Last week Leonarda Dibrani, a 15 year old school girl, was dragged off a bus during a school trip and deported back to Kosovo by French authorities. The incident has brought fresh attention on the issue of immigration in France and has led around 12,000 students on to the streets to protest in support of Leonarda Dibrani, disrupting or closing over 170 schools across Paris, Marseille, Angers, and Grenoble. Many scuffles have broken out with the police as they have tried to dismantle makeshift barricades.
The family had been deported due to their claim for asylum being rejected on the grounds of “Insufficient prospect of social and economic integration.” Further protests are being planned for over the weekend, including a march through Paris on Saturday afternoon.
One of Leanarda’s teachers said that:
“I am shocked that we are deporting students,” he added. “Every child has the right to an education, no matter their nationality, religion or background. Without exception. It’s unacceptable.”
Many in the ‘socialist’ government are said to be disgusted at how Dibrani was treated, although don’t seem to give a fuck about the 38,000 people they deported in the last year. French education minister, Vincent Peillon, gave a television interview demanding that the students return to school immediately. He sneeringly claimed that, “As they are demanding the right to education for all, then they should not block other people from entering school.” His cabinet colleague, Manuel Valls, claimed that “All Roma immigrants should be sent back to their countries or origin as they have no intention of integrating.” The government are said that a reversal of the decision would be unlikely as it would “Send the wrong message to illegal immigrants.”
On her arrival in Kosovo Leanarda was interviewed by French media. She said that:
“I was so ashamed," she says of being taken away by police in front of her classmates. "Everyone was asking me what I'd done. I was crying. This isn't my home here [in Kosovo]. My home is in France. I'm scared to go out here, and I don't even speak the language.”
Despite the outrage from many across France, the government claim that the laws has been applied, “appropriately and humanely”
Solidarity with Leanarda, her family, and all those fighting for her return.