|Students decry inhumane French expulsions
Thousands of high school students in Paris and other parts of France rose up today in anger at the deportation of foreign pupils, after the high-profile eviction of a 15-year-old Roma girl.
Leonarda Dibrani was detained during a school trip earlier this month and deported to Kosovo with her parents and five siblings, in a case that has raised questions over France's immigration policies, shattered the unity of the ruling Socialist party and landed France's popular interior minister Manuel Valls in hot water, AFP reports.
Critics have lashed out at the “inhumane'' way the French-speaking teenager – whose family had lived illegally in the country for four years – was treated, pointing to the fact she was forced to get off a bus full of classmates in the midst of a school outing.
Students marched through streets of the French capital, blocking the entrance to several schools and disrupting the smooth-running of other establishments.
All in all, some 20 schools in Paris were “disrupted,’’ the local education authority said, as students protested the eviction of both Dibrani and Khatchik Kachatryan, a 19-year-old Paris student who was deported on Saturday to Armenia.
“Bring back Khatchik and Leonarda, they belong here,'' the marching pupils chanted, holding up signs calling for Valls to resign or urging solidarity.
The protest movement also spread to other parts of the country. In the southern town of Mende, around 100 students demonstrated under the slogan ''Leonarda isn't going to class, nor are we.''