Toulouse: after “the total fiasco” of the first trial, activists with disabilities hope for release
Disabled activists who blocked Matabiau station and Toulouse-Blagnac airport on December 14, 2018 will be tried on appeal on June 30. They had described the first hearing as a “trial of shame” denouncing “the deplorable conditions” in which they had been tried.
In the back room of a Toulouse bar, Bédrya takes the parole of activists who, like her, are disabled. It takes an enormous effort of concentration to pronounce a few clear words. She is impatiently awaiting the appeal trial on June 30 where, with her comrades in the fight, she will be tried again for having blocked Matabiau station and Blagnac airport on December 14, 2018.
A comrade then plays the interpreters in order to express all the dismay that the young woman had felt during the first trial of March 23, 2021 which the disability community had subsequently described as a “trial of shame” pointing the finger at the sanitary conditions. deplorable conditions in which the hearing had taken place. Me David Navet-Martin, one of the lawyers for his activists, especially does not want to relive the debates of the first trial: “This hearing had been, for justice, a total fiasco. Nothing had been planned to accommodate all these people with disabilities. Unable to go to the toilets, these women and men had been forced to carry sofas. For Bédrya, for example, no interpreter had been provided to clearly transcribe what he said to the magistrates. The president of the court initially tried to hear him but expedited the hearing… We can say that this hearing did not take place under the normal conditions under which justice must be rendered in a democratic State. and developed.”
However, the lawyer indicates that “the public prosecutor’s office has taken the necessary measures to ensure that this second trial is held in dignified conditions, taking into account the handicap of the defendants, but that the duration of the hearing to oblige certain defendants to leave the courtroom before the end of the proceedings”.
Note that Odile Morin, the elected opposition mayor of Toulouse is one of the defendants. She will be tried both for her supposed role as leader in the December 14, 2018 operation and for having injured two police officers with her electric wheelchair on March 30, 2019, which she formally contests. At first instance, she had received a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine respectively for the two cases.