Poster of tied woman to be killed by speeding train doesn’t promote violence – French court
The advertisement was intended to promote a local campaign to bring high-speed trains (TGV) into the southern French town Béziers last December. The ad reads: “With the TGV she would have suffered less!”.
The poster was in particular bad taste considering it came six months after the death of Émilie Hallouin, a mother who was killed by her estranged husband in northern France after she was tied to TGV tracks.
The ad campaign was accused of being insensitive and promoting violence against women, with the town’s far-right mayor, Robert Ménard, being called upon to take it down. French senator Laurence Rossignol accused Ménard of killing Hallouin twice.
“The despicable Robert Ménard has killed her a second time,” he tweeted, while the French equality minister, Marlène Schiappa, called for the “odious” posters to be investigated.
Ménard refused the calls to take the posters down, saying he was the victim of political correctness and claimed the scene has been used in several films, cartoons and music videos.
“The outrageous and paranoid reactions to our poster speak volumes about the moral order that plagues the country,” he tweeted.
A court refused to order the removal of the posters in a hearing earlier this year, and this week the administrative court in Montpellier upheld the ruling, agreeing that while the posters showed “a doubtful and provocative humour”, they did not “promote violence against women … and do not target any type of person in particular”.
“These posters are not an attack on human dignity and do not constitute a form of harassment with regard to those of a female sex,” the judgment added.
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