The 46 migrants who landed in mid-September in Reunion aboard a boat from Sri Lanka were equipped with numbered bracelets by the border police (PAF), an NGO was indignant on Tuesday, September 27, denouncing a “dehumanization process“.
These people, placed in the waiting area after disembarking from a fishing boat at the port of Pointe des Galets on September 17, “received bracelets with numbers and the police only called them by their numbers, adding letters for children, for example 8, 8a, 8b…“, indignantly told AFP Laure Palun, director of Anafé, an association which works with exiles in border areas.
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“It is a totally revolting practice of PAF and a process of dehumanization that must be sanctioned“, she insisted, explaining that she had seized several independent authorities including the Defender of Rights (DDD) Claire Hédon and the Controller General of Places of Deprivation of Liberty (CGLPL) Dominique Simonnot. Anafé is also calling for the release of the seven people who were still locked up in the waiting area on Tuesday morning, while 39 others were released on Monday.
All must be able to speak with agents of the Ofpra (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) with a view to seeking asylum in France, the local prefecture had indicated when they arrived in Reunion. The twelve-meter boat on board which these 46 people were crammed had been the subject of a location and rescue operation for people in distress, the prefect Jérôme Filippini had also specified.
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