Video: Calais Jungle is evicted by police with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons

Despite a court ruling that the camp had to be evicted peacefully

Matt Broomfield
Monday 29 February 2016 18:44
Calais Jungle evicted by police with tear gas

French police are forcibly evicting refugees from the Calais Jungle camp using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.

The video, by volunteer Rowan Farrell, shows police dressed in riot gear storming through the camp and firing tear gas at refugees. Children can be seen fleeing the gas.

The eviction is being carried out by the CRS, or Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, who are the French riot police.

The CRS have also been photographed allegedly using potentially-lethal rubber bullets to threaten refugees who are resisting the eviction on the roofs of their shelters, and volunteers say they have turned water cannon on refugees trying to fight a fire.

Following a court ruling last week that the camp could legally be evicted, a judge added that the camp had to be be relocated without force. However, volunteers in Calais say that the eviction is being carried out forcibly, and far sooner than expected.

"A distribution point for aid such as shoes and clothes was one of the first targets," Mr Farrell says. "Following a fire in the cordoned off section, the police turned water cannon on those helping to stop the fire."

"One officer pointed a rubber bullet gun at someone refusing to leave the roof of his shelter despite the court case from last week ordering that violence could not be used to remove people from their homes."

"Most people know that this is the end of the camp, but they just want to be treated with dignity and given accurate information about their options for the future."

Mr. Farrell's video footage shows the camp being demolished, supervised by a heavy police presence, as refugees take to the roofs of their shelters to resist eviction:

According to reports from volunteers on the ground in Calais, immigration officials arrived in the morning and told asylum-seekers in the Jungle that they had one hour to leave the camp.

They were offered a choice between being moved into a nearby camp constructed of refabricated shipping containers, or being relocated to a CEO centre in Montpelier.

However, the shipping containers are far too small to house all the refugees, and lack basic amenities such as kitchens and communal areas. They have been described as a "prison camp" by Jungle inhabitants.

And both options reduce the refugees' chance of being accepted for asylum in England, where many have family, speak the language and feel they will be more likely to find work.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments