Palestinian activist Mariam Abudaqa, who came to France for a speaking tour in September, was detained Wednesday night in Paris after a court approved her deportation, her lawyer said.
Wednesday’s ruling by the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest administrative court, said the 72-year-old Abudaqa, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was “likely to seriously disturb public order”.
Abudaqa, who was placed under house arrest for four days in October, had said she planned to leave Paris for Egypt on Saturday.
She is currently being held at a police station in Paris, her lawyer said. Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The French government has cracked down on expressions of solidarity with Palestine following the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas. Some demonstrations have been banned and events cancelled, and French authorities have accused some pro-Palestinian groups of condoning terrorism.
More than 10,000 people were killed in Gaza by Israel’s retaliatory attack on the enclave. Abudaqa said she had lost 30 members of her family since the start of the war.
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“We are supposed to die without even saying ah, without expressing pain,” Abudaqa said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The anti-occupationist and women’s rights activist had been invited to address the French National Assembly at an event on Thursday, but her participation was blocked in October by the assembly’s president.
The Conseil d’Etat based its decision on Abudaqa’s membership in the PFLP, stating that it holds a “leading” position.
The PFLP is the second largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is recognized by the UN and Israel but is blacklisted by the EU and has carried out attacks against Israelis.
Pierre Stambul, an activist with the Union of French Jews for Peace who supported Abudaqa’s court challenge, said she had not held a senior position in the group for more than twenty years.
The decision is a “continuation of the criminalization of the Palestinian population,” he said.
The home secretary’s office did not respond for comment.
Abudaqa said she has trouble sleeping as Israeli raids on Gaza continue and is afraid to check her phone for fear of more bad news.
“Dying is much easier than staying here while my heart aches for them. Or having to get news every day of one of them dying,” he said.
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