- The end of the double
After twenty years of struggle and suffering, a bill to end
the double sentence will be finally introduced in the National
Assembly in June. When a foreigner was finishing his time in
prison for a crime he had committed, he was yet to receive a
second sentence by being expulsed from the French territory.
Prison + expulsion = double sentence.
- Each year, 5,000 to 6,000 persons were victims of this
double sentence. Many found themselves expulsed to a country
that was completely foreign to them and without even knowing
its language. Far from their family, their obsession was to come
During the last twenty years, in various cities of France, I
remember going to comfort and support victims of the double sentence
being on hunger strike. They were born or arrived at a very young
age in France. They had a family with young children. Their wives
were courageous and fully supportive. These men have spent most
of their life in our country. Why force them to leave the French
territory to a country that they don't know?
The law of double sentence is a scandal. It is inhuman. The
movie producer Bernard Tavernier has been courageous enough to
make a film called: "Stories about broken lives"
- Lawyers had requested the application of Article 17 of
the International Treaty regarding civil and political rights:
"Nobody can be submitted to arbitrary or illegal enquiry
of his private life, his family
" and Article 8 of
the European Convention of human rights and fundamental liberties:
"Everybody is entitled to the respect of his private and
family life and of his correspondence".
Fortunately, private associations have demonstrated against
the double sentence under the principle that foreigners and French
citizens should endure the same sentences.
- Public opinion has been made aware of this. It was time
at last! But this useless law has caused immense suffering.