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French justice chief resigns amid flap over terrorism bill

Christiane Taubira: ‘sometimes to resist is to remain, sometimes to resist is to leave”


 
French President Francois Hollande  delivers a speech at the Versailles castle, west of Paris, Monday, Nov.16, 2015. French President Francois Hollande is addressing parliament about France's response to the Paris attacks, in a rare speech to lawmakers gathered in the majestic congress room of the Palace of Versailles. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool via AP)

French President Francois Hollande’s  response to the Paris attacks at  the Palace of Versailles. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool via AP)

PARIS — France’s justice minister unexpectedly resigned Wednesday after objecting to President Francois Hollande’s push to revoke citizenship from convicted terrorists with dual nationality.

Hollande announced Christiane Taubira’s resignation Wednesday — just ahead of a Cabinet meeting, and hours before a Parliament commission takes up the citizenship bill.

Taubira, a devoted leftist best known for championing the legalization of gay marriage, tweeted that “sometimes to resist is to remain, sometimes to resist is to leave.”

Taubira, from French Guiana on the Caribbean coast, has been a pioneer for women and minorities in French politics.

Related reading: After Paris, the new war on terror 

She had suffered tensions in the past with centre-leaning Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Taubira is being replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas, a lawmaker from Brittany who is considered a specialist of security issues within the Socialist Party — and seen as close to Valls.

The citizenship bill, prompted by the Paris attacks Nov. 13, is popular among conservatives and the far right but is especially divisive for the governing Socialists. Polls show most French support the idea, but opponents fear it would unfairly target Muslims, and some compare it to the revocation of citizenship of French Jews during World War II.

French and Belgian extremists linked to the Islamic State group, some of Moroccan descent, were behind the Paris attacks, which killed 130 and wounded hundreds.

Taubira was scheduled to travel Wednesday to the United States, where she was to meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of Black Lives Matter, and receive an honorary degree from the University of Wisconsin.

 


 

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