Damien Tarel, 28, became known after hitting French President Emmanuel Macron in the face on 8 June. Sentenced to a short sentence in a closed regime, he left prison on Saturday (11) without showing repentance.
“I don’t regret this act,” he said as he left the penitentiary in Valence, in southeastern France, where he served a three-month prison sentence. “It was just a ‘slap’ and I think Macron recovered very well,” added Tarel to qualify his gesture. “This is not a beating like it could have been at the yellow vest demonstrations, where people express their displeasure,” continued the young man.
Macron is assaulted on a visit to the south of France on June 8, 2021 — Photo: Reproduction/Social Media
The aggression recorded on video circulated through social networks. In the images, Macron approaches a group of people standing behind security barriers to greet them. Then, the aggressor grabs the president’s forearm and slaps.
The incident took place outside a hotel school in the town of Tain-L’Hermitage, 550 kilometers from Paris. In the recording it is also possible to hear a person pronounce an ancient battle cry of the kings of France (“Montjoie Saint-Denis”), followed by the phrase “Down with the Macron government!”
“This sentence punishes an intolerable disrespect for the institution,” prosecutor Alex Perrin said at the time. In addition to imprisonment, the courts suspended Damien Tarel’s civil rights for three years, which will prevent him from voting during this period. He is also banned from public examinations for life and will not be able to own firearms for the next five years. The judge even ordered him to have psychological counseling.
“That day, I went to challenge President Emmanuel Macron and what I saw were workers in yellow vests who were there to express their displeasure, hard working people, often elderly, who were being removed by police forces paid for their taxes” and ” it revolted me, “explained the unemployed young man. “The people are gagged,” he added.
Tarel also confirmed that he would attend the demonstrations against the sanitary pass imposed by the French government to contain the Covid-19 epidemic, scheduled for this Saturday. “It is my priority after being released from prison, at least for the symbol, to join this movement that contests the decision on the health pass”, he concluded.