Human rights advocate accuses France of hypocrisy after entry ban

Human rights advocate accuses France of hypocrisy after entry ban

'This is not what you expect of Western liberal democratic society,' says head of advocacy group CAGE

By Gulcin Kazan Doger

ISTANBUL (AA) - The way that France has decided to deal with a human rights activist is "very authoritarian," said head of UK-based advocacy group CAGE, who was banned from entry to France.

Muhammad Rabbani, head of the group, was detained in Paris on July 11 where he went for a three-day visit to meet journalists, NGOs and representatives of Muslim communities.

Following his detention, he was issued a notice by French Interior Ministry that he was banned to enter the country.

"This is not what you expect of a Western liberal democratic society," Rabbani said in an interview with Anadolu.

Rabbani said France actually tried to ban his entry two years ago but following a legal challenge a court in France overruled the ban.

"The way that France has decided to deal with a human rights activist is very, very authoritarian," he said, adding it also shows "a weakness" and "insecurity."

Stating that this is not an individual case but a systematic policy, Rabbani said France bans all those who are critical of its policy on race, ethnicity and religion.

"I think there just needs to be an acknowledgement that these freedoms and liberties really only applied to a certain type of people, and they do not afford the same freedoms to other people," he added.

Saying that this is "clear hypocrisy" and "double standards," Rabbani added he thinks France is one of those countries that is "really quite stark in its hypocrisy."

Explaining this policy, he said that France's Systematic Obstruction Policy, which previously met wide-range of criticism "over targeting only Muslims," Rabbani said this is intended to systematically obstruct the Muslim community.

"This policy has led to the closure of more than 700 Muslim-owned businesses, masjids, charities and organizations and has led to the confiscation of over €14 million ($15.5 million) that belong to the Muslim community," he added.



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