Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men found guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

France

Roma teen deportation was right, says French minister

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-21

Under fire from rights groups and even members of his own party for the handling of the deportation of a 15-year-old Roma girl to Kosovo, Interior Minister Manuel Valls (photo) has come out fighting and defended his immigration policy.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls told French media Sunday that he has no regrets about the way a 15-year old girl of Roma gypsy origin and her family were rounded up and deported, after widespread criticism in the media and from his own political party.

Dibrani family ‘attacked’ in Kosovo

Leonarda Dibrani and her family were attacked on Sunday by unidentified assailants in Kosovo, where they have been living since their eviction, police said.

"The Dibrani (family) were walking in Mitrovica with their children when they were attacked by unknown" people, a police officer, who requested to remain anonymous, told AFP.

The mother of 15-year-old Leonarda, Xhemaili, was "beaten and is in hospital while the children, who are traumatised, are at a police station," the officer said.

Leonarda's father Resat Dibrani, 47, was at the hospital by his wife's side.

"It shows that the Dibranis are not safe here," the officer said.

“We should be proud of what we are doing, rather than feeling sorry for ourselves,” Valls, a Socialist, told the Journal de Dimanche weekly in an interview published on Sunday.

Leonarda Dibrani, the teenager at the centre of the high-profile case, was detained while on a school trip before being deported with her mother and siblings to Kosovo on October 9.

Resign?

The incident has caused widespread consternation in France, with secondary-school students launching two days of protests last week. Opposition MPs on both the left and right have joined students in calling for Valls’ resignation.

The tough-talking interior minister told the Journal de Dimanche newspaper he has no intention of stepping down, even if the family had been allowed to return to France.

Valls' interview comes a day after President François Hollande made a televised speech in which he said Leonarda could return to France to continue her studies, but without the rest of her family.

“I knew a solution that would respect the rule of law would be found... The only possible decision was to apply the law firmly. This is not inconsistent with a generous gesture in line with French values,” Valls said of Leonarda’s option to come back to France alone.

Protecting asylum system

The interior minister, in charge of the French police and immigration, said he would continue current efforts to return undocumented migrants to their countries of origin despite criticism from some rights groups.

“We also want to save our asylum system, which is overstretched,” he said, explaining that he would adopt measures that should simplify the asylum request process and speed up reviews.

“I will not react to useless attacks. It’s normal when they come from the opposition. But when they come from our own camp, it weakens all of us. Nothing will steer me away from my objective,” he added.

Date created : 2013-10-20

  • FRANCE

    French report into Roma teen's deportation says father was abusive

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Hollande says deported teen can return to France alone

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Roma schoolgirl's traumatic expulsion shocks France

    Read more

COMMENT(S)