A waitress in a cafe in central Nice has filed a police complaint after she was allegedly assaulted by two men because she refused to “stop serving alcohol” on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.
The waitress, a French 30-year-old of Tunisian origin, said she was serving drinks at Monday lunch on the terrace of the Vitis Café on Nice’s rue Lamartine, near the rue d’Anglais, when two men started haranguing her, insulting the young woman because she was serving alcoholic beverages to customers.
“I was all alone in the bar when two passers-by suddenly appeared. They pointed to the bottles of alcohol behind the bar, then one of them told me in Arabic: ‘You should be ashamed of yourself serving alcohol in the Ramadan period.’
The waitress said one of the two men then shouted: “If I was God, I would have hung you.”
Unfazed by his threatening behaviour, the waitress shot back: “You’re not God to judge me.”
The men launched into a tirade, calling her a “dirty whore” and left the cafe in a hurry. A few seconds later, however, the venue's CCTV footage reportedly shows the two men turn round abruptly and one of them rush towards her and violently slap the waitress in the face, knocking her to the floor.
“The whole scene was recorded by the security cameras that I transferred to the police,” said the bar’s owner, Nacim.
I”m so scared. I find it hard to understand. Why did they insult me? Why this slap? I feel debased, humiliated, sullied. I don’t want other women to have be victims of such an attack,” said the young women, herself a Muslim who observes Ramadan.
“It’s not because I serve alcohol that I’m not fulfilling my (religious) duty,” she said. “I do it because I’m a waitress. In Tunisia, I did the same job and never had the slightest problem,” she told Nouvel Obs. “I didn’t think that in France, country of liberty, I would have been assaulted like that.”She said it was not the first time she had received threats and insults from the men, who had shouted at her three days previously.
In shock, the waitress didn’t phone the police straight away and instead contacted the owner.
He persuaded her to file a legal complaint for “voluntary violence”. The two men have reportedly been identified. One of them is known to be an illegal migrant who is a notoriously threatening figure in the district, but both are currently at large.