a Nigerien imam under house arrest and threatened with expulsion

a Nigerien imam under house arrest and threatened with expulsion
a Nigerien imam under house arrest and threatened with expulsion

The imam of the Pessac mosque, in the Bordeaux metropolis, is accused by the State of “supporting and disseminating” theories “encouraging or inciting” terrorism.

He is invited to stay at home while waiting to be sent back to Niger. The imam of the Pessac mosque (Gironde), near Bordeaux, contested this Thursday his house arrest, which occurred against the backdrop of expulsion proceedings, with the authorities accusing him of publications on social networks which would glorify the terrorism. An individual administrative control and surveillance measure (Micas) was notified to him last week before the Olympic torch relay passed through Gironde. It prohibits him for three months from leaving the town of Pessac, unless exempted, and requires him to report daily to the police station.

At the beginning of May, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, unveiled a “hindering strategy” against the “Islamist and jihadist movement” ahead of and during the Olympic Games, including such measures for people “convicted of acts of terrorism or highly radicalized”. This Thursday before the administrative court, where imam Abdourahmane Ridouane contested this measure, the representative of the ministry assured that his behavior constituted “a particularly serious threat” for security and public order, “supporting or spreading” theses “encouraging or inciting” to terrorism.

“A form of relentlessness” according to his lawyer

At issue: publications on social networks having already led to an administrative closure of the Pessac mosque in 2022, a decision annulled by the administrative court of Bordeaux then the Council of State. The authorities also accuse him of presenting the Hamas terrorist organization “like a resistance movement” and call into question a drawing relayed on Facebook, four days after the attack by the Palestinian organization against Israel on October 7.

This drawing depicted an armed Ukrainian soldier facing a Russian tank, with the subtitle “self-defense” ; and a Palestinian facing an Israeli tank, with the subtitle “terrorism”. For the imam’s lawyer, Master Sefen Guez Guez, this procedure is only a “repeat” of the one who had targeted, without success, the mosque, and would infringe on the fundamental freedoms of his client. This Thursday, he denounced a file “empty”reproaching Gérald Darmanin “a form of relentlessness” towards Abdourahmane Ridouane.

According to this lawyer, house arrest is only intended to be able to “come and pick it up from your home” if the expulsion procedure is successful. “The Olympic Games have a good back”, denounced Maître Guez Guez, emphasizing that his client, unlike other people targeted by Micas, did not yet have a criminal record. The decision was reserved.

#French

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