A French Muslim family who had their children taken away by the authorities in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks have got them back.
Meher and Aicha Msakni, from Bourgoin Jallieu near Lyon, were allowed to return home with their five children after a court lifted a confiscation order on Monday. However, other restrictions remain on the family such as their freedom to travel.
The Mskani children, aged 6, 5, 4 , 18 months and 3 months, were taken away a few weeks ago in circumstances which remain unclear.
The family say the father was accused of preparing to take the family to Syria while he was in fact preparing to take them to Tunisia (his mother country) because he felt that France was too Islamophobic.
On the other hand, the authorities said the father was suspected of radicalism and endangering the children’s moral and physical welfare.
The Coordination Against Racism and Islamophobia (CRI), which led a viral campaign on behalf of the family, welcomed the news in a press release.
“We thank every person who has been touched or affected by this exceptional drama and who has expressed their solidarity and compassion towards this damaged family and towards the strong action that our association has taken.
“We hope that the authorities lift the restrictions which have been imposed on this family without any serious basis. The freedom to travel and move is a fundamental liberty and there is no reason why this family and all of its members have had this right taken away.”
CRI added: “We invite all those who responded to our calls to help this family to continue to mobilize because it is essential now to condemn the zealous and irresponsible officials who committed these administrative and judicial errors. We ask the court to punish wrongdoers and make amends for this injustice to children, in particular, which is irremediable.”
The Charlie Hebdo and other attacks in January killed 17 people. Since then many observers feel that France has been in a state of hysteria with Muslims being targeted on a regular basis.