Far-right march in Paris to protest 'barbaric' murder of Lola, 12, despite parents' wishes

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By Euronews
Protesters gesture around a portrait of "Lola" in Paris on Thursday evening.
Protesters gesture around a portrait of "Lola" in Paris on Thursday evening.   -  Copyright  Credit: AFP

Far-right politician Eric Zemmour and hundreds of others gathered in Paris to protest against the murder of a 12-year-old girl.

Lola's body was found in a suitcase in Paris last week. 

Her family on Friday asked protestors to "urgently cease" using "the name and image of their child for political purposes", according to their lawyer. 

France's right-wing political parties have seized on the fact the woman arrested for the murder is an Algerian immigrant that had already been ordered to leave the country.

Protesters say the killing should be a wake-up call for authorities to enforce immigration laws.

In response, France's government acknowledged that it had to "do better" on illegal immigration. However, allies of French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what they call a callous attempt to exploit a tragedy and score political points.

Lola's parents urged protestors to not politicise her death, saying they wished "to be able to honour the memory of their daughter in the serenity, respect and dignity which is due to her", their lawyer said on Friday.  

A French Senate report found that while 143,226 deportation orders were issued in 2021, only 9.3% were carried out, down from 15.6% in 2019.

Government spokesman, Olivier Veran, has conceded the enforcement of orders to quit French territory was not "satisfactory".

Marine Le Pen, who has twice lost to Emmanuel Macron in presidential elections, did not participate in the protest. 

However, her National Rally party organised a minute's silence in front of France's parliament "in homage to Lola and in support of her family and friends".

"The entire French nation was terribly shocked by this barbaric murder," Le Pen said. "We are witnessing one crime too many, one that now requires us to take effective action."

Smaller protests were held in other cities, such as Lyon and Metz. 

The Paris prosecutor's office said the girl disappeared on Friday afternoon and her body was discovered later that evening by a homeless man outside her building in the 19th arrondissement of the French capital.

She died asphyxiated, prosecutors said in a statement.

The main suspect was seen on CCTV exiting the building in the afternoon, carrying heavy luggage, including the suitcase in which the victim was found.