Keyword: Léonarda Dibrani
School students in France have resumed their protests over the deportation of Roma schoolgirl Léonarda who was arrested during a school trip. However, this controversial case was not an isolated incident. Under socialist president François Hollande the deportation of school students who have reached the age of majority and lack residence permits has occurred with greater frequency than under his right-wing predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy. Mediapart’s Michaël Hajdenberg gives the background to the deportations and then hears the moving story of a school pupil in France who was arrested this summer on his way to an exam and sent back to Mali five days later.
The French president is slammed by Right and Left for offering a deported immigrant teenager a return to France but without her family.
The French president says Leonarda Dibrani, 15, deported to Kosovo earlier this month with her family, is allowed to return to France, but alone.
The French government found itself on Wednesday the target of a storm of protests over the arrest and repatriation to Kosovo last week of a 15 year-old Roma girl who was taken into custody by police in front of her schoolmates after her family’s application for asylum in France was rejected. The heavy-handed arrest of Léonarda Dibrani, which was first revealed in a blogpost on Mediapart, has split opinion both among the ranks of the ruling Socialist Party and within the government itself, with education minister Vincent Peillon calling for a ban on the arrests of pupils during school activity. The controversy comes as interior minister Manuel Valls leads a high-profile, hardline campaign targeting Roma immigrants who he has claimed are not apt to integrate into French society. Interviewed by Mathieu Magnaudeix, Socialist MP Sandrine Mazetier, vice-president of the National Assembly and head of her party’s immigration affairs department, strongly denounces the treatment handed out to Léonarda Dibrani, and demands that sanctions be taken against the police prefect responsible for ordering her arrest in an act of “political provocation”.