William Molinié, edited by Alexandre Dalifard / Photo credit: OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP 06h05, June 09, 2023

In the aftermath of the stabbing attack of the 31-year-old man, of Syrian nationality, on six people in Annecy, a question arises: did the assailant have the right to be in France? Arrived in the territory last autumn on a regular basis, thanks to the refugee status granted by Sweden, the man was therefore allowed to remain in France.

This Friday, the day after the black Thursday experienced by the city of Annecy, where a 31-year-old man attacked six people with knives, including four children, a question arises: did he have the right to be in France? If the man is of Syrian nationality, he was still in a regular situation in France.

Already under protection in Sweden

This Syrian refugee, who lived in Sweden for ten years, entered French territory last autumn on a completely regular basis, according to the authorities, because he benefited from the refugee status granted by the Swedish authorities. The Schengen area was therefore open to him with a permit valid until 2025. On 28 November, he applied for asylum with the French Office for the Protection of Refugees, Ofpra. His identity is immediately screened by the DGSI and French intelligence does not detect any danger.

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At the end of the examination of his asylum application, the Ofpra refuses him, in a decision rendered on April 26, refugee status because he is already under protection in Sweden. According to information from Europe 1, he was informed recently, only a few days ago. He was therefore allowed to remain in France, under the European agreements, and his expulsion would have been very complicated anyway. Because the France does not send illegal immigrants back to their countries of origin which are at war. There is no longer any diplomatic relationship between the Quai d'Orsay and Bashar al-Assad's Syria.