France upholds deportation of Roma girl

"My future came to an end today," said 15-year-old Leonarda Dibrani, whose deportation last October sparked outcry in France.

France upholds deportation of Roma girl

World Bulletin / News Desk

France has rejected the appeal of Leonarda Dibrani, a Roma girl who was deported along with her family to Kosovo in October.

The deportation of the Dibrani family sparked an outcry across Europe over the treatment of the Roman community in France.

Now living in the disputed territory of Mitrovica, Leonarda Dibrani said "my future came to an end today," as she fought back her tears after learning the court’s verdict.

The 15-year-old schoolgirl was humiliated in front of her friends when French police forced her off a school bus and arrested her in October.

After a public backlash over the way in which the deportation was carried out, French president Francois Hollande offered to allow Leonarda to return but refused the same right for her family.

Refusing to leave her family behind in Kosovo, the family appealed against the French court’s decision to deport them. However, on Tuesday the Besancon court upheld the decision.

The Dibrani family had arrived in France five years ago seeking asylum on the grounds that they faced discrimination in Kosovo and were deported after their case was postponed twice.

France is host to around 20,000 Roma from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The community has face increasing cases of discrimination and deportation since former president Sarkozy started the crackdown, which was continued by his successor Hollande.

Last Mod: 29 Ocak 2014, 12:19
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