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Anti-racism campaigner kicked off advisory committee in France

A ROW has exploded in France after a high-profile anti-racism campaigner was kicked off a government advisory committee leading to the resignation of its chair.

Journalist Rokhaya Diallo has consistently spoken out about institutional racism in France including the targeting by police of non-white men for stop-and-search.

Ms Diallo was appointed last week to an independent commission of 30 digital experts to advise President Emmanuel Macron on a new and inclusive digital policy.

But the government caved to far-right activists who attacked Ms Diallo on social media and right-wing party Les Republicains complained that she had attended feminist meetings where black women discussed racism and sexism.

Committee chair Marie Ekeland promptly resigned and said the row showed “in France, we don’t want to hear dissonant voices. It shows to what point we don’t know how to calmly debate different points of view.”

France’s Human Rights Association called the move “worrying,” adding: “In a democracy, the state must respect the pluralism of opinions to inform public action and enrich it.”

Ms Diallo accused people in France of “putting their heads in the sand” over the issue of institutional racism.

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