Yesterday morning, 22 October 2020, the prefecture of Pas de Calais proceeded again to the eviction and massive destruction of a camp. It was the place called “Unicorn jungle”, where nearly 300 displaced people were living, according to the distribution of tents made by Utopia 56, one week before. Once again, the associations denounce the brutality and inefficiency of these operations. They do not respect the fundamental rights of people.

The associations denounce the violation of the right to come and go of the displaced persons. Once again, a dozen buses had been chartered to take them to an unknown destination. The authorities proceeded to a “sheltering” operation of at least 190 people.

A “sheltering operation” of men, but also of women and children.

The uselessness of this “sheltering” operation can be seen, in particular, in the frequency of these operations.

The associations denounce the forced nature of these operations. From 7:20 am, the police forces arrived with their usual armada (national gendarmerie, national police, border police, BAC, …). The consent and the will of the evicted persons is absolutely not taken into consideration. In fact, a real manhunt was carried out to try to make them disappear. The process is always the same: when a bus arrives, the people are encircled and escorted by the police, preventing them from leaving.

The associations denounce the violation of peoples’ right to property. The people are evicted without even being able to take the time to gather their belongings, which are confiscated or thrown away. Several hours after the operation, the violence can still be felt when you go to the camp. A pan of rice still full is on the fire, shoes are lying around, a tent, water cans, a little girl’s T-shirt, a blanket, …

The associations denounce the lack of respect for the right to private and family life of displaced persons. The Human Rights Observers team was able to report on a striking scene during which the police refused to allow a man to join his family on a bus.

The associations denounce the absence of the right to be heard (in law, the adversarial principle). Indeed, several hours later, a single page of the order on request is conspicuously displayed in the middle of the living site. This is the legal basis for the eviction with an authorisation to use public force. This procedure makes it possible to override the right of displaced people to be heard. The same reasons are used each time: public health, public security and public order problems.

Once again, the associations denounce the brutality and inefficiency of these operations. The associations denounce the violation of the fundamental rights of the evicted persons, not exhaustively listed.

Signatory Organisations

La Cabane Juridique
L’Auberge des migrants
First Aid Support
Team Salam