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French court scraps Guinean’s deportation because of Ebola epidemic

A local council building in Guéckédou, Guinea, where Ebola patients are cared for
A local council building in Guéckédou, Guinea, where Ebola patients are cared for RFI/Olivier Rogez
2 min

An illegal immigrant from Guinea escaped deportation from France because of the Ebola epidemic in his homeland on Friday. His lawyer hopes the case has set a legal precedent.

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A court in the eastern French city of Nancy overruled an order to deport the young man because of the risk to his health due to the Ebola virus, his lawyer Anne-Laure Taesch told the AFP news agency.

He did not leave because of the epidemic but “probably for economic reasons”, she said, and he admitted arriving in France illegally in March.

Since then he has spent time in a children’s home and in prison for falsely claiming social security payments.

Since he claimed to be only 16 years old, Taesch tried to have the deportation order scrapped on the grounds that he was a minor but a bone test established his age as 19.

The court still ruled against sending him back to Guinea because of the Ebola outbreak, which has claimed 2,461 lives in west Africa, and Taesch hopes that a precedent has been established for similar cases.

A French nurse was flown back to France overnight after contracting the virus in Liberia.

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