Sophie Dianoko, 30 years old, has worked as an auxillary nurse for the last three years at CHU university hospital in Toulouse. She has lived in France since 2000 and has not been in Mali, her country of birth, since the age of 13, when she left for Russia with her father who was an ambassador there. She has been given an order to leave France (OQFT) on 19/12/11 because her French husband, who has been both violent and unfaithful in their marriage, has refused to meet with the prefecture to prove that they live together. They need to be married for four years before Sophie can claim French nationality, but they have been married less than two.
In mid October, friends and colleagues of Sophie formed a collective called “Urgence Pour Sophie” to support her fight to stay in France.
During the afternoon of Sunday 18th December, the Belgian government’s main immigration office, the “Office des Etrangers” near Brussels’ Gare du Nord station, was targeted by masked protestors. Some windows were smashed, walls were spraypainted, and fireworks and items of street furniture were thrown inside.
Earlier that day a massive police presence had stopped people from demonstating outside the the site of a new detention centre near Brussels airport.
On Tuesday 22nd November, Annick, a volunteer with Fraternité Migrants in the bassin mineur 62 in the north of France, was arrested at home at 6am in front of her two children. Her “crime” was to “help a person in danger”, and for this she was held in custody at the commissariat de Lille. Last week a support committee was established for her, backed by Amnesty International and the Ligue des droits des hommes.
At 2pm on Monday 18th December there will be demo outside “le Caricole” detention centre which will shortly open next to 127 bis detention centre at Steenokkerzeel near Brussels. “Le Caricole” is a state-of-the-art building which is being sold by the Belgian government as a “humane” detention facility.
To coincide with International Migrants Day on 18/12/11, there will be several demos across France. The Pas de Calais collective “d’ailleurs nous sommes d’ici ” has called for a day of denounciation of the centre de rétention of Coquelles (Calais) on 17th December. On 18th December there will be a march from 3pm at Belleville metro in Paris.