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French police launch ‘brutal’ assault on refugee camps in Calais

FRENCH police have launched a “brutal campaign of evictions” of refugees camping in Calais, charity Care4Calais warned today.

The group said “the biggest police action ... since they cleared the old ‘jungle’ in 2016” had involved more than 500 asylum-seekers being forced onto buses and removed from the camps on Friday, while on Saturday officers returned, firing tear gas at “defenceless people” and setting fire to tents.

Care4Calais founder Clare Moseley said new French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin — whose appointment has sparked protests by feminists, as he faces an ongoing rape investigation — would be visiting the city today and was “new and wants to make an impact,” while she also said that British Home Secretary Priti Patel had been pressing France to act against the refugees.

Following the attack on the camp many refugees had gone a whole day without food or water and would be forced to sleep on the streets, the charity maintained.

“These evictions are political, but not practical,” she said. “Evictions do not work. When the big Calais Jungle was demolished in 2016 they said it would stop migrants coming to Calais, but the camps continued to exist. 

“Since then the policy of violent evictions has persisted, but it has not changed the situation on the ground. Continual evictions and harassment have no effect other than to further damage people’s physical and mental health.

“The way to solve the refugee crisis is to treat people with basic decency and to provide a safe and legal process by which they can apply for asylum at the UK border in France. The sooner the politicians realise that, the better.”

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