Members of an armed far-right militia are attacking Calais migrants in an unprecedented, brutal campaign of violence, according to evidence seen by this newspaper. In a series of incidents in recent weeks, refugees living at the Jungle camp claim to have been targeted by organised thugs – sometimes in uniforms. The Independent was told of one attack in which young male refugees were taken by van to a field where they were stripped naked and had their hands cuffed behind their back. They were then made to watch as their abductors – a group of unidentified men – beat them individually. Migrants accuse local French police of failing to protect them from the beatings – and also carrying out their own assaults. A coalition of NGOs, legal advisers and charities has decried both an increase in incidents of police aggression and the rise in attacks on refugees by groups of civilians, thought to be racist gangs. The claims are outlined in a report compiled by staff at the camp’s legal centre, along with the British charity Care4Calais, which is to be submitted to the state prosecutor. It included 10 testimonies of violence, eight at the hands of police and five by civilian groups. Many of the accounts are corroborated by medical reports from international humanitarian organisations Médecins sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde. Four videos thought to be included in the report have been seen by The Independent. One shows a 16-year-old Afghan boy whose arm is in a cast saying he was forced into the back of a van and taken to a field where he was beaten by a group of men. His arm and two fingers are broken. A similar account is given by another 16-year-old boy who refers to the unidentified men as “fascists”.
Oscar Quine in Calais Jungle refugees targeted by armed far-right militia in brutal campaign of violence (Independent)