Europe 1 with AFP 3:13 p.m., June 09, 2022

In the middle of a trip to Gaillac, in the Tarn, Thursday on the theme of security in rural areas, Emmanuel Macron was strongly challenged by a young woman about Gérald Darmanin and Damien Abad, accused of rape.

The Head of State assured that he had accompanied the release of speech and that he would continue to do so.

Emmanuel Macron was strongly challenged, during a trip to Gaillac (Tarn) on Thursday on the theme of security in rural areas, by a young woman about two ministers accused of rape.

"You put at the head of the state men who are accused of rape and violence against women, why?" Launched this one, in her twenties, during a walkabout of the president.

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The head of state had stopped the procession and got out of the car to meet several dozen residents posted behind a barrier.

The liberation of speech, "I accompanied it and I will continue to accompany it, to protect it. At the same time, to function in society you must have the presumption of innocence", he replied.

The cries of "liar" and a "you are abominable" then sounded.

The Darmanin and Abad cases

Imperturbable, the head of state continued to shake hands.

"How are you?", "Are you okay?", he asked the inhabitants.

Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, had been the subject of a rape complaint, first dismissed, then relaunched and for which the prosecution requested a dismissal in early 2022.

Freshly appointed Minister of Solidarity, Damien Abad is accused of sexual violence, following a letter from the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence, an association created in February, in the wake of the MeToo movement.

In this case, the Paris prosecutor's office has not opened a preliminary investigation "as it stands", for lack of "elements allowing the victim of the facts denounced to be identified".

Equality between men and women, a "priority" of his five-year term

The accusations against Damien Abad, which occurred just after his appointment, reignited the anger of feminist associations, already very upset after the accusations against Gérald Darmanin.

This affair weighed down the first days of Emmanuel Macron's new five-year term, while the Head of State for the second time made equality between men and women a priority for his five-year term.

Calls for the resignation of the Minister of Solidarity had immediately emanated from the ranks of the opposition and feminist associations.

The latter had notably demonstrated in Paris, at the call of the Observatory to denounce "a government of shame".

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