France. Since 11 April, people have been revolting in several detention centres (CRAs) across France (and of course in other places, like Belgium). People locked up in CRA Mesnil-Amelot (Paris) had occupied and blocked part of the building. In Vincennes (Paris), a fire started. Prisoners in Oissel (Rouen) have declared a hunger strike. Beginning March, people have been actively resisting the conditions in detention centres during the time of confinement and detention in itself.
Image above. Archive image: 2008 Vincennes CRA on fire.
Originally published by Calais Migrant Solidarity.
Prisoners are revolting against already poor conditions which have only worsened: the lack of proper hygiene measures, reduced cleaning, the lack of medical care for those infected with corona virus, no testing for those potentially contaminated, overcrowding. People are demanding freedom for all!
Initially, at the onset of confinement measures related to Covid-19, the state had freed prisoners throughout prisons and detention centres (migrant prisons). Several detention centres were emptied. Later, people were transferred from prisons to previously emptied detention centres. Now, while some centres remain empty, buildings closed in other centres are being reopened. People are being transferred from centre to centre (frequently as a measure to punish those who revolt and cut people from support networks). CRA Coquelles is currently empty, the 8 people who were last there having been transferred to CRA Lesquin.
During this time of emergency measures, it becomes more clear that the situation (albeit worsened) is not at all exceptional for those who do not have the “good” papers. While the borders are closed and deportations are suspended, people are kept locked up. During confinement measures, people are not able to receive visitors, receive any packages (food, money, cigarettes); phones to access those detained are frequently not working. People are unable to see their lawyers or those working for associations; even judgements take place without people being present at their own court proceedings. Those isolated are even more isolated.There are no good conditions in detention. As a measure of good hygiene, empty them all, burn them all down!
At this time, to support people in detention, be in touch with those detained and spread the information. You can contact the cabin phones inside the CRAs. If it’s the first time you call please make sure to read the helpful documentation compiled on the À bas les CRA website [Fr].
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