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Emmanuel Macron announces the entry of Robert Badinter into the Pantheon

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Emmanuel Macron announces the entry of Robert Badinter into the Pantheon

Published14. February 2024, 1:45 p.m.

Paris: Emmanuel Macron announces the entry of Robert Badinter into the Pantheon

The French president on Wednesday paid a national tribute to the slayer of the death penalty.

Emmanuel Macron reflects in front of the coffin of Robert Badinter, during the tribute to the former Minister of Justice, February 14, 2024 in Paris.


Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday the principle of Robert Badinter’s entry into the Pantheon, paying a national tribute to the man who brought about the abolition of the death penalty and was “the Republic made man”.

“He was a soul that cries out, a force that lives and snatches life from the hands of death,” declared the Head of State in his speech on Place Vendôme.

It is in this symbolic and unique place, in front of the Ministry of Justice, that France paid tribute to the memory of the former Minister of Justice who died last week at the age of 95. Where the minister of the socialist president François Mitterrand wrote the law abolishing the supreme punishment, going against public opinion at the time.

Entrance of the coffin applauded

The entry of his coffin into the square, from the ministry, is applauded by the crowd of several hundred people who came to attend this ceremony open to the public, despite light rain. Just like the retransmission of his historic words demanding, from the platform of the National Assembly on September 17, 1981, “the abolition of the death penalty in France”.

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“He also worked hard for the decriminalization of homosexuality and for the improvement of living conditions in prisons. He’s a great man,” says Catherine Martin, a 71-year-old Parisian retiree.

At the Pantheon

The President of the Republic, for his part, is solemn to announce an upcoming pantheonization, adding to those he has decided since 2017 for Simone Veil, Maurice Genevoix, Joséphine Baker and, next week, the resistance fighters Missak and Mélinée Manouchian .

“Your name must be inscribed alongside those who have done so much for human progress and for France and are waiting for you, in the Pantheon,” launched the Head of State in the presence of the philosopher Elisabeth Badinter, widow of the who was, in the president’s words, “the forever advocate of this cause, abolition.”

Date and method to be defined

“The principle is established. There will be a pantheonization ceremony,” Emmanuel Macron’s entourage told AFP, stressing that the family had given its agreement on Wednesday morning. “The date and terms are to be discussed with the family.”

Pantheonization can take the form of a simple plaque in the name of the deceased, a cenotaph – a funerary monument which does not contain a body –, or a burial.

As early as Friday, as soon as the news of his death became known, the president had left open the possibility of the lawyer’s entry into this republican temple.

Controversy with LFI

Wednesday’s solemn meeting took place against a backdrop of controversy.

Elisabeth Badinter had expressed the wish that the elected representatives of the National Rally and La France insoumise would not come to the ceremony.

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Marine Le Pen agreed to submit to this request, without denying her disagreements with this figure long reviled on the right for having abolished the death penalty.

Opposite reaction for LFI which was represented by its deputies Caroline Fiat and Eric Coquerel. “It’s a national tribute, I don’t want to argue,” said the rebellious MP for Seine-Saint-Denis upon his arrival.

Fight by Elisabeth Badinter

A slayer of extremes like her husband, Elisabeth Badinter has always fought the National Front and then the RN, but has also more recently denounced a certain “Islamo-leftism” and pointed out the “enormous” responsibility of LFI in the rise of anti-Semitism in France. .


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