On a hunger strike for more than a week to protest against the expulsion of his Guinean apprentice, the Besançon baker Stéphane Ravacley let his joy burst out on Thursday, January 14, by announcing that the young man’s situation had been regularized, after a meeting at the prefecture of Haute-Saône. Contacted by Agence France-Presse (AFP), this prefecture was not reachable in the early afternoon.
“Laye is regularized! And he returns to work on Tuesday! “, assured Mr. Ravacley, reached by telephone after an interview with the secretary general of the prefecture. Stéphane Ravacley and Laye Fodé Traoré, an 18-year-old Guinean subject to an obligation to leave French territory (OQTF), were received Thursday in the prefecture of Haute-Saône.
On the announcement of his regularization, the young man “Practically cried”, confided his apprenticeship master. “He thanked his boss, his educators and the French State”, added Ravacley. “It’s a great joy, a victory. Now we are also going to fight for the others ” which are in the same case elsewhere in France, he added.
Supported in France as an isolated minor, Laye Fodé Traoré did not obtain a residence permit when he reached majority. The prefecture considered until now that the identity documents of the young man were not authentic. But their recent validation by the Embassy of Guinea, which “Issued him a birth certificate”, and the mobilization in favor of Laye Fodé Traoré led the prefecture to review its position, according to Mr. Ravacley.
The petition in favor of the young baker, launched by Mr. Ravacley, had collected Tuesday more than 220,000 signatures. The baker, on hunger strike for ten days, was taken to the emergency room Tuesday after feeling unwell. He announced that he was going to resume eating normally. Personalities from the political, trade union, artistic or literary world, in particular, had called on Monday French President Emmanuel Macron to “Help the Besançon baker on hunger strike”, in a column published in L’Obs.