JUSTICE – The hearings of the victims of the Bataclan attack are continuing before the special assize court. This Tuesday, several parents, victims by ricochet or direct, took the stand.
Aurélie Sarrot –
Moms, a dad. A woman who lost her child in the Bataclan bombing, others who were afraid of never seeing their babies again and a man who had his baby after the attack. This Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015, several parents took the stand.
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The extraordinary trial of the November 13 attacks
They are victims by ricochet or direct of the mass killing that occurred this autumn evening in the room of 50 boulevard Voltaire in Paris which left 90 dead and hundreds injured.
“My daughter was taken from life so cruelly”
Luciana, “madre” of Valéria, 28, who died at the Bataclan, was the first to testify on Wednesday. This very well-groomed Italian woman says she was at home the night of the attack. She learned on television, after the program was interrupted, that “terrible events had happened in Paris”.
Luciana knows that her daughter is at a concert with friends, she does not know that she is at the Bataclan. “We call several numbers, but no answer. Here in this room everyone knows what we are talking about”, she remembers. Neither Valeria, nor her companion, if her friends do not answer. “The news from Paris is confused. Valéria is wanted in hospitals. There are calls on Facebook. She is missing.” Then the terrible news arrives: Valéria is dead. “We just have to go and get her in Paris”, let go of the tearful mother.
Valéria was completing a doctorate in demography at the Sorbonne. She had been living in France since 2009. She had just moved and lived in the 11th district, near the Bataclan. “What do these 130 dead whom we mourn for the accused represent? Asks Luciana. My daughter has been so cruelly torn from life.” The bereaved mother will then recall that the 90 people who died at the Bataclan belong to 19 different nationalities. Even more nationalities including the injured. “With Paris and France were struck Europe and the whole world”, she concludes.
“My oldest was only three years old”
Stéphanie, 42, had left her children with the grandparents that evening to enjoy a “couple evening”. With her partner, they will listen to the Eagles of death Metal. “I waited for death for almost 3 hours but it never came” she said in the preamble.
The concert begins and then the “noise of firecrackers”, the “flashes of light like fire “. “I thought coldly without any emotion: if we stay there we will die”. The gusts continue. The couple take advantage of a brief moment to flee and crowd into a room with others, including the group’s bassist. “He told me : ‘At least if we die here we will be dead standing’“. Stephanie struggles “to keep” his “cold blood”. She thinks of her two young children, those children who will keep her going. “The youngest was 5 months old. I didn’t want to die”. The bassist of the group takes the bottle of champagne from the fridge and Stéphanie’s husband spots a mirror in the dressing room, two weapons per potential destination to face the Kalashnikovs.
Stéphanie will be rescued by the police. As she leaves the room, she will see all the blood on the floor and all these bodies. “I am not ashamed to say that I was terrified that evening, that I was extremely afraid. What is shameful is to come and attack innocent people whose only weapon was their courage. “, she says. Although she was not injured, the 40-year-old was subsequently traumatized. “That evening I had the feeling that they had killed my soul. I lived the first months in a deadly atmosphere. Part of my soul remained at the Bataclan”.
The mother and her husband wanted to protect their children from their post-traumatic symptoms and their anxieties but did not succeed. “My eldest, who was only 3 years old at the time, is followed by a child psychiatrist”, she specifies. The lack of availability that she had after the attacks due to her condition, Stéphanie is doing everything to fill it today.
“The suffering of moms and dads”
François-Dominique did not have a child yet when he found himself at the concert. 2015 was a great year for him. The young lawyer has just got engaged, is getting married, is making music. His wife was to accompany him that evening but gave up after learning of her grandfather’s death.
“The concert begins, incredible atmosphere, very positive, the group plays really well, we have a good time. I hear firecrackers, the guitarist of the group is looking at something in the entrance, a little prostrate, there I say to myself that something is not going well. The gusts arrive “, narrates François-Dominique who sees the “three terrorists” in the room.
The shooting stops, François Dominique takes the opportunity to spin. He’s hiding near the mixer. Then arise the “panic”, Then “suffocation”. “I tell myself : ‘Holy shit we’re made like rats’. Then I tell myself that I cannot die, abandon my companion “, he declares crying. He took advantage of a pause between shots to flee through the passage Saint-Pierre Amelot.
“The defendants who failed concerning me in their enterprise of destruction and terror. My life is even more beautiful today, assures the young lawyer. I am aware of how lucky I am to have survived such an event. For example, I am a dad today and the birth of my son is the most amazing thing that has happened to me. I dare not imagine for a single second the suffering of the dads and the mothers of the victims, the dead, that evening. Frankly, I can’t imagine for a single second. Coming to the trial allows me to say how much compassion I have for moms and dads. “
“My 8 year old daughter was out of school”
Annaig and her companion had their little girl looked after on November 13 to go to the Bataclan. “The evening was going very well until, Laurent and I, we heard shots “. Annaig does “part of those who saw four terrorists that evening” and remembers one in particular, who displayed “a jubilant smile when he fired”.
The spectator finds herself “stuck under someone”. The shots continued, then ceased. At this moment someone shouts: “Run, they’re on the stairs”. “I took the breath of pregnant women (she imitates noise). There is a little thing waiting for us at home. ” For her and her husband, then, there was no question of staying. Annaig and Laurent start to run. On the ground, “an ice rink”, “blood and bodies” : “There were people crawling on the ground, dead people, wounded”, remembers the civil party painfully. The couple manage to win the exit. “Outside we catch our breath, like that of a newborn baby (she inspires strongly). Someone shouts: ‘Get out of the way, it’s shooting in the street’“. The couple fled, not completely unscathed.
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But if Annaig and Laurent were not physically injured, psychologically it was otherwise. They had months of follow-up after the attacks and had to move. Annaig is still very moved by mentioning this. “I blame you to death. We didn’t do anything to you. We didn’t even know about it. Syria, Daesh, I didn’t even know. I blame you”, She strikes at the accused by staring at them before the president asks her to address the court and not the people in the box.
Annaig continues:“Sorry, I slipped, I’m angry. I’m ashamed to cry. I wanted to stay upright in my boots but I can’t. But I’m going to get there. My highlight is too. chronic post-traumatic stress in children. My 8-year-old daughter dropped out of school. Yet I tried everything not to pass on to her what we had experienced. Whatever happens, I will go through with it, they will never have me “.
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