France is taking a firm stance on the expulsion of “dangerous” foreigners, even if it means violating European laws, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), Darmanin stated that France would remove these individuals without waiting for a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), relying solely on decisions made by the national judiciary.
The ECHR has rules in place stating that it is prohibited to expel someone who faces the death penalty in their home country, as France is committed against it. Darmanin acknowledged this, but also raised an important question: should France keep these individuals in the country, even if they pose a risk to national security?
Darmanin cited a case from last year involving the expulsion of two individuals from Russia’s Chechen Republic. One of them had been convicted of terrorist charges, while the other was flagged as an “Islamist radical” by the Interior Ministry. However, the ECHR ruled that both expulsions were illegal, arguing that the individuals might face torture if they were returned to Russia.
The minister defended the decision to deport these individuals, stating that it was common sense to remove someone who had been sentenced to ten years in jail for terrorist activities. He emphasized that the French people support such actions because they view these individuals as highly dangerous.
Furthermore, Darmanin expressed his belief that the ECHR needs to consider the context in which it is making judgments, particularly in a time of terrorist crises that were not foreseen when the rules were designed.
Despite potential legal consequences, Darmanin stated that France is willing to act without ECHR approval and face the fines that may result. Reports suggest that these fines are typically around 3,000 euros ($3,177), and it often takes the ECHR up to three years to produce a ruling.
The minister revealed that 89 “dangerous” foreigners have been expelled from the country this year, including eight within the past month. This tough stance comes in the aftermath of a recent terrorist attack in Arras on October 13, where a teacher named Dominique Bernard was fatally stabbed by a 20-year-old suspect named Mohammed M. The suspect, believed to have been driven by Islamist ideology, was of Chechen origin and had immigrated to France from Russia at a young age.
France’s determination to expel dangerous individuals reflects the government’s commitment to national security. While they acknowledge the importance of the ECHR’s role, there is a growing belief that action must be taken to protect the safety of French citizens. However, these decisions may continue to face legal scrutiny, as the balance between security and human rights remains a complex and debated issue.