Refugees in Paris, France are being ‘violently’ forced to move. In freezing conditions, their blankets and sleeping bags are being stolen by police.
Research exclusively published by The Independent shows that men, women and children are being beaten and tear gassed by officers in the French capital, despite government promises to shelter vulnerable people.
Eritrean families said they were told to “get out of France” as police tore away children’s blankets, leaving them without protection as the biting temperatures plunged to -7C (19.4F).
Natalie Stanton, deputy director of the Refugee Rights Data Project, said researchers were confronted by “alarming” scenes in the La Chapelle area, where authorities have launched numerous clearance operations in recent months.
“While we were there we witnessed the police taking people’s belongings – some in the night, some in the daytime – it’s quite a visible phenomenon,” she added, as reported by The Independent.
“The same night the government announced a plan to keep everyone warm, we witnessed police picking up blankets and putting them in a big rubbish bin on the back of a truck, then driving away.”
According to research, almost two-thirds of migrants have been woken up and forced to move, describing the dehumanizing experience as “violent” and said they were afraid, given they had no reason to intervene.
One 45-year-old man told researchers an officer kicked him so hard in the shoulder that he was admitted to hospital for the next 20 days for treatment, while others described being tear gassed if they did not move quickly enough.
According to one young Afghan man: “If we question them or say we have nowhere to go, they bring out the tear gas.”
A woman who had been in Paris for a month on her own said: “I live on the streets and have no protection at all. I called 115 three times and they never showed up.
“It is so dangerous on the streets. I have no one here, and I am afraid to sleep with so many men around.”
Refugees have nowhere to go and have instilled another addition to their already hefty problems, due to the brutal treatment of the French police.