About 3,000 migrants evacuated from a large camp in Saint-Denis

The police evacuated Tuesday in Saint-Denis about 3,000 migrants who lived in a large camp at the foot of the Stade de France, in an evacuation operation organized by the authorities three weeks after national containment.

“3,000 people, including 400 in families, were taken care of (…) and were offered an emergency accommodation situation. These people will benefit from a social, health and administrative diagnosis,” said Tuesday evening the Paris police headquarters, the prefectures of the Ile-de-France region and Seine-Saint-Denis which jointly carried out this operation.

From 4:30 a.m., migrants were ready to board buses but the operation, supervised by a large police force, did not really begin until around 7:00 a.m. in the direction of 26 reception centers and gymnasiums in Ile-de-France.

The journalists were kept at a safe distance by the police.

At around 10:00 a.m., the first of the planned 70 buses started transferring the migrants, mostly single men from Afghanistan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.

“I do not know where I am going, it will surely be far from Paris and for a short time, but I prefer that to stay in these conditions, even if it is stressful”, explained to AFP Elyaas Ehsas, a 27-year-old Afghan, “dubliné” and installed since October in the camp.

The Dublin European Regulation places the responsibility for examining a migrant’s asylum application on the first country of entry into the European Union.

According to the count of the association France Terre Asile, operator of the State, about 2,400 exiles were still living the day before in this camp which has continued to grow since August.

According to Utopia56, “around 800 people” in exile, however, were unable to board the buses for lack of space and were forced to disperse by the police who used tear gas.

– “Never seen” –

“Even in (the” jungle “) of Calais, I have never seen that: it was nothing but gassing and violence”, denounced Yann Manzi, co-founder of this association, who deplored a “disorganization “and a” poorly sized “device that forced these migrants to” wander “in the streets Tuesday evening.

“These camps are not acceptable”, explained to the press earlier the Paris police chief Didier Lallement. “This operation is taking place to ensure that people in a regular situation can find the necessary shelter.” Those in an irregular situation “are not intended to stay on the territory”, underlined the prefect.

All people in care will first be tested for Covid-19 before being either isolated in the event of a positive result, or immediately taken to safety.

Since the migration crisis of 2015, this is the 65th large-scale dismantling in Ile-de-France, for nearly 300 so-called “sheltering” operations.

“How was this camp able to develop in a state of health emergency, where respect for barrier gestures is impossible and where people live in total unsanitary conditions?” Regretted Louis Barda, general coordinator at Médecins du Monde Paris.

At the beginning of October, Médecins sans frontières published a survey on the level of exposure to Covid-19 among the very precarious in Ile-de-France.

The study reveals strong disparities according to the types of sites on which people were tested: thus, in the 10 accommodation centers where the association operates, the positivity rate reached 50.5%, against 27.8%. on food distribution sites and 88.7% in the two migrant worker homes.

The main reason is the “promiscuity and accommodation conditions which have generated clusters”, for example in the gymnasiums where these people will be sheltered on Tuesday, reports the study.

“Will the next camp be even further away in the suburbs, far from showers, food distributions and administrative procedures?” Asked Alix Geoffroy, CEDRE-Secours Catholique program manager.

In a press release published Tuesday, around thirty associations and collectives, such as Cimade or Solidarité Migrants Wilson denounce the “endless and destructive cycle” of evacuations.

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