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'Ni Oubli, Ni Pardon'

Racist policing in Calais

On the 7th of July a 28-year-old a Sudanese man, ‘N.’, was found dead in a Calais river in unexplained circumstances. French police have refused to investigate the death, just as they have failed to investigate a series of fatalities of migrants in the town over recent years.

The shocking events, combined with the usual racist non response by the authorities has left those that knew N., described as a ‘well-loved’ member of the community, determined to get answers.

On Monday over 40 grieving friends and family protested outside the police station, demanding an official inquiry into how N. drowned. The police are refusing an investigation into his death or an autopsy, and have refused the friends and family access to the man’s body. Instead the media has been fed a convenient story about a phone robbery gone wrong: an explanation refuted by witnesses.

Tuesday morning saw much bigger demonstration outside the Hotel de Police – around 60 people turned out- mainly migrants along with No Borders activists and supporters from other associations. The demo was heavily policed – riot cops the CRS blocked off the street around the police station and one was armed with rubber bullets.

This is the latest in a series of deaths of migrants in Calais which are covered-up by authorities without proper investigation. Just last December another Sudanese man, called Ismael, was found dead under a bridge. Police closed the case immediately as a suicide. His friends have never accepted this explanation. Like the current tragedy, friends were denied the chance to see Ismael’s body, and were threatened with arrest by the PAF (border police) when they asked at the police station. Tellingly only a white French friend was permitted to identify him.

Police brutality against migrants in Calais, always dangerous and deadly, has reached new heights this summer in aid of ‘securing’ the border for the London Olympics. The Calais Migrant Solidarity dossier ‘This Border Kills’ documented incidences of people chased off bridges and into the canal and harbour, as they try to evade imprisonment and the vicious beatings routinely dished out by police.

While details of what happened to N. are being pieced together, migrants and supporters are resolved not to let his death go unnoticed stating ‘We will not let this death be forgotten’.

There is 1 comment on this story...
Added By: Yanniie - 10th April 2013 @ 3:19 AM
LOL and here I was thinking that I was the only one with too many canversotions in my head. Very interesting post. Something most of us U.S. folk can't imagine. Although one of my son\'s went to Germany in 2001 in the Army (he was supposed to leave 9/11 but we all know that story that day) and he has never come back here to live. He got out of the Army in 2005 and told them to stick it where the sun don\'t shine when they tried to reactivate him to go to Iraq. They took away his passport, U.S. Id and changed his discharge from honorable to general.About a year and half later he was able to get Id and passport back, and since then he has lived the immigrant life in Germany. Has mastered the language, has a wife and son and doing great. I may have to get an interview with him on his experiences.Asa, you\'ve been on fiyah lately!!
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