Muslims claim discrimination at Paris airport

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October 20, 2006 20:24

 
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Authorities at Paris' largest airport have stripped several dozen employees - almost all Muslim - of their security badges in a crackdown against terrorism, a government official said Friday. Four baggage handlers who lost their clearance filed a joint discrimination lawsuit this week, alleging they had been unfairly associated with terrorism because they are Muslims, their lawyers said. Some had been in their jobs for up to five years. The baggage handlers and other employees have been barred from secure areas at Charles de Gaulle airport since February, said Jacques Lebrot, an official who oversees the airport, in an interview. Lawyers and community groups said the baggage handlers, who worked for subcontractors at the airport, in turn lost their jobs because such work depended on such security clearances. The cases were "linked to terrorism, of course," Lebrot said, adding that the crackdown followed recommendations by France's anti-terrorism coordination unit, UCLAT, as part of an 18-month investigation.

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