Police use tear gas to disperse migrant camp in central Paris

Source: AFP Published: 2020/11/24 17:33:40

Police used tear gas as they dismantled a new migrant camp in the center of Paris set up to house hundreds of refugees evacuated from makeshift suburban shelters without being relocated.

Volunteers had helped set up around 500 blue tents at the Place de la Republique in the heart of the French capital late Monday, which were quickly filled by migrants, the majority from Afghanistan.

Around an hour later police arrived to dismantle the camp, picking up tents, sometimes with people still inside, to the protests of migrants and jeers from volunteers.

"They are too violent," sobbed Shahbuddin, a 34-year-old Afghan as he put a grey beanie back on his head after being forced out of his tent.

"We just want a roof."

Police later used tear gas to disperse the rest of the camp, driving the migrants out into the streets of central Paris.

The dismantling of the new camp came one week after migrants were evacuated from makeshift shelters in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis without being relocated.

Ian Brossart, a deputy of the city's mayor in charge of housing, emergency accommodation and refugee protection, slammed the "law and order response to a social situation."

French Home Minister Gerald Darmanin later said images of the dismantling were "shocking" and that he had ordered the city's police to present a report on the clearance.

Paris is a key stop-off point on the European migrant route, with tented camps repeatedly sprouting up around the city only to be torn down by the ­police a few months later.

Posted in: EUROPE

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