Police clear 800 from huge squat outside Paris

17th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 17, 2006 (AFP) - Police on Thursday cleared 800 people, most of them immigrants from the Ivory Coast and Mali, from a squat outside Paris that was one of the biggest in Europe.

PARIS, Aug 17, 2006 (AFP) - Police on Thursday cleared 800 people, most of them immigrants from the Ivory Coast and Mali, from a squat outside Paris that was one of the biggest in Europe.

The operation, in the southern suburb of Cachan, saw officers evacuate individuals and families from a university residency building that the squatters had taken over three years ago.

Authorities have requisitioned 300 hotel rooms in the area to lodge the immigrants.

Officials said the evacuation was necessary because the age of the occupied building made it a fire hazard.

Left-wing organisations fighting for immigrant rights criticised the operation.

Jean-Baptiste Eyraud, head of the Droit au Logement (Right to Housing) association said the police were "brutal" in their evacuation of the building.

He demanded that authorities give all the 800 decent lodgings and French residency papers. Most were believed to be in the country illegally.

Police received directions to clear the property two years ago, but were reluctant to act because of the opposition by immigrant groups.

Since then, however, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has championed a harder line against illegal immigrants.

He recently gave instructions that only 6,000 of 30,000 applicants for residency papers would be approved.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article