Iranians Seal Their Mouths Shut In Silent Protest At Calais Jungle

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Desperate Iranian migrants at the Calais jungle refugee camp in France stitch their lips together in protest.

For a third successive day a large swathe of the shanty town is being bulldozed and dismantled by the French authorities.

The Mirror reports:

At least five Iranian men have already stitched their lips at the slum, where bulldozers were today clearing ramshackle homes for a third successive day.

They have done so to signify that their voices are not being heard by the French authorities.

Today, the protesters were pictured holding aloft banners, accusing the officials of restricting their freedom and their human rights .

One banner read: “I left my country and I came here to find my human rights but unfortunately I have found NONE.”

Another read: “Where is your democracy? Where is our freedom?”calais

French CRS riot officers armed with tear gas, batons and riot shields stood by as the protest was held peacefully.

A flashpoint erupted a short distance away when a fight broke out between a knife-wielding man and another migrant in front of dozens of others.

It ended when the suspected victim fled into the crowds from the man who was brandishing a small kitchen knife of around five inches long.

Elsewhere, a shack went up in flames as clearance continued at the camp, which is home to around 4,000 migrants and refugees, many of whom are intent on reaching Britain.

Migrants and refugees who have fled war, poverty and persecution looked on as bulldozers dismantled shacks and piled belongings into containers.

One migrant, a 22-year-old man from Darfur, Sudan, who declined to be named, said the French authorities have treated them like ‘animals’.

He said: “One of the reasons to go to England is because you can see what life is like for us in France. We have been in this camp living like this for six months.

“We have been treated like animals. We know that we are not above the law but what they are doing is very aggressive.”

In an effort to halt the slow tear-down, some people sat on top of the flimsy homes as banks of CRS officers watched the crowds in the camp’s southern area.

Local government official Vincent Berton said France was focused on finding a better solution for the migrants and refugees, particularly the children.

He said the operation to clear the Jungle’s southern section would last three weeks.

And the overall aim was to halve the population size of the sprawling site to around 2,000.

He told the Press Association: “We are trying not to shift the problem. We are very focused. We are trying for a better solution especially for the children.”

French authorities want to relocate people from the rat-infested site to heated containers nearby or to centres around France where they can apply for asylum.

State authorities have said up to 1,000 people will be affected.

But aid workers say the figure is likely to be much higher. Help Refugees said its own analysis revealed there were 3,455 people living in the affected area.

Save The Children said nearly 400 unaccompanied children who have fled war, poverty and persecution live at the site.

Edmondo Burr
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