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Editorial

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Le sceau de l’inhumanité

by Jean-Paul Piérot

Stamped with the Seal of Inhumanity

Translated Monday 31 July 2006, by Henry Crapo

In expelling Aminata, a young student born in France, the Ministry of the Interior is guilty of an unacceptable act, contrary to the principles of the Republic.

Clearly, Aminata was not part of the quota for "selective immigration" designed by Nicolas Sarkozy. Born in Aubervilliers, high school student in Sarreguemines, where she lives with her uncle, a former worker in the deep mines of the Lorraine, this young girl, 19 years of age, committed the unforgivable fault of holding Mali citizenship, and of having spent some of her adolescent years in the land of her ancestors, before returning to France, the land of her birth. "The duty of the Minister of the Interior is to send home those who are without papers", said, dryly, the present occupant of the office at Place Beauvau, the Ministry of the Interior, last 23 April, in the same speech where he made stylish again, for the majority party, a slogan of the right wing Front National, by declaring "If there are those who feel uncomfortable being in France, let them be comfortable about leaving". It was precisely after having requested papers that Aminata was arrested, jailed in a retention center for two weeks, before being taken under heavy police escort to a flight leaving for Bamako.

Aminata loved France: the "oukase" of the minister of the interior stamped her "undesirable".

This decision, stamped with the seal of inhumanity, concentrates in one act all the arbitrary "criteria" adopted by the government concerning the thousands of foreign families whose children are enrolled in French schools, the children being threatened with expulsion if their administrative situation is not regularized. That the Minister of the Interior, trying to defend the indefensible, dares to pretend that Aminata does not fit into the category of "children, enrolled in school, and having strong attachments to France", is a clear case of provocation, and of disdain toward the teachers, school parents, elected officials, of her family living in the Paris region, and of all the citizens of the Moselle who have gathered together to defend her.

How otherwise to describe an act so revolting to human conscience, and the accompanying irritation of the powers of government in the face of a mounting citizen protection for the children being hunted down. There is also, it would seem, a desire to continue to send signals to the most reactionary sections of the right-wing electorate. Le Pen, leader of the Front National, had fumed about the provisional residency permit accorded to a little girl, six years of age, coming from Daghestan. That’s no problem — Nicolas Sarkozy makes up for it by expelling Aminata, for example.

Abdallah, Aminata, Sabah, a young mother of an infant of 5 months, all arrested in preparation for expulsion. These are unacceptable acts, contrary to the principles of the Republic. They are dark periods of History, when the administration of a State starts hunting down ’foreign’ children. Thousands of families who show up en masse in the prefectures, animated by the desire to put an end to an indignity, a disgraceful situation, will they have the feeling that they are being thrown into a wolf’s mouth? The horrible misadventure of Aminata risks giving them a bad foretaste of what is in store for them. It is for this reason that this most recent initiative of the Minister of the Interior, even if it advances certain unavowable political objectives, remains nevertheless irresponsible.

In the absence of an even more vigorous citizen mobilization, the expulsion of Aminata risks setting off a long series of other equally scandalous actions. Arno Klarsfeld, public relations mediator for Nicolas Sarkozy, had promised that no expulsions would take place prior to August 13, the timetable fixed for procedures at the prefectures. His boss didn’t wait, and the summer now appears dangerous for thousands of men, women and children who live, work, and study at our sides.


Read also this reporter’s response to a subsequent
counter-attack
by the Minister of the Interior.


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