Civil society organizations, journalists and parliamentarians visited six-teen camps in France, Belgium, Spain and Italy.
The right to access camps remains subject to the discretion of the authorities: journalists were left at the door thirteen times out of sixteen.
Partial access to these places confirms the abuses arising from detention: lack of confidentiality during interviews with detainees, precariousness of their contacts with the outside world, dearth of information about their rights.
Management choices and ongoing privatization processes strengthen the prison-like functioning of these centres. The obsession with security leads to an ultra-surveillance at the expenses of effective access to rights and further deteriorate detention conditions. The visits of several so-called “reception” sites allowed to point out that, at the EU border, new forms of deprivation of liberty are appearing.
The European Commission was questioned by our organisations and a number of MEPs, namely on its first assessment of the impact of the “return” directive, civil society access to camps andlack of transparency. The non-answer show how the European Union, far from proposing credible alternatives to detention, does in fact suggest a set of additional measures for migrants’ deportation.
The campaign also allowed making detainees’ voices heard and supporting their struggles. Through websites, social networks, public meetings and radio shows they have been able to express themselves and shed the light on the realities of detention.
These four months of mobilization confirmed that it is urgent to fight against the banalization of detention, to decrypt the public discourse on the realities of administrative detention and work for more transparency. Adopting this measure – unfair in addition to being ineffective – must cease in favor of respect of the fundamental freedom to come and go.
To share the findings of this third Open Access Now mobilization and celebrate its closing, a press conference wll take place, under the patronage of the MEPs Marina Albiol (GUE/NGL, Spain) and Eva Joly (Greens/EFA, France), Tuesday April 21 at the European Parliament (room Paul-Henri Spaak – P5B001) at 11 am. Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL, Italy) and Laure Blondel (Anafé/Migreurop), coordinator of the campaign, will also be present.
The press conference will be followed, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, by the presentation of the realities observed in Belgian, Spanish, French and Italian by the organizations and the MEPs participating to the visits and by a debate on the perspectives of this mobilization.
April 21 2015
Attachments: Programme and poster of the conference, assessment of the mobilisation and calendar of the visits (in French).
Press contact: firstname.lastname@example.org