Hollande says deported Roma high school student can return to France alone
Leonarda Dibrani, the 15 year-old Roma schoolgirl whose deportation from France sparked a huge outcry, plays with her brother Rocky and sister Medina at their temporary home in Mitrovica on Oct. 19. AFP photoFrench President François Hollande said Oct. 19 that Leonarda Dibrani, a 15-year-old schoolgirl of Roma gypsy origin at the centre of a high-profile deportation case, could return to France to continue her studies, but without the rest of her family.
“If she makes the request, in view of the circumstances, and if she would like to continue her schooling in France, she will be welcomed back,” Hollande said during a televised press conference in Paris.
The president’s announcement came amid outrage in France over the teenager’s detention during a school trip on October 9. The case has gained wide attention, with fellow secondary-school students organising large protests in France this week in defence of their former fellow student.
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