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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: L’histoire d’un drame annoncé

by E. R.

Expulsions from France: a Predictable Drama

Translated Saturday 23 December 2006, by Emily Plank

The Raba family arrived in Pristina, Kosovo yesterday and was accompanied back to its home village by intervention forces.

The parents are just twenty six and twenty seven years old, the children seven, four and three. Following seventeen days of detention (prison) at the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry centre, the Raba family was transferred to Roissy in the early hours of Saturday morning, where the mother, Shpresa, realised they were being sent back to Kosovo on a Balkan airline. She violently rebelled in front of her powerless children and husband and had to be hospitalised in Paris and Lyon for injuries sustained in refusing to board the plane. She could only move with the aid of crutches.

The family was then repatriated to the detention centre in Lyon. Following two court hearings, one the next day (Sunday), the other on Tuesday morning, the children and their parents where flown to Toulouse for another night in a detention centre. They left the following morning for Pristina on one of the French Interior Minister’s planes, surrounded by six French police officers. They landed at a foggy Tirana on Wednesday evening, where they spent hours sitting in airport chairs with nothing to eat before leaving yesterday morning for Pristina.

Received by the UNMIK, the international intervention force in Kosovo, Shpresa, Jousef, Qirim, Dashnor and Dashruje were handed over to the International Organisation for Migration, “the executive branch of European politics for these issues”. Its aim was to return the Raba family to its home village: Orahovac, however, for the moment, things have not gone quite to plan: the young woman is fighting for her life after being raped, in what is considered an “honour crime” in Kosovo, by a member of the national police force, which still prides itself on its strong presence. Her young husband risks death after refusing to obey the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army). All other family members who had been in danger have received an asylum permit for three European countries… At 2pm yesterday, Jousef’s brother in France was unaware of the forced return to Orahovac. He was already in despair: last night in Tirana, the police had refused to allow his sister-in-law to go back and get her mobile phone charger that had been left in the plane.

Nicolas Sarkozy has won the war against three children traumatised for life and a young couple whose only hope was to survive. Details of the family’s journey from Tirana are not being released by the general management of the national police force. They were in a meeting yesterday with their minister, who was celebrating his employees’ good work on a bulletin. Did they also crack open the champagne to justify their harshness towards innocent people?

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