Ophélie Meunier and a Roubaisien placed under police protection after the broadcast of a report

Threatened, M6 presenter Ophélie Meunier and a young Roubaisien were placed under police protection, a few days before the trial of the mayor of Roubaix on facts denounced in a report broadcast on the program “Zone Interdite”. On Sunday, this report on a flammable subject in the middle of the presidential campaign had provoked strong reactions on social networks and continuous news channels, causing the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, to react at the National Assembly.

At the same time, Ophélie Meunier and a young native of the city, Amine Elbahi, a witness on the show, received threats, forcing the authorities to place them under the protection of the SDLP, according to a police source. “I have given instructions that each time a journalist is the subject of serious threats, he benefits from police protection”, reacted Gérald Darmanin this Saturday on Twitter.

Asked by AFP, M6 indicated that it would make “no comment for the moment”.

surge of hate

“What I said disturbs. I must have aimed correctly in view of the threats, ”said Amine Elbahi. The young man says in the report that he alerted the Nord prefecture at the end of 2020 to an association in the city, Ambitions and initiatives for success (AAIR). He suspected her of providing “Koranic lessons” under the guise of tutoring, benefiting from public subsidies, in particular municipal ones. In the background, suspicions of clientelism against the DVD mayor, Guillaume Delbar.

The young man filed a complaint on Friday after receiving numerous threats on social networks, by SMS or on WhatsApp, as well as voice recordings “noted by bailiff”, according to his lawyer Jean Tamalet. Amine Elbahi is notably described as a “kouffar” (unbeliever, in Arabic) and “he is told that he is going to be beheaded”, specifies the lawyer. Claiming to be the victim of a “surge of hatred and threats”, Mayor Guillaume Delbar announced his intention to file a complaint too.

Amine Elbahi’s alert led to an investigation by the prefecture, which explains that it found that “Arabic courses of a religious nature” were actually provided, then made a report to the prosecution.

Facing justice

Amine Delbar, as well as three members of the association are summoned on Tuesday before the Lille Criminal Court, the first for embezzlement “by negligence”, the others for “breach of trust”. A date set well before the broadcast of the report. However, this trial could be postponed: two lawyers have asked for time to study the case. And Guillaume Delbar, as well as his advice, were positive for Covid-19 at the end of the week.

“I may have been deceived, I could have been mistaken” by supporting “an association which had just split with a mosque that had become Salafist”, said the city councilor this week. Guillaume Delbar has just been given a six-month suspended prison sentence and two years of ineligibility for his participation in a fraudulent system of tax exemption via micro-parties. He appealed.

Public subsidies

Contacted by AFP, the Nord prefecture refused to specify the amounts paid by the State to the association since 2016, for which it is requesting reimbursement. The municipality indicated that the AAIR was to benefit in 2020 from 64,640 euros in subsidies, but that the money had never been paid. “When I read in the press that it is” a proselytizing association “, it twists my stomach,” said lawyer Muriel Cuadrado, who defends the secretary of the association.

The AAIR “took kids to the patent, to the bac”, all with “prices for a modest population” in “the poorest city in France”, she pleaded. Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment.

Amine Elbahi had previously made himself known for his fight to repatriate his two nephews aged 4 and 6, detained in a Syrian camp. His sister, mother of two children, had left to join the Islamic State organization and, according to him, is being held in a Kurdish prison.

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