Rumours that Bataclan terrorists committed 'gruesome torture' debunked

Widely reported rumours about the alleged torture of victims in the Bataclan theatre massacre last November have been debunked.

The shocking claims made in testimony at a French inquiry in March resurfaced online following the Nice attack.

Two second-hand witnesses suggested Islamic State terrorists who gunned down scores of people also gouged out the eyes and sliced up the genitalia of some of the victims.

The investigation's chair, conservative politician Georges Fenech, said he was concerned after seeing a letter from the father of one of the victims, who claimed his son had been disembowelled and castrated, with his testicles found in his mouth.

He said the father had also confirmed a report that one of the investigators vomited on leaving the Bataclan after finding a victim decapitated and disembowelled.

But French law-enforcement officials testified they had seen no evidence that victim injuries were caused by anything other than gunfire and shrapnel.

One official, Michel Cadot, the prefect of police in Paris, stressed that no knives were recovered from the scene.

"Some of the bodies found at the Bataclan were extremely mutilated by the explosions and weapons, to the point that it was sometimes difficult to reconstruct the dismembered bodies," said investigator Christian Saint.

The testimony was not covered up by the government, as some news outlets reported, and the inquiry's minutes online show the rumours were denied by other witnesses.

"The bodies have not been shown to the families because they are people who are decapitated, people who are bloated and people who have been disembowelled," a police witness identified as Mr TP told officials, according to the transcript.

When Fenech asked if the mutilations would have been videotaped by the terrorists, the witness answered, "It seems to me", adding: "There are people decapitated, swollen and disembowelled. There are signs of sexual acts committed against women and knife cuts to genitalia. If I am not mistaken, some of the eyes of certain people have been removed."

The witness was later asked by Fenech how he had come to learn of the acts of barbarism and said he had heard the gruesome details from another investigator, who he found vomiting and crying after seeing the carnage upstairs.

"After the assault, we were with our colleagues at the Saint-Pierre-Amelot corridor when I saw an investigator leaving in tears, who was just about to throw up," said Mr TP.

But he added that he had not seen anything to that effect himself. "I think, as I entered at the ground floor where there was no such thing, only people hit by bullets," he said.

And at a hearing later that month, also documented in the minutes, another witness said there was no forensic evidence to back up the claims.

"It's a rumour," said Paris prosecutor François Molins. "Forensic doctors were categorical: there was no act of barbarism, no use, including knives. According to a witness, the testicles of a person would have been cut, but no findings have corroborated it."

No other witnesses mentioned seeing such gruesome acts of torture, and with 1000 people present on the night of the attacks in which 89 people were killed, it seems likely such brutality would have been reported.

- news.com.au

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