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Police violence: an open letter from #Calais

France. An open letter by the Eritrean Refugee community of Calais about police violence.

Originally published by Calais Migrants Solidarity.

To the Préfet of Pas-de-Calais
To the media
To all people concerned
Calais, Monday 13 th April 2020
Open Letter from the Eritrean community of Calais Jungle

Before we get to start writing our complaint about what is happening to us with the CRS (Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité), we would like to say something about ourselves; We are migrants from Eritrea. The reason we are here is because we want to live in a safe place, and have a future. We are not criminals, we are just innocent migrants trying to go to the UK and pursue our dreams.

Our complaint is about the CRS company and their aggressive, impulsive actions on us.
They don’t think that we are humans. They called us names like monkey, bitch, etc….
And a couple weeks ago, they started threatening our lives by keeping on beating us every time they get a chance, like when they found two or three people walking around the foodstreet (note : near the food distribution place) or, in our tents when we are sleeping.
They keep driving fast towards us on the street, like they want to run us over, and they started taking people with them to some places outside of Calais and keeping on beating them until they faint out.
They hide their personal code (note: RIO number) when they are doing something wrong to us. And whenever they see we are recording while they are doing so, they break our mobiles and our bodies.

Below is a list of all the recent acts of violence we have faced. Each one happened in Calais and was carried out by CRS.

– 26th of March 2020, 3.30pm: one person was tear-gassed and beaten by the CRS after being denied entry to Carrefour Supermarket.

– 27th of March 2020, 2pm: two people walking near Stade de L’Epopée to get food at the distribution were beaten by CRS (company 8). As a result one of them has a broken arm.

– 27th of March 2020: two people walking near the BMX park to get to the food distribution were beaten and tear-gassed by the CRS (company 8).

– 28th of March 2020, 9am: one person walking along Rue Mollien was thrown to the ground and beaten by CRS (company 8).

– 28th of March 2020, 3pm: two people walking near the BMX park to get to the food distribution were beaten and tear-gassed by the CRS (company 8).

– 28th of March 2020, 3.30pm: one person walking alone along Quai Lucien L’heureux, going back to his camp, was beaten and hit in the back of the head with a telescopic baton by the CRS (company 8).

– 28th of March 2020: four people walking near the BMX park were beaten with a telescopic baton by the CRS (company 8).

– 31th of March 2020, 12h50: two people pulled out of a truck were beaten by CRS (company 8) on Rue des Sablières. One person was complaining about strong pain in the arm, one person was left nearly unconscious and had to be brought to the hospital by an ambulance.

The Eritrean Refugee community of Calais, April 13, 2020.


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