French Court Upholds Stripping Citizenship in Terror Case

Constitutional Court says fight against terrorism justifies different treatment of those who were born French and those who acquired citizenship.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attends a news conference to unveil new security measures ahead of a defence council at the Elysee Palace in Paris January 21, 2015
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attends a news conference to unveil new security measures ahead of a defence council at the Elysee Palace in Paris January 21, 2015Credit: Reuters

France's top court on Friday upheld the government's decision to strip the citizenship of a Franco-Moroccan man convicted of terrorism-related crimes, amid calls to expand such measures after deadly attacks in Paris.

The Constitutional Court said the fight against terrorism justifies different treatment of those who were born French and those who acquired citizenship.

Existing law allows stripping citizenship only if the person has citizenship elsewhere, and targets especially those convicted of terrorism, if the crimes took place before the person became French or within 15 years of acquiring citizenship.

Franco-Moroccan Ahmed Sahnouni el-Yaacoubi, 45, had his French citizenship revoked last year, following a sentence to seven years of prison in 2013 for criminal association with a terrorist enterprise.

El-Yaacoubi was implicated in a network for recruiting jihadis for various countries. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, he became a French citizen in 2003.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls welcomed the court's "exceptional decision" confirming the state's power to strip French citizenship "every time it's necessary."

Stripping citizenship is a rare procedure in France, occurring only eight times since 1973. Some on the French right and far right recently asked the Socialist government for a change in the law to expand the state's ability to take away French citizenship.

A series of international conventions, including the European Convention of Human Rights, forbid measures that would make people stateless.

However, British law was amended last year to make it legal to deprive foreign-born offenders of citizenship in some serious cases, even if it makes them stateless.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can