Further information on UA: 247/09 Index: EUR 21/015/09 France Date: 25 September 2009
ARRESTED MIGRANTS AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS AT RISK
French authorities have evicted over 278 migrants and asylum-seekers from their makeshift
encampments near Calais. Of those that were arrested approximately 138 adults are now in
detention and are at risk of being sent to countries where they may be at risk of ill-treatment.
French authorities carried out police operations to evict migrants and asylum-seekers living in makeshift
encampments around Calais on 22 September 2009. On the same day French police authorities confirmed to media
sources that a total of 278 male migrants and asylum-seekers had been arrested (arrêtés) during the operation, most
of whom are believed to be Afghan nationals. Of those arrested, 146 adult migrants and asylum-seekers were taken
into police custody (garde à vue), and the remaining 132, believed to be unaccompanied minors, were taken to
special accommodation centres. Police authorities brought in bulldozers to demolish the makeshift encampments as
soon as they had been cleared.
France Terre d’Asile, a French NGO, reported that about 20 of the adults initially arrested were later released.
CIMADE, another French NGO, reported that by the evening of 23 September, 138 of those arrested and held in
police custody had been transferred to various immigration detention centres in France. CIMADE reported that
French authorities are processing a number of migrants and asylum-seekers claiming to be unaccompanied minors
as adults, which means they are subject to detention (rétention) procedures and are at risk of enforced removal.
Many of the migrants and asylum-seekers detained after the police operation have already been notified that French
authorities are seeking to return them to Greece under the Dublin II procedure or directly to Afghanistan. Afghan
nationals who wish to claim asylum may have their claims examined under France’s accelerated “priority” procedure
(la procédure prioritaire), which lacks full procedural safeguards. Many of those detained are at risk of being forcibly
returned to countries where they may be at risk of ill-treatment.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in French or your own language:
Urging the authorities to only continue detention of any asylum-seekers as a last resort, after justifying in each
individual case that it is a necessary and proportionate measure;
demanding that any individuals detained during the police operation in Calais who wish to claim asylum in
France are provided with the full opportunity to do so and are not subjected to the “priority” procedure;
demanding that no asylum-seekers be transferred to any country where they are at risk of torture or other ill-
treatment; and calling for assurances that any deportation procedures are fair and include full procedural
calling on the authorities to ensure that unaccompanied minors are identified, are not detained and are given
access to age-appropriate special care and protection without discrimination and in the best interest of the child;
and to ensure that the benefit of the doubt is given to young people whose age is subject to assessment.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 6 November 2009 TO:
Ministry of Immigration, 101, rue de
75323 Paris CEDEX 07, France
Also send copies to diplomatic
representatives of France accredited to
your country. Please check with your
section office if sending appeals after
the above date.
Fax: +33 177726130/ 177726200
Salutation : Monsieur le Ministre
This is the first update of UA: 247/09 EUR 21/014/2009 (18 September).