Riot police evict hundreds of migrants from Calais camps

French police evict migrants from Calais camps

Migrants, who have been trying to get into Britain, hit by outbreak of scabies and forced to move on

LAST UPDATED AT 10:19 ON Wed 28 May 2014

Around 800 migrants from Asia, the Middle East and Africa are being removed from camps near the port of Calais by police in France.

Authorities say the evictions are necessary to deal with an outbreak of scabies. But the migrants, who have been trying to get into Britain, say they have nowhere else to go once the camps are destroyed.

Police had previously set a deadline for people to leave and moved in once this had expired. Several busloads of riot police arrived early this morning at the camps where numbers of migrants have swelled in recent months.

One man from Bangladesh told BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast that his five-year attempt to get to Britain had been "more than hell". Another man, from Pakistan, claimed that the French police had "beaten" and "kicked" them. An Eritrean man said he had tried to cross the English Channel by boarding lorries but was stopped by police several times. "I will try again and again," he told the BBC.

Pictures from the camps show tents and beds made from clothing set up along a concrete riverside lined by sewage pipes. Public health officials have said that the settlement has no clean water.

Vulnerable members of the community, including children, will be allowed temporary accommodation in a holiday camp in the Pas de Calais, according to authorities, while adults can request emergency housing.

But Martine Devries, of the international charity Medecins du Monde, told the Voix du Nord newspaper that authorities were "taking advantage" of treating people for scabies to destroy the camps. "It's a waste of equipment, and where are the migrants going to go?" she said. "We get the feeling the authorities think once everything is destroyed all this will go away."

In 2002 the French government closed the main Red Cross centre at Sangatte near Calais, but illegal camps have sprung up in its place.

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.

Read more about:

Disqus - noscript

...wonder why they are so desperate to come to Britain - maybe Cameron would like to tell us? Nothing to do with our benefits system, I am sure!

Read next

MARINE LE PEN: not as popular as she'd have us think