Log-book: June 1998



At a Court of Justice At the Police Headquarters

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Partenia: some figures





A year ago

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At a Court of Justice


The trial of a skinhead accused of having murdered Brahim, a young Moroccan, by drowning him in the icy waters of the river Seine took place in the Criminal Court of Paris.

With him were three other skinheads accused of "not assisting a person in distress not helping a person in distress". The tragedy happened during a National Front rally, on May 1 1995.

I found myself crushed by the crowd filling the hall of the Criminal Court. I wanted to greet Brahim's friend, sitting on the first court.

He had called on me after the tragic event and a strong friendship had spontaneously developed.

The young skinheads, excited by the words of racist hate spoken at the National Front rally. decided to act! They did not hesitate to kill. The xenophobe slogans are never innocent! They always find their victims.

At a time when the Centenary of the Human Rights Chart is celebrated in France, this event will show, I hope, the dangers that an extreme right party may cause to society.


A social evening for Tibet. - With a group of Buddhist friends and a young Lama , we remembered with deep emotion, the hunger strike of six Tibetans in India. They were six to symbolise the six million compatriots victimised by the Chinese repression.

One of them six sacrificed himself by fire. A cry of despair from a people who, since 1959, have never stop resisting.

Many Tibetans are still following the route to exile. They risk their lives when, through heroic efforts, they try to cross the border to enter the refugee camps in India and Nepal. Their life situation remains, however, precarious.

Happily, however, there are many god parents who offer the children the possibility of attending school, the means to continue their studies and help the elders to survive. And to all, the possibility of keeping their dignity.







A year ago

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At the Police Headquarters


Once again, here I was in this soulless room where every place is occupied by African, Chinese and Latin-American faces - Sadness show deeply in their eyes. No one speaks. Silence hides their anxiety. The time goes by without a sign of impatience. Needless to say that the "without papers" are used to waiting. Months and years waiting for a small piece of paper bearing an official stamp. A small paper, a dream come true, which will allow them to live without fear, to finally be like everybody else.

But, will they be granted this piece of paper? Nothing is less certain.

Eight of us accompany Djamel. And he is thankful for not being alone. He did not sleep, he did not eat. He waits!

The loudspeaker calls his name. The crucial moment has finally arrived. At the service window, the person is friendly and understanding. Djamel is granted a three months permit. He is radiant with happiness. It is the first step to a decisive stage.

Back on the street, he waves the paper and declares: Now, I exist.


Staunch Christians - I was invited by communities from several regions of Germany. They do not know me. But I carry their same desire for fraternity and sharing, the same willingness to be a different kind of Christian, the same desire to live by the Gospel. Their freedom of character is healthy.

From where do they get their vitality? The meeting of Christians, neither indifferent nor submissive, gives me joy. However even though tired of being cautious or of being refused by the institution, they show no aggressiveness. Although exhausted in their expectations for what they have never stopped demanding, they still keep their Faith. To live for those abandoned by society is their aim in life.

These communities, staunch followers of the Gospel, are scattered all over the country. Why not then, bring them together so they may spread the word and their spiritual love. This brings to mind Rimboud, who wrote, with a sense of humour:

I stretch the rope from village to village, the garlands from window to window, the gold chains from star to star - and I dance!



Jacques Gaillot








A year ago

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PS: Partenia some figures, 1997


Total number of pages published monthly on the WEB last year: 175

Total number of pages presented in seven laguages on the WEB last year: 63'875

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Increase of visitors last year: 22'000

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