As our colleagues Steven Erlanger and Katrin Bennhold report, “The arrest in New York of one of France’s leading global figures and a possible next president, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, on charges of attempted rape produced an earthquake of shock, outrage, disbelief and embarrassment throughout France on Sunday.”Well, for one it gives us a glimpse of the suspect.
Though horrified by those alleged crimes, the French press and political elite on Monday seemed perhaps more scandalized still by the images of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s brusque treatment by the New York police, and his exposure in the American media.
“I found that image to be incredibly brutal, violent and cruel,” the former justice minister Elisabeth Guigou told France-Info radio on Monday, referring to widely published photographs of a beleaguered-looking Mr. Strauss-Kahn, handcuffed and led by several New York police officers. “I am happy that we do not have the same judicial system.”
As justice minister, Ms. Guigou, now a parliamentarian, oversaw the passage of a law prohibiting the publication of photographs of handcuffed criminal suspects.
“I don’t see what the publication of images of this type adds,” she said.
Even their so-called journalists are in stunned silence.
French journalists covering the case in New York were themselves astonished to see Mr. Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs, even in person. “Last night, the chilling image of DSK handcuffed nailed our mouths shut,” wrote Stéphane Jourdain, a French reporter for Agence France-Presse, using Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s initials, his familiar French moniker. “Not one journalist asked him for a reaction when he came out.”It gets better. Now it's a lynching.
“The heart can only contract before these humiliating and poignant images that they’re giving of him,” Jean-Pierre Chevènement, a leftist senator and former minister, wrote on his blog. “A horrible global lynching! And what if it were all a monstrous injustice?”