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Deportation of migrant camp in Paris – police under attack | Free press

Paris (dpa) – The aggressive approach taken by the Parisian police in the evacuation of a migrant camp has sparked outrage in France.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin spoke of “shocking” images and called in the police supervisor, who is considered the powerful “police force”. Numerous videos showed how officials used tear gas against migrants and protesters.

The incident highlights France’s migration policy and a new law intended to restrict the publication of images of police operations.

With support from aid organizations, several hundred migrants set up tents on the Place de la République in eastern Paris on Monday evening – the police responded immediately. The action was a protest against the evacuation of a huge camp with several thousand inhabitants last week. Aid agencies accuse the authorities of not providing adequate housing for the migrants at the time – many had become homeless after the deportation.

Videos of the current eviction and the demonstration afterwards show that the police sometimes acted very aggressively towards the migrants and protesters. One shot shows a migrant just being tipped from his tent, while other videos show the use of batons. An investigation was opened against a police officer who allegedly intentionally tripped a migrant, the prosecutor said. A journalist from the online medium «Brut» accuses an officer of attacking him three times. The public prosecutor has also started an investigation in this case.

Left-wing politician Éric Coquerel, who himself was there, described the police’s behavior as “disproportionate”. He was pushed around by the police, he told Franceinfo. There are now mainly videos on the net that document the actions of the police. At the same time, parliament is debating the so-called global security law, which according to the government should better protect the police.

A controversial paragraph states that the publishing of photos by security officers in action can be penalized if the goal is to harm the police officers’ physical or mental integrity. Media workers see this as an attack on the freedom of the press and fear repression during demonstrations.

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that he would submit the controversial article to the Constitutional Council for consideration – this is the main guardian of the constitution in France. In the evening, the House of Representatives gave the green light for the security law – but it has not yet been passed, it will now be in the Senate.

Time and again, such migrant camps in and around Paris are evacuated, and a short time later new tent cities are built elsewhere – usually to the northeast of Paris. The problem is also the lack of permanent housing and initial reception facilities for people. Aid organizations see this as a deterrent to the government. In the camps, the migrants live in inhumane conditions – there are no sanitation facilities and almost no running water.

As with the current deportations, there are often Afghans among the migrants. In France, the recognition rate for them is higher than in other European countries, such as Germany. Some of them, whose asylum applications have already been rejected in another country, are currently hiding in France – including in tent camps. You are trying to file a new application in France when a certain deadline has passed and the country in which the original application was filed is no longer competent.


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