In summer 1996, 300 sans-papiers occupied l’église Saint-Bernard, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, demanding regularisation. On 23rd August police battered down the door and evicted the occupants. This Saturday, people will march through Paris under the banner: ‘Only one solution: global regularisation of sans-papiers!”. The march starts at 1pm at the Metro Republique.
A Roma family from Kosovo were freed from Lesquin detention centre in Lille on Sunday 21st August, reports Liberation, after a JLD (judge of liberty and detetion) ruled that their treatment had been “inhumane and degrading”. The family – mother, four-month pregnant mother, and three children aged 4, 7 and 10 – were arrested on 17th August in Clermont-Ferrand. The JLD underlined the risk of health to the mother and unborn child of detention and questioned why the family had been brought to detention in Lille, a 10 hour journey from Clemont-Ferrand, rather than to Lyon.
A 45 year old Romanian man who has been detained in the detention centre at Nimes since 31st July was found hanged in his cell at 6am this morning, Saturday 13th August. According to Cimade, the man had been in France for two years and worked in construction.
On Saturday 6th August, on the first anniversary of the eviction of an ex-Sécurité sociale office housing sans papiers, 400 people, including former residents of the squat, marched through Paris demanding regularisation. Maman Cissoko, one of the demonstrators who has worked in France for the last decade without papers, told Liberation: “The fight continues, we remain mobilised until all the sans-papiers are regularised”.
On Monday 1st August France’s largest “administrative retention centre” (CRA) opened at Mesnil-Amelot near Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. It can hold up to 240 detainees including children and has been build on a modern prison model, with buildings in a star facing towards the centre, surveillance cameras, movement detectors. There is a tribunal next to the CRA and the whole site is encirled with barbed wire. The centre’s opening has been denounced by many French associations including Cimade. (See their press release in French here).