Deliveroo driver who refused to deliver to Jewish customers jailed for four months in France

‘You have to respect everyone in this country,’ says judge Bertrand Gautier

Eleanor Sly
Wednesday 20 January 2021 13:02 GMT
<p>App’s team describes the incident as ‘hateful’</p>

App’s team describes the incident as ‘hateful’

A Deliveroo driver has been jailed by a French court on charges of discrimination after he refused to deliver meals from two Jewish restaurants in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

Police in Strasbourg said on Monday that two Jewish restaurant owners in the area had filed complaints of racism against the food delivery company.

Following a police investigation, a court convicted the 19-year-old Algerian man on Thursday on an antisemitism charge for refusing to take orders for kosher food.

He will serve four months in prison.

Judge Bertrand Gautier said: "French law prohibits discrimination of any kind. You have to respect everyone in this country."

The driver had been living in France illegally since arriving on a tourist visa about a year ago, officials said.

Gerald Darmanin, the French interior minister, said he would be expelled from the country once he had completed his prison sentence.

The courier spoke via an interpreter and admitted to cancelling the orders, but denied saying he would not deliver to Jewish customers, according to Le Parisien.

The conviction came days after the Israelite Consistory of the Bas-Rhin region, a Jewish institution, reported two kosher restaurants saying Deliveroo drivers would not handle their food as they objected to delivering to Jews.

Both the group and the restaurants filed a legal complaint for “openly antisemitic discrimination”.

Mr Darmanin wrote on Twitter: "I decided to expel from the national territory the food 'deliverer'...who said he did not want to handle deliveries to Jewish clients."

A spokesperson for Deliveroo, Damien Steffan, told French broadcaster France Bleu that the company believes "antisemitic acts, like all racist or discriminatory acts of all kinds, are unacceptable".

Deliveroo France’s general manager Melvina Sarfati El Grably added in a statement: "We are relieved by the conclusion of this inquiry, which allowed the identification of the person who carried out these hateful acts, thanks to close cooperation between Deliveroo and the police."

Additional reporting by AP

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