Sunday 25 September 2016

France to strip dual citizens' nationality in terrorism cases

Leigh Thomas

Published 23/12/2015 | 12:07

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Photo: Reuters
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Photo: Reuters

The French government will go ahead with contested plans to strip dual citizens of their French nationality in terrorism cases, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday, brushing aside his own justice minister's concerns.

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After Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, President Francois Hollande called for the measure as part of a constitutional amendment aimed at stepping up the fight against terrorism.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who has expressed deep misgivings about the plan, had said on Tuesday that it had been dropped from the amendment bill.

Unveiling the bill on Wednesday, Valls defended the measure saying that it would be strictly limited to people convicted on terrorism charges and would be used after they had served out their sentence.

Speaking at the same news conference as Valls, Taubira squashed speculation that she would resign: "In the current state of things, my presence or absence from government is not what matters, it's the president's and the government's capacity to deal with the dangers facing us."

Currently only naturalised citizens can be stripped of their French citizenship. Extending the measure to all dual nationals has divided politicians on both the left and right.

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