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Morocco imam who faced deportation in France, goes missing

Flag of Morocco [Kristin Harvey/Flickr]
Flag of Morocco, 8 May 2019 [Kristin Harvey/Flickr]

A Moroccan imam has gone missing after the top administrative court in France issued a decision to deport him back to Morocco, French media outlets reported quoting police sources.

According to the sources, French police searched for Hassan Iquioussen in his home in Lorches, in the north of the country, but he was not there and now it is believed that he has left for Belgium, following the decision to deport him.

Iquioussen was born in France but he has Moroccan citizenship. Following his disappearance, French police have put him on their most wanted list.

READ: Morocco: Justice and Development Party condemns Israeli delegation visit to Rabat

On Tuesday, France's top administrative court overturned a previous court decision that blocked his deportation, which the Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had ordered in July over "especially virulent anti-Semitic speech".

French cultural and human rights figures have launched a petition calling on President Emmanuel Macron to stop Iquioussen's expulsion.

The petition notes that the decision issued "is evidence of the existence of more serious obstacles to the rule of law and the French State's classification of internal enemies."

Adding that it is implementation of the mounting racist, specifically anti-Islam, legislative arsenal approved during the Macron era.

The petition was signed by journalists, university professors, historians, poets and film critics.

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