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Paris Police Taking Away Blankets From Migrants Sleeping Rough on Streets – MSF

Paris Police Taking Away Blankets From Migrants Sleeping Rough on Streets – MSF

Paris Police Taking Away Blankets From Migrants Sleeping Rough on Streets – MSF
January 10
15:23 2017

Police in Paris have been accused of putting the lives of homeless migrants in danger by taking away their blankets as temperatures dropped to freezing, the international aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said on Sunday.
“[Police] are waking them up in the middle of the night, taking away their covers… They use tear gas to disperse these people, not allowing them to sit down as they queue for a place in a local shelter,” MSF said in a statement.
“In Paris police are making migrants’ lives a real nightmare. Ever since the last makeshift camp was torn down, the authorities have been working hard to make people believe that the problem has been solved.”

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“We have learned that despite the demolition of makeshift refugee camps, the migrants who fail to find a place in the overcrowded shelter near the entrance to La Chapelle metro station don’t go anywhere and some of them live right under a bridge,” the statement continued.
“Our teams saw with their own eyes how the police were taking away the blankets used by the migrants sleeping rough in the street. These confiscations made in the heart of winter are no secret to anyone as other charity groups have seen the same,” MSF representative Samuel Hanryon said.
“Those standing in line outside the humanitarian center in Paris are not allowed to lie down or sleep,” he added.
Samuel Hanryon complained about the authorities’ failure to deal with the problem.
“Each winter we have this very same problem with overcrowded reception centers and hundreds of people having to say outdoors waiting for a place to stay. In 2016 the number of people seeking political asylum in France reached 100,000 and according to the information we have, their numbers keep growing all the time,” he added.
“Some of these migrants have never experienced a European winter before and are left absolutely freezing. Their lives are in serious danger, but the police do not care,” a local charity worker said.
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Meanwhile, a Paris police source said that they were under orders to keep the city free of illegal camps.
On October 24, 2016 French authorities started to dismantle the notorious refugee camp in Calais relocating migrants to other facilities across the country. In total, more than 5,500 former residents of the camp have taken refuge in special accommodation centers across France.
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Since the beginning of Calais dismantling, hundreds of migrants started arriving in Paris, organizing makeshift camps.
According to the final census from Help Refugees and L’Auberge des Migrants charities, the population of the Calais Jungle on the eve of demolition stood at 8,143 people with 1,496 of them being minors, mostly unaccompanied.
Europe is struggling to find a solution to a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The EU border agency Frontex detected over 1.83 million illegal border crossings in 2015, in contrast to some 283,000 in 2014.

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Edward Bokhua

Edward Bokhua

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