Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Weiner strikes again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Colombia's Path to Peace: Can historic deal with FARC rebels work? (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The rise of political tourism in the Middle East

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Video Music Awards, Rock en Seine and Puppa Lek Sen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Gulf of Porto, a paradise of land and sea

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Quarterback takes a stand by sitting down

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Anger over restaurant's decision to deny service to Muslim women

Read more

France

French overseas official probed for racism

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-14

Paul Girot de Langlade, the coordinator of a political peace process on the French island of Reunion, in the Indian Ocean, has been suspended pending an inquiry into charges that he directed racist abuse at airport security personnel.

AFP - The official charged with overseeing efforts to appease racially-charged tension in one of France's Indian Ocean territories has been suspended following allegations of racism, officials said Friday.
   
The interior ministry said that Paul Girot de Langlade, the coordinator of a political peace process on the island of Reunion, had been suspended pending an inquiry into a charge that he insulted airport security personnel.
   
According to a judicial official, Girot was stopped by security staff and asked to empty his pockets when a metal detector buzzer sounded after he disembarked from a flight at Orly airport outside Paris on July 31.
   
"You'd think we were in Africa. In any case, there are only blacks here," he is alleged to have replied, according to the official.
   
Magistrates have ordered police to open an inquiry into allegations of "public insults of a racial character", the official added.
   
In a statement, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said: "I will never tolerate racist or discriminatory speech in our country, especially by a state official of any kind. This behaviour violates the values of our republic."
   
Reunion, an island in the Indian Ocean with a racially mixed population, was earlier this year one of three French overseas territories hit by strikes and sometimes unruly protests over alleged economic discrimination.
   
Following the crisis, de Langlade, a prefect or senior state official, was charged with coordinating an "estates general" at which representatives of the community, employers and the state can discuss their grievances.
   
 

Date created : 2009-08-14

COMMENT(S)