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The trial of RFI's Hausa-language correspondent in Cameroon, Ahmed Abba, has been postponed for a month, by which date he will have spent 17 months in prison, because experts had failed to provide a report on the contents of his computers and mobile phone at today's hearing. France Médias Monde again called for his release and the dismissal of complicity with terrorism charges.
Baby Loup lawyer Richard Malka (L) with director Natalia Baleato
A French court has ruled that a private nursery had the right to fire an employee for wearing Islamic head-cover, leading its lawyer to hail an advance for secular forces in the country.
An appeal court in Versailles backed up an earlier ruling by a labour court that the Baby Loup nursery in Mantes-la-Jolie was within its rights to sack Fatima Afif in 2008 for refusing to take off her headscarf.
Explainer - the background to France's burka debate
The ruling creates jurisprudence because it is the first time a private educational establishment has invoked its right to enforce “religious neutrality”, the principle behind the 2004 French law which banned “ostentatious signs of religion” in state schools.
“It’s a victory for us, it’s of course a victory for the nursery and beyond that it’s a victory for France and for secularism,” declared Baby Loup’s lawyer Richard Malka.
He claimed that "religious neutrality within a company guarantees being able to live alongside one another. It guarantees that there isn’t religious tension, it guarantees equality between employees and it protects minorities."
Afif, who was claiming 80,000 euros in compensation for unfair dismissal, has the right to appeal.
The case excited charges of religious discrimination by some Muslims and the government’s anti-racist body, Halde, causing a split in its ranks.