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Police evict migrants from a makeshift tent camp in Paris

Police evict migrants from a makeshift tent camp in Paris
French police officers evict migrants from a makeshift camp in Paris   -  
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Nicolas Garriga/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


It was a chilly morning on Tuesday, when police in Paris arrived before dawn to awaken a group of young men from West Africa living in tents on the street.

In this latest operation ahead of the Olympics, they evicted the migrants from their makeshift camp just a few steps away from the Seine River.

Most of them were underage and in the process of seeking residency papers.

The operation came days after police carried out a large-scale eviction at France’s biggest squatter camp in a suburb south of Paris.

Aurelie Huot, member of the 'Le revers de la médaille', a collective raising the alarm about the social impact of the Olympics said the evictions are linked to preparations for the games.

“Evacuations like this have been taking place almost every week in Paris for several months now, at breakneck speed, affecting all the people living on the streets," she said.

Such evictions and evacuations of tent camps happen every spring after the end of a winter ‘’truce'' during which authorities put such actions on hold.

But aid groups working with migrants and other vulnerable people in the Paris region say these efforts are intensifying.

In addition, they note that people are being sent far away from the capital instead of being offered shelter in the Paris region, where many asylum-seekers have upcoming court dates.

“The authorities want to have a clean place for the Olympics Games. They don’t want the tourists to see Paris as a city full of migrants and asylum seekers,” said Elias Hufganel, a volunteer with a group working with refugees and immigrants.

As people packed up their meagre belongings on Tuesday, Paris police said the operation was carried out for security reasons, notably because the tent camp was near schools.

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