The French Administrative Court has suspended a deportation order against Palestinian activist Mariam Abu Dakka in response to her active involvement in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The court stated that the deportation order “seriously and blatantly violated the law,” particularly concerning her right to freedom of expression and freedom of movement.
Abu Daqqa had legally entered France in late September, where she was scheduled to participate in various conferences related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the French Ministry of the Interior issued a deportation order on Monday, deeming it necessary.
The deportation order was challenged by Abu Daqqa’s legal counsel, Julie Gounidec, who welcomed the court’s decision. Gounidec stated that the ruling was a significant victory against the government’s use of police measures to restrict critical speech and any support for the Palestinian people.
This development has drawn attention to the complex and controversial issue of supporting Palestinian causes in a context where Israel and the European Union classify the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as a “terrorist organization.”
The court’s decision comes amidst ongoing tensions in the region and a recent deadly attack by Hamas on Israel. The French consulate in Jerusalem had issued a visa for Abu Daqqa last August, highlighting her decades-long activism with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The French Ministry of the Interior has stated its intention to appeal the court’s decision but has not provided further details. During the court session, the ministry’s representative explained that the context was not as explosive when Abu Daqqa was issued the visa.
Nevertheless, the situation changed significantly after Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7.
The court expressed that Mariam Abu Daqqa had not called for support to Hamas, made any anti-Semitic statements, or engaged in general actions promoting discrimination, hatred, or violence against a particular ethnic, national, racial, or religious group.
This legal battle highlights the challenges of balancing freedom of expression with national security concerns, emphasizing the evolving nature of this complex issue.