Parents of girl found in suitcase urge French politicians to stop exploiting death

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The parents of a French schoolgirl whose death stunned the country have urged rightwing politicians to stop using her photograph for political ends.

A 24-year-old woman from Algeria with a history of psychiatric disorders was last week charged with the rape and murder last week of the girl, identified only as “Lola”.

Investigators have learned that the woman had overstayed a student visa and in August had received notice to leave France within 30 days.

Conservative and far-right parties have accused President Emmanuel Macron’s government of failing to enforce immigration laws, saying strict application of deportation orders could have prevented the child’s death.

But Lola’s parents, who met Macron this week, have pleaded with politicians to stop exploiting their daughter’s death, after her photo was displayed at a far-right demonstration in Paris on Thursday.

They asked that “any use of the name and image of their child for political ends immediately cease and be removed” from the internet and in protests, their lawyers said.

The request was made so they could “honour the memory of their child in peace, respect and dignity”.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Brussels summit on Friday, Macron said the family needed “the nation’s respect and affection”.

France should unite in solidarity with the parents of a 12-year-old girl whose battered body was found last week in a suitcase outside her Paris home, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday, calling her murder an act of “extreme evil”.

In his first public comments on the death of the girl, named Lola, Macron said the unspeakable atrocity that the crime represented was what has shocked the country most.

“When we are faced with extreme evil and we realize that this is possible in our society,” he told reporters at a European Union summit.

“I think above all of Lola’s parents, her brother and her half-brother, the distress of this family which is incredibly dignified and united at this moment and I think that it needs first and foremost the respect and affection of the nation.”

Macron met the girl’s parents earlier this week.

Lola, 12, is to be buried in the northern French town of Lillers on Monday.

An improvised memorial at the residence 119 rue Manin where flowers and messages are left to pay tribute to Lola, a murdered schoolgirl, in Paris. Lola, aged 12, was found dead in a trunk near the building where her parents are caretakers. Her death has sparked a political controversy over immigration as an Algerian woman has been arrested and is suspected of being the perpetrator. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

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