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France

Mother of Merah victim files complaint over anti-Semitic graffiti

media Latifa Ibn Ziaten, the mother of one of the seven victims of Mohamed Merah, was targeted by anti-Semitic graffiti and death threats DR

Latifa Ibn Ziaten, the mother of one of the seven victims of Mohamed Merah, woke up on Monday morning to discover death threats and anti-Semitic graffiti glorifying the French jihadist on the walls of her home near Rouen. She has contacted the interior ministry, which expressed its outrage, and has filed a complaint.

"Once again, I have been targeted," Ibn Ziaten said, after discovering the tags on Monday morning. "I have filed a complaint. I hope those responsible will be caught and punished for their heinous act," she wrote on Twitter.

Graffiti reading "It will soon be you," "Long live Merah", or "Dirty Jew" could be read on the walls of her home. Ibn Ziaten is, herself, a Muslim.

"This is not the first time that I have been threatened, it is very scary. Next time it could be bullets," she told AFP following her hearing with police in Rouen. An investigation is now underway.

Ibn Ziaten's lawyer, Mehana Mouhou, filed a complaint for advocating terrorism, death threats, vandalism, and anti-Semitic insults.

"My client no longer feels safe, she is shocked and overwhelmed. It is a return of hatred in France," Mouhou said, adding that the interior ministry had been contacted to extend Ibn Ziaten's security to within her home.

Tireless advocate

Latifa Ibn Ziaten is the mother of Imad Ibn Ziaten, the first victim of French jihadist Mohamed Merah, who killed three soldiers, a rabbi, two of the rabbi's children and another eight-year-old child in Toulouse in March 2012.

Since the death of her son, Ibn Ziaten has fought tirelessly to tackle hatred and religious extremism.

A deluge of reactions from politicians poured in on Twitter to express their sympathy with her case.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said he was "outraged" by these "threats and messages of hate."

Meanwhile, former President François Hollande commended Ibn Ziaten's "courage and commitment towards the youth and her efforts to promote olerance in our country."

Green party leader Yannick Jadot, for his part, denounced the authors of this crime, who in "attacking" Ibn Ziaten, and her "message of peace (...) sully us all."

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