Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi arrested and on the verge of being expelled?

Gard imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi, accused of inciting hatred, was arrested this Thursday, February 22.

Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi arrested and on the verge of being expelled?

Gard imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi, accused of inciting hatred, was arrested this Thursday, February 22. He must be placed in a detention center before possible expulsion to Tunisia.

Targeted by a request to withdraw his residence permit, imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi was arrested this Thursday, February 22, around 12:30 p.m., at his home in Bagnols-sur-Cèze, in Gard. The man of Tunisian origin must be placed in a detention center in the Paris region, BFMTV learned from the imam's relatives. At the time of his arrest, Mahjoub Mahjoubi "in shock", again according to his entourage, read the expulsion order signed by the Minister of the Interior. If the procedure has been initiated, to be able to expel the man and send him back to Tunisia, the authorities must wait to receive a consular permit from the Tunisian administration.

The imam and his defense, lawyer Samir Hamroun, intend to file an appeal before the Paris administrative court during the day to “contest this expulsion procedure.” The council explained on BFMTV at the beginning of the afternoon that the summary appeal will make it possible to suspend the eviction procedure decided by Minister Gérald Darmanin and will push the court to rule within "24 to 48 hours". Concretely, the summary expulsion procedure used by the lawyer does not have a suspensive effect on the minister's decision and does not prevent the expulsion immediately. But in practice, Me Hamroun recalls that the administrative authority generally waits for the court's decision before applying penalties, particularly those of expulsion.

With this appeal, the imam and his lawyer hope to prove that there is no urgency to expel Mahjoub Mahjoubi from French territory to give him the opportunity to express himself on this matter. "We are in the process of "witness an unprecedented violation of fundamental rights and public freedoms" underlined Me Hamroun specifying that Mahjoub Mahjoubi was not the subject of any summons to be able to explain the controversy surrounding him after the broadcast of a video of one of his sermons.

The affair around Mahjoub Mahjoubi began on February 18 with the broadcast of a video of the imam giving a sermon in which he evokes "tricolor flags which gangrene us" subsequently described as "Satanist" standards ". It is never specified whether the French flag is in question and the imam assures in his defense that no, that he made a slip of the tongue between "tricolor" and "multicolor" when wanting to talk about African flags.

The Minister of the Interior immediately reacted by requesting the withdrawal of the imam's residence permit, an initiative justified not only by the videos of the sermon, but by the remarks made by Mahjoub Mahjoub during previous sermons according to the prefect of Gard, Jérôme Bonet. The prefect who had reported the imam to the public prosecutor of Gars, believes that the remarks in question “call into question the principles of the Republic”. After the reports, a preliminary investigation into advocating terrorism was opened. Minister Gérald Darmanin, for his part, assured that “no call to hatred will go unanswered”.

NEXT NEWS