At 8am on Wednesday 22nd May the ‘Egyptian squat’ in Calais, considered the largest squat in the town, was evicted, reports La Voix du Nord. 17 sans-papiers, from Egypt, Palestine and Syria, were inside at the time. At 10am a mechanical crane arrived and destroyed the front part of the building.
The sous-préfet of Calais, Alain Gérard, who was present during the eviction, said that the operation took place ‘without aggressiveness, with dignity and with humanity’.
According to the report, shortly after the eviction a number of other sans-papiers arrived who had been staying in the squat but had been out overnight trying to secure passage across the Channel.
The following is a translation of a report from the Deportatie Verzet website:
The situation of Nessar, the spokesperson from the group of hunger strikers in Rotterdam detention centre who was put in isolation on Friday night, has become critical. After 4 days refusing water his kidneys have begun to give up. Despite this he refuses to be taken to hospital. He has also declared that he does not want any artificial food or medicine.
“I am not a criminal. I do not want to be treated as a criminal.” And so Nessar continues not to drink. And this is killing him.
Nessar is not only dying from his thirst strike. The manager of the detention centre has said that from now on he must be woken up every hour. That means that he can no longer sleep. The deprivation of sleep is a proven torture technique. That says Nessar himself: “This is torture. This cannot happen. I have said, put me in a cell with CCTV, then you can see if I am still alive. But they do not want to do that.” The manager has said: “We will not put you in an isolation cell, because if we do so your lawyer can make a complaint”
Every hour when the guards come to Nessar’s cell they put the light on, and they turn the lock in the heavy metal door, thus waking him up. The cell is cold: the ventilator is on all the time and is pointed towards his bed.
Nessar’s situation is life-threatening. And all he is doing all of this to let us know in what a hell he and other asyluim seekers find themselves in after they come to the Netherlands seeking sanctuary.
Here is an update on the hunger strike in Schiphol, translated from the Deportatie Verzet website:
Despite the heavy pressure on the asylum seekers, there is still a group of 20 hunger strikers in Schiphol detention centre.
Two of the hunger strikes have been placed permanently in isolation, another two have meanwhile been taken to the medical detention centre. Guards and management are holding out for the end of the hunger strike, and are refusing to speak to the hunger strikers about any of their demands. The hunger strikers, they say, are giving the ‘justice’ institution a ‘bad name’.
Deportatie Verzet have spoken with I, a 29 year old woman from Mali. She fled her own country because of violence, sought asylum here and has been imprisoned for the last 6 months. She is sick, but her repeated demands for medical support have been ignored. In protest against her detention and against the lack of healthcare, on 1st May she and other asylum seekers in Schiphol detention centre went on hunger strike.
She has spent the last two days in an isolation cell, with just a mattress and a thin sheet. She was cold there.
The light stayed on for 24 hours a day and it was so bright that she couldn’t sleep. Today she was again brought back to her wing but she was in a bad way.
You can listen to I’s story (in English), told by another detainee, here.
Yesterday morning (06/05/13) migrants were violently evicted from an empty building belonging to the conseil général in Montreuil, east of Paris.
The police used several rounds of tear gas and fired ‘flash balls’ (rubber bullets) during the eviction, and 4 people were arrested.
From telephone calls during a solidarity demo outside Schiphol migrant prison yesterday (05/05/13), activists learned that there are currently between 20 and 26 detainees on hunger strike there.
The hunger strike began on 1st May, with the strikers demanding freedom. They are being placed in isolation cells every evening at 5pm and not released until 8am the following morning. This is ‘for their own safety’, according to the guards at the prison.