Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

  • Captain not at helm when ship listed, S. Korean officials say

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Deadly attack on civilians sheltering in UN base in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Eurostar train delay "chaos"

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    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

Comments

COMMENT(S)