French President François Hollande’s plan to strip dual nationals convicted of terrorism off their French citizenship has met with criticism. Experts believe that implementation of such a law will treat dual nationals unfairly.
Hollande announced the plan after deadly Nov. 13 Paris attacks that left 130 people dead and about 350 injured. He had said that he would seek amendments to the constitution under which people convicted of terrorism and related activities could be stripped of their French nationality.
Patrick Weil, a political scientist at Yale University, who met Hollande and told him to avoid the plan, said France would become "the first democracy in the world" to adopt the principle of unequal treatment of dual nationals, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
"It introduces the idea of a different penalty for the same act, just because of the random chance of their birth. That people -- who sometimes don't even know they have a second nationality -- can be banned is like the return of banishment as a penalty," Weil told AFP.
French politicians have also criticized the proposition reportedly saying it was nearly an ideological treason for Hollande’s Socialist Party. "In wanting to steal the thunder of the far right, we risk implementing their programme," Cecile Duflot, a former minister in Hollande's government, said, according to AFP.
However, a poll, conducted by research firm Elabe for BFM-TV, showed Tuesday that 86 percent of people surveyed supported the plan and 67 percent saying it did not contradict left-wing values, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month Australia passed a similar law under which terror convicts with dual citizenships would be stripped off their Australian nationality. “It will also ensure terrorists who are dual nationals are prevented from returning to Australia and dual nationals who engage in terrorism within Australia can be removed where possible,” the country’s Attorney-General George Brandis had said at the time.