Yesterday April 6, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., six large-scale eviction operations took place in Calais. Without any concomitant sheltering operation, the displaced people were evictd from their place of residence. HRO teams counted at least 126 tents, 170 tarpaulins and 77 blankets taken from people by the police. At least 76 of these tents contained personal belongings which could not be recovered. Numerous evicted persons reported that in this operation they lost many valuable items such as identity documents, medicines, cell phones and even money.

These evictions took place as temperatures fell to 3 ° C yesterday. The authorities have chosen not to activate the ‘Plan Grand Froid’ – an emergency accommodation measure that is activated in case of severe cold weather – while removing nearly 300 people from their makeshift shelters, leaving them unprotected against hail and snow.

The Police Commissioner of Calais, present at the time of these operations, justified these evictions on the basis of the ‘flagrante delicto’ of occupation of land, even though in law this cannot be a basis for evicting people. It is particularly telling that one of these eviction operations took place only eleven days after a court decision in favor of the inhabitants of that living site. Indeed, by an order of March 26, 2021, the administrative court of Lille had rejected the request from the municipality of Calais to have the land inhabited by the Eritrean community evicted. The judge noted in particular that “the State services have erected, for the benefit of migrants, sanitary facilities, and it is where the association La Vie Active, mandated for this purpose, distributes food and ‘drinking water twice a day’ “.

While the administrative judge rejected the request for eviction from one of these sites, the instrumentalisation of Criminal Law to achieve this end then appears all the more abusive. This maneuver of bypassing legal channels is at the service of a repressive policy of harassment of people on the move in Calais. These evictions are a further step in the inhumanity displayed by the auhtorities and the abusive misuse of the law in Calais.

Signatory Organisations

Human Rights Observers (HRO)
Auberge des Migrants
La Cabane juridique
Project Play
Collective Aid
Utopia 56 Calais
Salam Nord / Pas-de-Calais
Refugee InfoBus