A member of the Jewish French Union for Peace (UJFP) said Wednesday that the recent detention in France of four 10-year-old children, including three Turks, on alleged terrorism charges was a sign of impending barbarism.

Georges Gumpel said in a blog post that the move showed that children are not valued in France and he had not thought of writing about his painful childhood until now but the incident triggered his reaction.

Gumpel said he was born to a Jewish family in 1937 and his father was sent to Auschwitz in 1944 when he was only five years old.

Referring to the detention of the children, he said that initially, he did not believe it, as France was a country of human rights, yet the outrageous incident made him question the means used to cover up crimes committed against children.

He further noted that the detention of the children in Albertville in southeastern France on the pretext of “terrorist propaganda” and a previous incident where police forced students at a school in Mantes-la-Jolie district near Paris to kneel for hours were signs of impending barbarism.

The four children – three of them of Turkish descent and one of Algerian descent – were last week held in police detention for more than 11 hours on false allegations of “justifying terrorism,” according to interviews with their parents. 

The children were reportedly detained due to their responses to their teacher regarding cartoons that insulted Prophet Muhammad.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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