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Four months ago the notoriously brutal policing of migrants in Calais was in the spotlight. The French Defender of Rights produced findings of a year-long investigation which showed the police abuse, long known and resisted by the likes of anti-border activists Calais Migrant Solidarity, officially does happen.

Now the Minister of the Interior has given the long-awaited official response, just don't hold your breath for a mea culpa though. Were the abuses a case of bad apples? No. Necessary evil? Not exactly. Interior Minister Valls has  chosen the left-field, delusional excuse of complete denial, stating: "The points set out in your decision are based essentially on declarations made by representatives of associations which quote non-verifiable statements concerning events which took place some time ago which cannot be supported by any objective facts today. This is the ministerial version of putting your fingers in your ears and saying "la la la I can't hear you".

On the charges of harassment based on the repeated arrests of the same people on the same day for no discernible point, the Minister even claimed that the fault may lie with the migrants themselves, because they have the audacity to move around the city within a 24 hour period. He also suggested that associations may wish to help the pigs out, saying they were invited to 'join expulsion operations to assist migrants'.

In the words of Migreurop, a signatory to the initial report, the Minister has chosen to “close his eyes and to deny an unacceptable reality”, resulting in a “whitewash”. One CMS activist told SchNEWS, “This really isn't a surprise. The police and ministers involved kept their heads down, doing some basic reorganisation of personnel at the border police and being a bit more 'hands off' in public for a while. It was obvious they were just trying to wait it out – it seems keeping schtum until the furore died down then offering up some bland statement of refute was their tactic all along”.

She added: “We can't let them push this under the carpet.”

The situation on the ground in Calais is as chaotic as ever. Even after one aspect of the policing investigation was direct criticism of eviction of squats outside the legal processes, the last two weeks have seen two established squats evicted illegally. We're also told CMS are a bit thin on the ground right now, so if you have spare time for some solidarity activism and police-abuse-documentation, head to Calais.

There is 1 comment on this story...
Added By: Louis Lingg - 20th May 2013 @ 9:40 PM
Once again, I've got to congratulate Schnews. Great work!
One of the only places where we, in France, can here the truth about our country, is on a British site! Sad. Anyway, keep up the good work!
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Twitter: @SchNEWS