This case of forfeiture of nationality had hit the headlines during the wave of attacks of 2015-2016. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had already ruled in first instance, in June, that France had not violated the fundamental rights of five binational men, four Franco-Moroccans and one Franco-Turk, when it had stripped them of their nationality. The Grand Chamber of the ECHR announced, Tuesday, November 17, the final rejection of the request filed by these five men stripped of their French nationality after their conviction in a terrorist case.
They were sentenced in 2007 to six to eight years in prison for “Participation in a criminal association with a view to preparing a terrorist act”. They were judged in particular for their links with the Moroccan Islamic Fighting Group (GICM), responsible for the attacks in Casablanca (Morocco) of May 16, 2003, which left 45 dead, including three French, and a hundred wounded.
Released in 2009 and 2010, these childhood friends from working-class districts of Yvelines, who became French between 1991 and 2001, were then stripped of their French nationality in October 2015. “The applicants have applied for“ private and family life ”residence permits and have receipts allowing them to live in France”, noted at the end of June the magistrates of the ECHR, in first instance. “It follows that the deprivation of nationality which affects the applicants does not constitute an interference with the exercise of their right to respect for their family life”, they added.
They all have a second nationality and have therefore not become stateless, the magistrates still noted. The applicants’ ability to stay in France is found “Weakened”, they agreed, noting however “That no removal measure has been taken” by the French authorities.
“Terrorist violence constitutes in itself a serious threat to human rights”, underlined again the court which sits in Strasbourg. She understood “Therefore that the French authorities were able to decide, following the attacks which struck France in 2015, to show increased firmness towards persons convicted of a crime or an offense constituting an act of terrorism”.
The applicants’ lawyer, William Bourdon, pointed out that the five men were according to him “Integration models”. “The children go to school, most of them work, family homes are integrated, which should prevent their expulsion”, he estimated.