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Saturday, 26 June 2010

France: Said is free and has found refuge

Gay Pride, Lyon juin 2009Image by mafate69 via Flickr
Source: Ardhis, Lesbian and Gay Pride of Lyon

[Translation by F Young]

Inter-agency news release

Said is Free and has been Granted Refugee Status
Paris, June 26, 2010 - Nearly three weeks ago, our two associations were alerted of Said's situation.

Said is an Algerian. He arrived in France four years ago. For three years, he has been living in Lyon, France, in a PACS civil union with René.

Two years ago, Said had sought asylum because of fears of persecution as a homosexual in Algeria, but his application was rejected by the Office Français de Protection des réfugiés et apatrides (OFPRA - French bureau for the protection of refugees and stateless persons), and then by the Cour Nationale du Droit d'Asile (national court on the right of asylum) last December. The prefecture of the Rhone then notified him that he was required to leave French territory within a month. Said and Rene filed an application for review (recours gracieux) before the Prefect of the Rhone seeking the annulment of the decision to deport him, arguing the reality of their PACS civil union, whose shared life they said was solidly documented over more than three years. Poorly advised, they did not file an administrative appeal (recours contentieux) before the administrative tribunal. The Prefect did not respond to the formal complaint and therefore confirmed its decision to expel him. Three weeks ago, the police came to the couple's home and placed Said in detention.

Despite interventions by our associations and despite the evidence provided to the prefecture by the couple's lawyer, the expulsion was not suspended.

Fortunately, in the meantime, Said was able to assert his right to claim emergency asylum in the meantime. He therefore requested a review of his situation by OFPRA. Yesterday, Said was recognized as a refugee under the Geneva Convention. He was released, his expulsion was rescinded and he received permanent protection.

Our associations are reassured about Said and welcome a particularly strong decision by OFPRA.

However, we do not fail to note also that if OFPRA had not granted him refugee status, Said could be in Algeria today, separated from his companion even though he had been living with him for three years now.

Do we accept that the authorities of our country separate a couple because one of them has no papers? What about the fundamental right to privacy and family? Do we accept that our country breaks in a few days the lives of men and women, some living here for many years, for no other reason than to achieve a target number which has no explanation?

[Original]
Said est libre et reconnu réfugie - communique interassociatif


Il y a près de 3 semaines, nos 2 associations ont été alertées de la situation de Saïd.

Saïd est algérien. Il est arrivé en France il y a maintenant 4 ans. Depuis 3 ans, il forme un couple à Lyon avec René, avec qui il est pacsé.

Il y a 2 ans, Saïd avait demandé l’asile du fait de craintes de persécutions en tant qu’homosexuel en Algérie, mais sa demande a été successivement rejetée par l’OFPRA puis par la Cour Nationaledu Droit d’Asile en décembre dernier. La préfecture du Rhône lui a alors notifié une obligation à quitter le territoire français sous un mois. Saïd et René ont déposé un recours gracieux devant le préfet du Rhône en sollicitant l’annulation de la décision de l’expulser en faisant valoir la réalité de leur situation de couple pacsé, dont la vie commune est « solidement attestée » depuis plus de 3 ans. Mal conseillés, ils n’ont pas déposé de recours contentieux devant le tribunal administratif. Le préfet n’a pas donné suite à ce recours gracieux et a donc confirmé sa décision de l’expulser. Il y a 3 semaines, la police est venue interpeler Saïd au domicile du couple et l’a placé en rétention.

Malgré les interventions de nos associations et malgré les éléments fournis à la préfecture par l’avocat du couple, l’expulsion n’a pas été suspendue.

Parallèlement, Saïd a fort heureusement pu faire valoir son droit à la demande d’asile en urgence. Il a donc demandé un réexamen de sa situation à l’OFPRA. Hier, Saïd a été reconnu réfugié selon la convention de Genève. Il est donc libéré, son expulsion est annulée et il a obtenu une protection durable.

Nos associations sont rassurées pour Saïd et elles saluent une décision particulièrement forte de l’OFPRA.

Cependant, nous ne manquons pas aussi de noter que si l’OFPRA ne lui avait pas octroyé le statut de réfugié, Saïd pourrait être aujourd’hui en Algérie séparé de son compagnon avec qui il vit pourtant depuis maintenant 3 ans.

Acceptons-nous que les autorités de notre pays séparent un couple parce que l’un d’entre eux n’a pas de papiers ? Qu’en est-il du droit fondamental à la vie privée et familiale ? Acceptons nous que notre pays brise en quelques jours seulement, la vie d’hommes et de femmes, parfois installés ici depuis de nombreuses années, et cela seulement pour atteindre un objectif chiffré qui n’a pas d’explications ?
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1 comment:

  1. While I am not a translator, I think the following translation, which I did, is better:

    Said is Free and has been Granted Refugee Status - inter-agency news release

    Nearly three weeks ago, our two associations were alerted of Said's situation.

    Said is an Algerian. He arrived in France four years ago. For three years, he has been living in Lyon, France, in a PACS civil union with René.

    Two years ago, Said had sought asylum because of fears of persecution as a homosexual in Algeria, but his application was rejected by the Office Français de Protection des réfugiés et apatrides (OFPRA - French bureau for the protection of refugees and stateless persons), and then by the Cour Nationale du Droit d'Asile (national court on the right of asylum) last December. The prefecture of the Rhone then notified him that he was required to leave French territory within a month. Said and Rene filed an application for review (recours gracieux) before the Prefect of the Rhone seeking the annulment of the decision to deport him, arguing the reality of their PACS civil union, whose shared life they said was solidly documented over more than three years. Poorly advised, they did not file an administrative appeal (recours contentieux) before the administrative tribunal. The Prefect did not respond to the formal complaint and therefore confirmed its decision to expel him. Three weeks ago, the police came to the couple's home and placed Said in detention.

    Despite interventions by our associations and despite the evidence provided to the prefecture by the couple's lawyer, the expulsion was not suspended.

    Fortunately, in the meantime, Said was able to assert his right to claim emergency asylum in the meantime. He therefore requested a review of his situation by OFPRA. Yesterday, Said was recognized as a refugee under the Geneva Convention. He was released, his expulsion was rescinded and he received permanent protection.

    Our associations are reassured about Said and welcome a particularly strong decision by OFPRA.

    However, we do not fail to note also that if OFPRA had not granted him refugee status, Said could be in Algeria today, separated from his companion even though he had been living with him for three years now.

    Do we accept that the authorities of our country separate a couple because one of them has no papers? What about the fundamental right to privacy and family? Do we accept that our country breaks in a few days the lives of men and women, some living here for many years, for no other reason than to achieve a target number which has no explanation?

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