The two activists have stopped eating for 27 days to demand respect for the condition of migrants. In their letter, they notably ask for an end to the evictions during the winter break. They are preparing to meet the President of the Republic.
“Our life is in your hands.” The two activists on hunger strike in Calais wrote an open letter on Thursday to Emmanuel Macron asking him to intervene in order to improve the treatment given to migrants.
Three claims made
Anaïs Vogel and Ludovic Holbein have stopped eating for 27 days to provide support to migrants in Calais. Accompanied at first by the priest Philippe Demeestère, he stopped his hunger strike on Thursday in order to “continue the fight differently”. However, he remains in solidarity with the two associative activists.
In their open letter having for subject “hunger strike in Calais for the respect of the dignity of the exiled persons”, they ask for the intervention of the president on the situation of the migrants. Three requests, already received since the start of their strike, are formulated. They want an end to deportations during the winter break and an end to the confiscation of migrants’ personal effects. Finally, they are calling for the creation of a “space for reasoned and citizen dialogue” between the authorities and associations concerning the distribution of basic necessities.
“Today, we, hunger strikers, associations and united citizens can no longer tolerate one more winter which would still be made up of violence, evictions, theft of personal effects, inhuman and degrading treatment. price of rapid and courageous decision on your part to put an end without further delay to these violations of fundamental rights “, they write to the President of the Republic.
Recently, the condition of migrants has worsened in Calaisis, with in particular an increase in attempts to cross the Channel and the increase in evacuations and destruction of camps, as denounced a month ago by the NGO Human Vigilance of rights. Faced with this situation, the Ministry of the Interior appointed an ombudsperson to study the issue. Didier Leschi, also boss of the French Office for Immigration and Integration (Ofii) went to Calais last month to negotiate with several associations and in particular activists on hunger strike.
Activists willing to meet Emmanuel Macron
Back in Calais this week, Didier Leschi announced that people evacuated from the camps will “systematically” be accommodated, but outside the city of Calais. The state decided this week to create an “airlock” for “sheltering” to welcome 300 migrants at night, before redirecting them to permanent accommodation. These announcements did not convince Anaïs Vogel and Ludovic Holbein who are now asking the President of the Republic to take up this issue himself.
“We receive that the mission entrusted to Mr. Leschi has failed to respond to our yet elementary demands (…) As of November 4, the expulsions continue, the personal effects of exiled people are still destroyed – we have proof of this”, they deplore in their letter.
The two activists remind the president that he has already been questioned on the issue by a resident on October 26 in Montbrison. The hunger strikers say they are “open to dialogue” and say they are ready to meet in order to discuss their demands. They also hope that Emmanuel Macron will take action to change things.
“We therefore appeal directly to you, Mr. President of the Republic, to your decision-making power and to your humanity. Our life is in your hands. We ask you to act as soon as possible”, alert the two associative activists.
They had also launched, a month ago, a petition on the subject, calling for an end to the mistreatment of migrants. More than 50,000 signatures have already been reported.