Death of Sohane Benziane

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Sohane Benziane (1984–October 4, 2002) was a French girl of Algerian ancestry who was murdered at the age of 17.

On October 4, 2002 in Vitry-sur-Seine, South of Paris, 17-year-old Sohane Benziane, was burned alive in front of her friends in a cellar by her former boyfriend, a local caid (gang leader). While a watch was kept outside, the aggressor, nicknamed Nono, who had bought the bottle of gasoline a day before, poured gasoline over Sohane and set her on fire with a lighter.

As Sohane, engulfed in flames, managed to run out screaming in agony, her death was witnessed by a dozen other students that were coming out of class.

The incident captured the attention of the French and International press and sparked outrage throughout France. It led to the founding of the feminist rights movement Ni Putes Ni Soumises.

Despite trial testimony that Sohane's death was intended by the accused, a local Maghrebi gang leader, Jamal Derrar, was convicted of torture and barbarity leading to unintentional death. A second defendant, Tony Rocca, was sentenced to eight years for barring the door of the depot as Sohane screamed for help.

A commemorative plate in her memory was later desecrated. On October 4, 2005 a platform was inaugurated in her memory, in the presence of her sister Kahina Benziane.

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