UK & World News

  • 19 August 2014, 12:22

Muslim Engineer Banned From Nuclear Plants

A Muslim engineer has been denied access to French nuclear power stations where he normally works over alleged security issues, according to reports.

The 29-year-old project manager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was allowed on to the sites as part of his job between 2012 and 2013.

But in March this year he was refused permission to work at the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power station in eastern France after a police investigation.

The man was employed by a firm subcontracted by French energy giant EDF and his pass was reportedly revoked by management after he failed a vetting process.

His lawyer has reportedly said the move was "pure Islamophobia".

The decision to stop his access was covered by "Secret Defence" - which means authorities are not required to publicly justify the decision.

In June this year his lawyer Sefen Guez, who works with France's Anti-Islamophobia Collective (CCIF), was able to get the ban overturned by an appeals court

However, when the engineer turned up for work a month later, he was once again refused access.

He has now launched a second appeal and while he waits for a decision, expected at the end of August, he has been reassigned to administrative work.

Mr Guez said: "This country respects the rule of law and my client, a qualified man with no criminal record who practices his religion in a normal way, like many other French Muslims, would quite naturally like to know the reasons for this ban."

He told France 24 that "considering the current atmosphere in France, his religious leanings cannot be ruled out" as a reason behind the ban.

But officials from the police chief's office said: "It goes without saying that the ban was not based on criteria such as religion or race... Our judgement is based on security issues."

A spokesman for EDF told Sky News the energy firm was unable to comment on the matter as legal proceedings were under way.

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