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Right-wing figures have criticized the Council of State’s decision to allow a Chechen refugee to retain his status despite his conviction for condoning terrorism. Ofpra believes that it represents a “serious threat to society”.

In a decision made public on February 19, the Council of State ruled that a Chechen refugee convicted of condoning terrorism could retain his refugee status.

The highest administrative court has thus disavowed Ofpra (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons)

– the office responsible for deciding on asylum requests – which had withdrawn his status from a Chechen refugee. Ofpra had motivated its decision by arguing that its presence on French territory “constituted a serious threat to society”. The CNDA (National Court of Asylum) then annulled this decision, stressing that the facts of public apology “did not constitute an act of terrorism”, one of the reasons necessary to initiate the revocation of refugee status. But for part of the right, the maintenance of refugee status for an individual charged on these grounds cannot be conceivable.

“The Council of State now considers that making an apology for terrorism is not enough to call into question the status of a refugee,” lamented RN Jordan Bardella number two on Sud Radio. “France has become a gigantic station hall in which everyone enters and no one leaves,” he added on February 24 on Twitter.

The day before, Marine Le Pen had regretted on Twitter an “amazing decision”, considering that “freedom of expression and asylum are guaranteed in France … for supporters of terrorism”.

The LR deputy of the Maritime Alps Eric Ciotti spoke to him about an “incredible” decision, saying that “such guilty naivety condemns us”.

For his part, the president of the Les Républicains group in the Senate, Bruno Retaillau, has already announced that he would table a bill to suspend this status to individuals convicted of this type of offense.

The Chechen refugee at the heart of this case has been the subject of four criminal convictions, one of which, on February 18, 2015 in Nice, “for acts of public apology for an act of terrorism”.

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