The French authorities announced yesterday, Tuesday, that they had opened four investigations on suspicion of rape, and another investigation on suspicion of attempted murder at a popular festival in the southwest of the country, despite a campaign against sexual violence in this event.
The annual “Fetes de Bayonne” festival in the Basque Country on the Atlantic coast is one of the largest summer festivals in France, and its events vary from music to bullfighting, and more than a million people participate in it.
Bayonne Deputy Prosecutor Caroline Barisel told reporters after the five-day festival concluded that the four complaints of rapes “in public places or in apartments”, some of which could be “obvious”, prompted the investigations to be opened. She added that the suspects have not yet been identified.
Barisel also indicated that an investigation was opened on suspicion of attempted murder after the attack on a 46-year-old man, one of three individuals still at large.
As with similar events elsewhere in Europe, efforts have been made in recent years to prevent sexual violence at the festival.