The French authorities have taken three Muslim children away from their mother in Bourgoin Jallieu near Lyon, media report said.
At the time the father, Meher Msakni, was in Tunisia but he immediately returned home to France upon hearing the news, World Bulletin reported.
Msakni told 5Pillars editor Roshan Muhammed Salih that his wife was told by the authorities that he was suspected of radicalism.
Msakni said he never had any such intention and was in Tunisia preparing to bring his family back there as he felt he could no longer “practice Islam in France” saying also that repeated requests to see his children were denied and is unaware of their location. The children are aged 6, 5, 4, 18 months and 3 months.
5Pillars editor Roshan Muhammed Salih visited the police station in Bourgoin Jallieu on Monday but they refused to comment on the case.
The Lyon-based Coalition against Racism and Islamophobia (CRI) said the mother, Aicha, received a visit from the police and social services on Thursday and on the orders of the judicial authorities they took three of the younger children. The older ones were separately picked up from their school.
According to CRI, while this was taking place the mother was panicked and crying and was begging the authorities to let her breastfeed her 3 month old son.
In a statement CRI said, “With unimaginable cruelty and violence, the children were taken to an unknown destination with devastating consequences for their psycho-emotional state, and without being able to see their mother.
“We learned with amazement that the mother wanted to breastfeed her baby with her own milk and had provided a bottle for this which was refused by the police who responded ‘powdered milk will be given,” CRI added.
“We are appalled by the inhumanity of separating a breastfed baby of 3 months from her mother, and to deny that breast milk be given,” it added.