Don't miss




Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more


Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more


Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more


Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more


Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more


French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more


FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more


French prime minister unveils new deradicalisation programme

Philippe Huguen, AFP | French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and some members of his government pose afting announcing new de-radicalisation measures on February 23, 2018, in Lille.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-02-23

The French government unveiled new deradicalisation plans on Friday, including isolating extremists within prisons and opening centres dedicated to reintegrating former radicals into society.

France is experimenting with new ways of halting the drift towards extremism for young people growing up on the margins of society, predominantly in immigrant suburbs where organisations like the Islamic State group or al Qaeda focus their recruiting efforts.

The plan unveiled by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday is the third such proposal in four years. But this one aims to learn from past mistakes, after three years marked by a series of attacks that has left more than 240 people dead across France.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announces new measures to combat radicalisation

"No one has a magic formula for 'deradicalisation', like you might de-install dangerous software," Philippe said in the northern city of Lille, where he presented his strategy flanked by a dozen ministers.

"But in France and elsewhere there are good approaches to prevention and disengagement."

Wassim Nasr, FRANCE 24’s expert on radicalisation, said that Philippe’s speech represented a change in strategy for the French government. 

“The prime minister ended his speech by talking about understanding the causes of radicalisation, which is a total turnaround from what has been said before,” Nasr said. “Former prime minister [Manuel Valls] said that understanding was 'justifying'. So it is a real U-turn for the French government.” 

"This is a U-turn," says FRANCE 24 radicalisation expert Wassim Nasr

>> Read more: France's first and only deradicalisation centre shuts down

France is particularly keen to stop extremism from flourishing in its prisons, where some of the jihadists behind attacks in recent years first came under the spell of hardliners.

A total of 512 people are currently serving time for terrorism offences in France and another 1,139 prisoners have been flagged as having been radicalised.

To prevent extremism from spreading further, Philippe said he would create 1,500 places in separate prison wings "especially for radicalised inmates".

“This is the first plan that specifically addresses the prevention of radicalisation," said Muriel Domenach, the secretary general of the CIPDR, a committee under the prime minister tasked with the prevention of deliquance and radicalisation.

"It compliments the anti-terrorist arsenal that the government reinforced this autumn. Sociologists and anti-terrorism specialists agree that a security response isn’t enough."

Islamic schools under scrutiny

Philippe also announced plans for three new centres that will attempt to reintegrate radicals referred by French courts, including some of the jihadists returning from fallen IS group strongholds in the Middle East.

A first attempt at introducing a deradicalisation programme ended in failure last July, with a centre in western France that operated on a voluntary basis shutting down after less than a year.

Other measures announced by Philippe include:

  • Investments in psychological care for the children of returning jihadists. So far 68 children have been repatriated, most of them under 13.
  • Tighter regulation of private Islamic schools, which have grown rapidly in number in recent years.
  • More training for teachers to help them detect the early signs of radicalisation and debunk conspiracy theories.
  • More investment in teaching students to separate fact from fiction on the internet.
  • Making it easier to reassign public servants that show signs of radicalisation to jobs that do not involve contact with the public.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2018-02-23


    France’s ‘deradicalisation gravy train’ runs out of steam

    Read more


    French state helped fuel extremism by abandoning poor, Macron says

    Read more


    France unveils experimental deradicalisation programme

    Read more