• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
France to open first centre for deradicalization amid anger
The centre which will become France's first centre for deradicalizing extremists. Photo: ITele

France to open first centre for deradicalization amid anger

Ben McPartland · 12 Mar 2016, 09:23

Published: 11 Mar 2016 15:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Mar 2016 09:23 GMT+01:00

The announcement about the new centre was made this week but the location of the centre had been kept secret. However, it wasn’t long before it was leaked.

The centre, which will aim to convince people to turn their backs on extremism, will be located at Beaumont-en-Véron in the Indre et Loire département of central France.

It will be a kind of boarding school for radicalized French youths aged 18 to 30, who may have tried and failed to travel to the Middle East. It will officially be called a centre for “reintegration and citizenship”.

The establishment will be able to accommodate 30 people for a ten-month stay, with possibilities of undertaking an internship in nearby companies. Participants will sign up on a voluntary basis and will have to wear a uniform during their stay.

They will be not be kept as prisoners and can return to their families at weekends. But the fact they will be able to wander around the area freely has concerned local residents and officials.

Hundreds of radicalized individuals have left France to fight jihad in the Middle East, with authorities increasingly concerned about those who have returned home.

Local mayor Bernard Château said he reacted “with amazement” to finding out the centre would be located in a former education centre building on his turf.

The mayor of nearby Chinon was more outspoken.

“My first reaction was anger,” said Jean-Luc Dupont. “We have just learned that a centre will open here, but we were never at any moment consulted about this.

“We wanted this building used for young refugees and migrants in need of vocational training, not as a deradicalization centre.

“Imagine having to tell local people that radicalized individuals are going to be living next to them and to tell them ‘it doesn’t matter’,” said Dupont.

“Talking of radicalized people is scary,” he added.

One of those concerned residents, who asked not to be named, told Europe1 radio how they feared being the victim of a Paris-like terror attack.

“Of course the idea is scaring people. Everyone is afraid and asking lots of questions," she said.

Story continues below…

“Shouldn’t the army be handling these kind of questions,” she said.

“Yesterday it was Paris, tomorrow perhaps it could be us. Obviously we are scared,” she said.

Some observers have pointed out it is not far from the nuclear power plant at Chinon, where security has been ramped up like at other power stations and sensitive locations in France.

The local government chief from Indre et Loire was due to hold a meeting with local officials on Friday to try to allay their fears.

 

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Paris unveils first stretch of 'bicycle highway'
Photo: AFP

Could Paris be on the way to becoming the new Amsterdam for bikes?

French air traffic control unions call for June strikes
Photo: AFP

Air traffic controllers and thousands of other workers could be set for a three day strike at the beginning of June.

IMF urges France to deepen job reforms
Photo: AFP

The International Monetary Fund has warned France to go beyond its already hotly contested job market reforms.

Dordogne named among the 'best places in Europe'
Photo: Dale Musselman/Flickr

Travel company the Lonely Planet calls the Dordogne "France's foodiest region".

French fuel crisis: 'A quarter' of petrol stations run dry
Workers on strike block the access to the harbour of Saint-Nazaire, western France to protest against the government's planned labour law reforms. Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Over 3,200 petrol stations are now reportedly empty or running dry.

French police 'raid Google's Paris offices in tax probe'
Photo: AFP

Around 100 French officials and police have raided Google's offices in Paris, reports say.

EgyptAir Flight MS804
EgyptAir: Human remains 'suggest explosion on board'
Photo: Egyptian Armed Forces

New findings, if confirmed, would support the theory that a bomb may have brought down the plane.

How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
How to avoid the fuel crisis in France. Photo: AFP

There are far worse places to be stuck with no fuel than rural France, but here's some official advice on how holidaymakers can avoid becoming stranded.

Special ops units to police Tour de France for first time
Photo: AFP

France is taking security at the Tour de France extremely seriously this year.

How French rail services will be hit by this week's strike
Photo: AFP

Another tricky couple of days for rail travel lie ahead this week.

National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
Lifestyle
New map reveals Paris flat prices by Metro station
Culture
Paris: Here's how to find French cinema in English
Culture
How to say 'OUCH' in French (and ten other sounds)
National
Get ready: France to be hit by week of transport strikes
Culture
France readies for first national 'motorway party'
National
Is this the eco-solution to France's wild-peeing plague?
Sport
Paris mayor wants Seine to be 'swimmable' before Olympics
National
IN PICTURES: Police car torched in Paris protests
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and more to come
National
Why does 'everyone in France hate the police'?
Culture
Foolproof ways to make French friends in France
National
Seventeen French ex-ministers vow to shine light on sex harassment
Lifestyle
French Riviera mega-mansion faces being bulldozed
Culture
Eight ways the French are different to Parisians
2,740
jobs available