and tremors. Electroshock therapy was often administered to the victims as they were fully conscious, rather than under anesthesia in small doses as would be clinically appropriate for certain patients.  According to the report, “[Electroshock therapy] without anesthesia is not only unimaginably painful and frightening for the patient but carries serious side effects, including the risk of bone fractures, joint dislocation, muscle tears, disruption of the heart beat and lung damage.”

Family and friends are often used as weapons against the victims. They were not permitted to call or visit the victims in 76 percent of cases, which essentially makes these cases “enforced disappearances.” 11 percent of cases were committed with the assistance of family (either voluntarily or coerced by authorities). Family and friends who petition for the victim’s release are often faced with persecution, and involuntarily commitment themselves.

The peak of psychiatric detentions occurred from 2015 through 2016, which was around the same time as China’s “709 Crackdown” where the government persecuted hundreds of human rights lawyers.

Some of the detentions are rather draconian. As a petitioner who called for local authorities to investigate a robbery in his house, Zeng Jiping was detained for almost two years. For “live tweeting herself splashing paint over a portrait of Xi Jinping,” Dong Yaoqiong received 1 year, 4 months detention. Twenty-nine out of the 99 victims in the report were hospitalized more than once. In two-thirds of cases where data was known, the authorities did not perform a psychiatric evaluation, in direct violation of China’s Mental Health Law.

The report also gives the example of Andy Li, a member of the “Hong Kong 12” pro-democracy protestors, as falling victim to involuntary detention in Hong Kong’ Siu Lam Psychiatric Center in 2021. The report noted that, as Li’s family didn’t know about his detention, “Li’s cases appears to be a worrying sign that the political abuse of psychiatry practiced on the mainland is now being exported into Hong Kong…”

Those who are finally released from their involuntary committals face lasting physical and phycological pain, and stigma within their communities. People seeking damages for their treatment are often faced with doctors and attorneys who do not want to assist them for fear of retaliation from the government.

Conclusion

According to the report, China is using “peace and health asylums” and other healthcare institutions to “punish and remove activists and petitioners from society without the trouble of going through a trial.” While the report details various Chinese laws that are supposed to protect citizens from such involuntary hospitalizations, in reality Chinese authorities do not abide by these laws and the citizens are not protected. The policy of involuntary hospitalizations show the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party will go to suppress dissent.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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