French demonstrators demand Rivoire be extradited

Group gathers outside home of priest accused of sexually abusing Inuit children

A group of demonstrators sit outside Johannes Rivoire’s retirement home in Lyon, France, on Monday. The message reads: Here lives the pedocriminal J. Rivoire. Justice Canada demands his extradition. France refused. We are ashamed. (Photo courtesy of Arnaud Gallais)

By Emma Tranter

Demonstrators gathered outside Johannes Rivoire’s retirement home in Lyon, France, on Monday to demand the French government extradite the priest, who is accused of sexually abusing children in Nunavut.

The group, called BeBraveFrance, is calling on the French government to send Rivoire, 91, to Canada to face justice.

Arnaud Gallais, the group’s co-founder, said BeBrave’s mission is to pressure the French government to carry out wide-ranging judicial investigations into the Catholic Church.

Demonstrators write messages on the sidewalk on Monday, pointing to the retirement home where Johannes Rivoire lives in Lyon, France. (Photo courtesy of Arnaud Gallais)

“We want the invisible to be visible,” Gallais said in an interview in French.

Rivoire was a parish priest in what is now Nunavut from the 1960s to 1993. RCMP charged him in 1998 with sexually abusing Inuit children during that period, but those charges were stayed in 2017.

In February 2022, RCMP laid a new charge against Rivoire for an allegation of sexual abuse that dates to the 1970s.

Rivoire, through his lawyer, has denied all accusations of sexual abuse.

Canada requested France extradite Rivoire to face that charge in Canada. France does not extradite its citizens, and the request was denied in October 2022.

“We’re thinking about Inuit … We find it deeply disturbing and shocking,” Gallais said of France denying the request.

Inuit have long called for Rivoire to face justice in Canada.

A delegation of Inuit let by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., including an alleged victim of Rivoire, travelled to France in September 2022 to demand his extradition and ended up meeting with the priest himself.

Gallais, who said he is a victim of sexual abuse, said BeBrave also wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron demanding Rivoire’s extradition.

The group did not hear back, he said.

“It’s atrocious. The French government is doing nothing. We want Emmanuel Macron to extradite him,” Gallais said.

BeBrave has also launched a petition calling for Rivoire’s extradition, which Gallais said has about 13,000 signatures.

He said Monday’s event wasn’t exactly a protest, but more of a campaign to bring awareness to the fact Rivoire has been charged in Canada.

“Here lives the pedocriminal J. Rivoire,” reads a message put up by demonstrators at Johannes Rivoire’s retirement residence in Lyon, France. (Photo courtesy of Arnaud Gallais)

“If not, people in Lyon don’t know about it. They pass by his building,” Gallais said, adding Rivoire is someone who is “totally protected” by the fact he lives quietly.

The group wrote messages on the walls, the road and the sidewalks around Rivoire’s retirement home.

“Here lives a pedocriminal,” one message reads.

Gallais said the group plans to hold a similar demonstration soon, and wants to work with Inuit to keep pressure on the French government.

“For the beginning of the year, for 2023, we wanted to start off by saying we are with them. We don’t forget them,” he said.

Gallais said the mayor of Lyon has also supported the group’s efforts.

“This was the first step and now we want to do more,” Gallais said.

 

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(20) Comments:

  1. Posted by Aputi on

    Protest by stop going to Roman Catholic Churches Nunavut wide and stop putting your 10% there

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  2. Posted by Johanne Coutu-Autut on

    Thank you Mr Galais and your group from the bottom of my heart for bringing this matter to the French public attention. Rivoire did a lot of damage to my family and needs to face justice back in Canada before it is too late. If there is a will there is always a way. Merci du fond de mon coeur!

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  3. Posted by Alison Crowe on

    “The pedophile criminal J. Rivoire lives here. Canadian justice demands his extradition. France refuses. We are ashamed.”

    To those who said the NTI trip to France would accomplish nothing: it publicized alleged crimes that most French citizens would have known nothing about. They are understandably shocked and disgusted by reports of abuse of Inuit children by a French priest.

    Maybe NTI didn’t get an extradition order, but it took the first important step of shining a bright light on the issue in France. It also made clear that Rivoire’s time and actions in the arctic are not forgotten and the Inuit advocates for justice are not going away.

    The more is known about Rivoire’s history, the less support there will be in France to support him and others facing similar accusations.

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  4. Posted by Truth & Reconciliation, it takes both sides on

    Thank you good people of France for your support ! !
    A lot of First Nations, Metis, & Inuit people wish that our native organizations would go
    after native people who have sexually abused their own people. They do nothing at all.
    Both sides have to be fair & accountable, or why have it at all

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    • Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

      Yes , all pedophiles should face justice, no matter where in the world, I agree to
      that. Victims need justice. What makes this case so terrible , is that he was/is a catholic priest; a person in a position of trust and the magnitude of children he abused. And, the church aided and abetted him to escape the country in the early nineties when charges were put forward. The church kept him hidden for many years.

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  5. Posted by Nunavut Enquirer ? on

    Alison Crowe, I don’t think we would have heard much more about this if it was not for the
    French people.
    So why are NTI not going after pedophiles and beasts of incest in Nunavut ?
    They can’t fool all of the people all of the time ! !

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  6. Posted by M Stephen on

    Also In the international news this feedback is not allowed by CBC on the subject of Alberta/Ottawa politics. The windows of what is allowed to be heard shrinks daily in our home and native land.

    The Spin Doctor CBC is at it again. The WEF, Schwab. Klaus have the Feds in their pocket, not a good thing with the top-down push we see from Switzerland this week. On the brighter side they are being exposed for their authoritarian order and approach, the WEF. Premier Smith is causing them sleepless nights, good for her and Alberta and Canada.

  7. Posted by Truestory on

    Hope he stays where he is. I pay taxes and I don’t wanna put a roof over his head, free meals, medical care, and the “perks” the inmates get. I don’t wanna support him thru my tax dollars. He will get the ULTIMATE JUDGE in the here after. Idiots.

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    • Posted by What if I told you… on

      there is no ULTIMATE JUDGE in the here after?

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