In May, the Minister of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Mutually Supportive Development pursued a reform which could restrict the role of the six NGOs nominated to work in migration detention centres. The NGO Cimade launched legal challenges against the measure due to concerns that it would limit their role to providing information only and prevent them from giving legal assistance to detained migrants. In November, the Council of State upheld the reform.
In September, the Minister of Immigration stated that 20 million euros had been secured to build a new migration detention centre in the French overseas territory of Mayotte. However, no timeline was given for its construction.
Photographs had been published anonymously in December 2008 showing the severe overcrowding and poor hygiene inside the existing centre.
On 22 September, approximately 300 migrants and asylum-seekers living in encampments around Calais, believed to be mostly Afghans trying to reach the UK, were detained by police. Their makeshift homes were demolished by bulldozers. According to police statements, 140 adults were taken into police custody and transferred to migration detention centres; 132 minors were taken to special accommodation centres. At the end of the year it was reported that all of the adults had been released; many were believed to have returned to the destroyed camps in Calais. Most of those released were left without shelter as a result of the destruction. Some were later granted asylum and others had asylum claims pending at the end of the year. The rest remained in France without regular status, at constant risk of being forcibly returned to their countries of origin. Further police operations against smaller encampments around Calais took place between October and December.
Three Afghan nationals, one of them detained at Calais, were forcibly returned to Afghanistan in October.
On 3 December, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Daoudi v. France that deporting a man convicted of terrorism offences to Algeria would put him at risk of torture or other ill-treatment, and would be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
France granted residency to two Algerian nationals, Lakhdar Boumediene and Saber Lahmar, who had been detained at the US detention centre in Guantánamo Bay. Both men were cleared of all charges against them by a US judge in November 2008 but could not return to Algeria due to the risk of serious human rights violations. In May, Lakhdar Boumediene arrived in France and was joined by his wife and children. Saber Lahmar arrived in France in December.
The world’s richest governments are effectively condemning millions of people to starvation, drought and displacement through their continued support of the fossil fuel industry, Amnesty International said today. The organization’s new policy briefing offers a damning assessment of global failures to protect human rights from climate change, and outlines how human rights law can help hold governments and companies to account.
People’s rights are being violated by governments in Europe and Central Asia, who are cracking down on protests and seeking to erode the independence of the judiciary to avoid accountability, …
From amid the rubble of Raqqa, civilians are asking why US-led Coalition forces destroyed the city, killing hundreds of civilians in the process of “liberating” them from the armed group …
International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
Heavy-handed emergency measures, including late night house raids and assigned residence orders, have trampled on the rights of hundreds of men, women and children, leaving them traumatized and stigmatized, according to a new briefing released by Amnesty International today ahead of Friday’s French parliamentary debate on entrenching emergency measures in the constitution.
This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.
More than a year since the election of a new government, the cycle of repeated forced evictions continue to Roma people in France. The measures the French Government has taken are still insufficient to protect migrant Roma against this practice
French Republic Head of state François Hollande (replaced Nicolas Sarkozy) Head of government Jean-Marc Ayrault (replaced François Fillon) Investigations into allegations of deaths in custody, torture and other ill-treatment by …
Syrian protesters in Europe and the Americas have been systematically monitored and harassed by embassy officials and others believed to be acting on behalf of the Syrian regime, Amnesty International …
Head of state: Nicolas Sarkozy Head of government: François Fillon Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes Population: 62.6 million Life expectancy: 81.6 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 5/4 per 1,000 Allegations …