France continues dismantling migrant camp despite protest

French authorities continued dismantling a migrant camp near Calais on Tuesday despite protests from activists overnight and tear-gassing by police.

Eleven police officers were lightly injured by projectiles hurled by protesters during the night, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement.

Police forces had been deployed to protect workers charged with dismantling makeshift shelters that had been constructed in the southern section of the camp.

The French government would continue its project to take down the camp and find more permanent alternative housing for migrants and potential asylum seekers, Cazeneuve said.

The camps were built by people trying to reach Britain illegally by crossing the English Channel.

Authorities in the Pas-de-Calais region issued an expulsion order for the southern section of the camp, where they say 800-1,000 people live.

Humanitarian organizations said there are more than 3,000 people, and filed an appeal to stay the order that was overturned by a judge in the northern city of Lille.

The judge said efforts made by local authorities and the French state to provide alternative accommodation were sufficient, but exempted sites of public use that had been constructed in the camps, including churches and mosques, centres for legal assistance and health posts.

A network of Calais activist and humanitarian organizations said members were organizing a protest rally in London to support "people of the jungle [who] braved the brutal force of the French state."

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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