Human Rights Watch said French police beat, pepper-spray asylum seekers

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – International media including RT News reported that the New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the French government to stop police brutality against asylum seekers in the port of Calais. HRW’s report says migrants live in ‘catastrophic’ conditions, and are routinely beaten and pepper-sprayed.

HRW interviewed 44 asylum seekers in Calais for its report published on Tuesday (20 Jan.).

“Nineteen, including two children, said, police had abused them at least once, including beatings,” the report reads. “Eight had visible broken limbs or other injuries, which they say were caused by police in Calais and surrounding areas. Twenty-one, including two children, said, police had sprayed them with pepper spray.”

“They beat me, punched me, my nose was bleeding,” the report cites Aziz, 29, from Afghanistan. “[They beat me] with a stick, then they took me out from the lorry and said ‘Go! Go to the jungle!’” The “jungle” is a local reference to the largest of the makeshift camps in the area.

“The police checked the truck and found me,” Rosa, 25, from Eritrea told HRW. “I said, ‘Please help me,’ but they beat me and I collapsed outside the truck. They kicked me on the ground.”

Izza Leghtas a researcher at HRW said: “The French government should put a stop to any police abuse and honor its commitment to provide housing to asylum seekers. A lasting solution to the crisis in Calais is long overdue.”

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