Treatment of immigrants at Paris airport appalling

11th May 2009, Comments 3 comments

Foreigners arriving at Paris's main airport without the correct documents are at a risk of police brutality and human rights violations.

PARIS – Foreigners arriving at Paris's main airport without the necessary visa risk police brutality and having their basic rights trampled on, a report by an immigrant support group said Sunday.

"The non-respect of fundamental rights is seen every day" in the holding area in Roissy/Charles de Gaulle airport, said the annual report by the National Association for Border Assistance for Foreigners (ANAFE).

ANAFE's staff working in the area were regularly confronted with "ill people who do not receive adequate treatment, people subjected to police violence, families split up, minors left on their own to mingle with adults," it said.

Children aged 13 and older were not held separately from adults, which was in violation of the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child, said the report, titled "Inhumanity in the Holding Area."

The border police, contacted Sunday by AFP, declined to respond to the report.

Every year around 15,000 people are placed in the holding area at Roissy, and that their average stay there is three days, said ANAFE.

Those placed there were hoping to request asylum in France, had tried to enter the country illegally, had the wrong or no visa, or were simply stuck in Paris because their airline transit plan had gone wrong.

AFP / Expatica

3 Comments To This Article

  • Martha Sigwart posted:

    on 14th May 2009, 18:28:01 - Reply

    While your tale of woe doesn't have much to do with the topic of the original story, except for bad treatment of passengers in general, what I really don't get is why you did not make arrangements for your obviously emergency situation when you booked your flight. I have personally witnessed Air France and Air Canada staff being very helpful to disabled or elderly passengers. Did you not educate yourself on the methods for entering the aircraft before you got to the airport? Did you actually ask for help from crew, etc., or did you just assume they would offer? Assuming you are NOT American, could you be more precise about who was hurling all these "racial?" slurs at you? Sorry, but it sounds to me as if no preparations had been made that would have made this travel relatively uneventful for you, if not completely comfortable. Everywhere in the known world these days baggage left in the terminal, or onboard a flight when the passenger does not check in, is hauled away for the overall safety of everyone. I have not flown into or out of Marseille, but I have landed there on a ferry from Mallorca. If and when traveling with a bum hip, perhaps shipping heavy luggage ahead and travel ing very light would be the sensible thing to do. Sorry about the SNAFU trip, but your entitlement issues seem to have added to your problems.
  • Dianne M. Guyot posted:

    on 14th May 2009, 01:59:00 - Reply

    When i got back to Marseille last August, after a 7 month stay in the UK, I was quite ill, needing hip replacement surgery. I therefore left the plane last, and much to my dismay, although i entered the plane through a hallway, in Marseille, they unload the passengers in mid-landing strip, and we have to walk down a long flights of precarious staire. I was carrying a LOT of weight, and cound hardly walk; was offered NO help from the cabin crew, and when I finally arrived at the terminal, I found myself locked out. I finally got let in the first door, went up another flight of stairs, through another door, to find myself locked in a small entrance way for an hour! I finally had to break the emergency door opener glass, went back downstairs and out of the terminal, and had to wait another half hour for the customs officer to return to his post. So, back up the stairs, through the hallway, to be greated with racial slurs, that we Americans think that we can do whatever we want! Damned, the Gendarme saw that I could hardly walk !!! "Welcome to Marseille !" By then, they were hauling my suitcase away as unclaimed baggage, why was no one alerted?
  • Martha Sigwart posted:

    on 13th May 2009, 19:35:49 - Reply

    As usual, this article has incomplete factual information. It strikes me as not so unusual that people attempting to enter France ILLEGALLY would be held. Would you expect them to be immediately transported to the George V by limousine? Very unclear as to why anyone stuck due to flight problems (cancellations, missed flights///what??? not specified!) would need to be held when they would be waiting in the airport for another flight or transportation alternate (train???). Really, you should post complete articles, not suggestions of shocking behaviors that are completely unsubstantiated and rendered worthless by their lack of clarity.