French court confirms ban on anti-migrants group

France's highest administrative court on Monday approved the government's banning of a far-right group, Génération Identitaire, which on several occasions had tried to stop migrants entering the country.

French court confirms ban on anti-migrants group
Members of the far-right group last June deployed a banner reading 'victims of anti-white racism', during a 'Black Lives Matter' protest against racism and police brutality on Place de la République in Paris. Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

The government’s decision to ban the group was “proportionate” to the risk the group posed to public order, it ruled, confirming the government’s March 3rd decree.

Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity) had justified its actions by claiming it was contributing to the public debate on immigration and the fight against “Islamist terrorism”, the judgement noted.

But in fact it had “for several years propagated ideas … that tended to justify or encourage discrimination, hatred or violence towards foreigners and the Muslim religion”, it added.

Génération Identitaire spokesman Thaïs d’Escufon denounced the ruling as a “political decision”.

READ ALSO: France aims to shut down far-right anti-immigrant group

But Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who published the March decree ordering the group’s dissolution, welcomed the ruling in a tweet Monday evening.

The court’s position was clear, he wrote: “Géneration Identitaire promotes an ideology inciting hatred and violence.”

One of the group’s last operations was in January, when about 30 members gathered at the Col du Portillon pass on the border of France and Spain in what they called a surveillance operation to “defend Europe”.

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French police holding 10 over Channel boat disaster

French police are holding 10 people suspected of involvement in the November 2021 Channel drowning of migrants in which 27 people died, a judicial source said on Thursday.

French police holding 10 over Channel boat disaster

One has been charged with manslaughter and people-trafficking, and the nine others were to be taken before a judge who will decide whether to charge them as well, the source said, asking not to be named.

Police had arrested 15 people suspected of involvement overnight Sunday to Monday, but released five of them without charges.

The death of the 27 in late November was the worst disaster in the Channel since 2018, when the narrow strait became a key route for migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia who have been increasingly using small boats to reach England from France.

Among the 27 — aged seven to 47 — were 16 Iraqi Kurds, four Afghans, three Ethiopians, one Somali, one Egyptian and one Vietnamese migrant.

Only two people survived the disaster, which sparked tension between the British and French governments, with President Emmanuel Macron vowing France would not allow the Channel to become a “cemetery”.