Stop the Killings in Calais!

Source: Calais Migrant Solidarity blog, an invaluable resource. Please visit them.

26/30 July 2015

One recent death here in Calais was that of a young Eritrean woman hit by a car on the A16 while trying to cross the road. While this is being reported in the news as a terrible accident, information we have been getting from those who witnessed the tragedy shows otherwise. Witnesses say that immediately before this young woman lost her life she had been in contact with the police. They say that she, along with a group of five other people, had been caught by police and then sprayed in their faces with CS gas. Afterward the people then fled across the highway, one by one. However, because the gassing had irritated her eyes so much, the young woman could not see when she went to cross the highway. She did not see and could not avoid the car speeding towards her, which hit her.

While in this case the police’s actions directly led to one woman losing her life, every day they are putting people in extremely dangerous situations. We hear that the police routinely chase people onto the highways surrounding the train tracks and force people to run in front of oncoming traffic to avoid being caught, gassed, and beaten. They also have been driving people far outside of Calais, even to the Belgian border, before kicking them out of the car and forcing them to walk back along the very busy highway, where many people have also been hit.

The fact that there have been eleven deaths since June 1st, at the same time that there has been a massive increase in security at the ports, is not mere coincidence. All the fences and police do not stop people from trying to make it to England, they just simply force them to take more and more dangerous routes to get there. The cynical solutions that the state is proposing will not have any effect.

Migrants do not need “education” about the risks of trying to cross to England, they know them better than anyone. Also, lighting the highway will not do much if police are deliberately trying to force people in front of the oncoming traffic and gassing people so that they can no longer see.

People here are not losing their lives in freak accidents. These deaths are the full and intended consequences of the border regime and its thugs. Uncountable lives are wasted at the hands of the Calais border regime. There is no accurate count of how many people have died. For sure there have been more than those listed below, their deaths ignored, the facts covered up or altogether unreported. Many already go unnamed, without vigils and protests, without families or friends to advocate on their behalf.

We will not be silenced about these deaths. We will not forgive and we will never forget.

These borders kill! One death is too many! Open the border and stop the killings!

Here is an incomplete list of those who have lost their lives on this border since 2002. There were fourteen migrant deaths in Calais in 2014 and around thirty-five in the years before that.

2015

28th-29th July: a Sudanese migrant was found dead in the Channel tunnel.

July 24th: A young Eritrean woman was hit by a car at about 5:30 a.m. on the A16.

July 23rd: A teenager was found dead in the English part of the Eurotunnel at Folkestone.

July 19th: Houmed Moussa, an Eritrean teenager, 17, drowned at the site of the Eurotunnel.

July 16th: Achrat Mohamad, a young Pakistani man of 23, died of his injuries from an accident in the Channel Tunnel on the night of July 13 to 14.

On that same night of July 13th to the 14th: A Sudanese man died trying to go to England by the Channel Tunnel.

July 7th: A Sudanese exile is found dead during the inspection of a freight train in the Channel Tunnel, having suffered head injuries while trying to board a shuttle service.

July 4th: Samir, an Eritrean baby, died one hour after birth. Her mother, 20, fell from a truck, triggering a premature delivery at twenty-two weeks.

June 29th to 30th: The body of Zebiba, a 23-year-old Eritrean woman, is found along the A16 between Calais and Marck, struck on the highway. She had been staying in the Women’s House in Jules Ferry, and had gone with two friends to try to go to England.

June 26th: Getenet Legese Yacob, an Ethiopian man, 32, died attempting to board a shuttle service in the Eurotunnel.

June 1st: At 4 a.m., a refugee from Eritrea is hit by a car on the A16 at the entrance to the Eurotunnel and dies.

February 14th: an Ethiopian man, 28, was found dead in his tent in “the jungle” by his friends. The reasons for his death are unclear, but friends said he had been beaten by a lorry driver.

2014

December 12th: a Sudanese man was crushed under the wheels of the truck he had just crossed to England underneath. The lorry started to move while he was trying to climb out on the side of the M25.

First week of December: A man from Sudan died on the highway.

December 1st: a man from Eritrea was found dead on the A16 in the direction Calais-Boulogne.

November 19th: a truck heading to England from Dunkirk catches on fire, killing two people hiding inside.

October 24th: a 22-year-old man from Sudan died after attempting to jump onto the top of a lorry from a bridge. He died in hospital of his injuries.

October 20th: a 16-year-old woman from Ethiopia was killed crossing a major highway near Calais.

October 17th: a 26-year-old man from Eritrea was hit by a car after being released from Coquelle detention centre. He had only been in Calais for two days. He was in a coma for 9 days, and died on October 25th.

September 26th: a young man from Sudan died after falling into the canal in Calais. Two of his friends had jumped in to try and help him out of the water, but were unable to do so.

May 23rd: Youssef Aroun, a 19-year-old from Sudan, was killed after falling from the axle of the wheels underneath a tourist bus he was hiding in while trying to cross to England.

May 5th: Mengs Medhane, a 16-year-old from Eritrea, died after jumping from a truck he thought was heading to England.

March 15th: A person from Ethiopia was killed, having hit his head while hiding in a truck he thought was to going to England.

March 14th: At midday, Senay Berha, from Ethiopia, was found dead in the river near the camp known as the Eritrean camp. He had been missing for some days.

March 12th: In the night, Mesfin Germa, from Ethiopia, died on the A26 motorway near the rest area Rely, struck by a vehicle. The driver did not stop.

March 9th: an Albanian man was stabbed and killed on the motorway outside of Calais.

February 3rd: An Iranian exile, 30, was killed by a bullet to the chest in the Industrial Zone Marcel Doret.

January 30th: a 17-year-old boy from Iran is killed, driven over by a truck while trying to cross the border into the UK.

2013

December 10th: Yemane Gaberanguse, from Eritrea, died from suspected heart failure on his way to trying to cross for England.

November 4th: the body of Robiel, a young Eritrean, was found in the waters of Calais port.

August 6th: Commanden, a young Afghan, was stabbed in a suspected reprisal attack by mafia.

2012

November 17th: on the A16 in Grande-Synthe, a car in which nine people were crammed inside was in a traffic accident. Two sans-papiers were ejected from the trunk. They died on the spot.

August 12th: a woman from Vietnam was found dead on the beach in Wimereux. It seems that she wanted to cross the Channel to England.

July 7th: 28-year-old Noureddin Mohamed, from Sudan, was found dead in Calais’ city canal. Police claim it was suicide, friends believe he was killed by police. No autopsy or investigation was undertaken despite pressure from family and friends.

May 16th: A young migrant, 20, was killed in Ouistreham after receiving multiple stab wounds while trying to board a truck to England.

April 9th: Zenebe (Yonatan Abram), a young Eritrean man, was found dead in an abandoned lace factory.

2011

December 22nd: Ismael, a young Ethiopian man, was found dead at the foot of a bridge. Police claim it was suicide, friends believe he was killed by police or facists. No autopsy or investigation was undertaken despite pressure from friends.

December 9th: an Iranian man, 21, was killed after being hit by a bus walking along the road at night.

November 17th: Two Egyptians being transported in the boot of a car are killed during a crash. The other passengers survived.

September 11th: Youssef, 28, from Sudan, is killed trying to cross the border.

May 10th: an Iranian man is killed while trying to cross, apparently falling from a lorry.

February 22nd: an Afghan man, 24, drowns in the canal while being chased by the PAF border police.

February 7th: Canstantine, a Romanian man of 50, died at the station of Calais town from cardiac arrest.

2010

April 10th: Rahmaddin, a 16-year-old Afghan, is crushed by a lorry during an attempted crossing.

April 9th: an Eritrean migrant is found dead in an abandoned building.

2009

December 15th: Maïouad, a 15-year-old Afghan boy, is killed trying to cross.

October 30th: 25-year-old Indian man, Singh Gursharan, is found dead in a lorry during an attempted crossing.

June 13th: Aman Fisahaye, a 35-year-old Eritrean man, died trying to wash in the canal—showers being refused by the authorities.

May 19th: a Vietnamese woman, Ngayen Van Mac, is found dead on the road after apparently falling from a lorry.

April 5th: An unnamed man is killed after falling off a train in the channel tunnel.

February 25th: Glara, a six-day-old Iraqi-Kurdish baby dies as parents were forced to sleep in the cold.

January 7th: A 30-year-old Afghan is stabbed in a fight.

2008

October 15th: Ramadan, a 26-year-old from Eritrea, fell into the Channel having tried to hide in a truck near St Omer. A resident from Norrent Fontes, Jean Pierre, 47, dives in to save him from drowning. They both die.

July 22nd: Mansour Hamidey, a 23-year-old from Eritrea, was killed with a knife during a fight in the parking lot of Saint-Hilaire-Cottes near Norrent Fontes, while attempting to cross to England.

July 15th: An exile dies after being hit by a truck on a ramp from the A16 to Transmarck near Calais. He was going to cross the border into England.

2007

July 14th: an exile fell off a truck on the ramp of the A16, “Marck.”

July 7th: A young woman from Eritrea, Louam Beyene, 19, died after being hit by a car while crossing the A16. She was running to escape the police.

2006

September 1st: One person died and six were injured in the port of Calais during fights between migrants and smugglers. They were trying to stow aboard trucks to reach Britain.

2002

December 16th: The body of a man was found during a police control at Calais port, under the truck where he was hiding to cross the English border.

And so many more…

Adam Ali Mahde (1982-2010), Kherullah Maroufkhel (7 July 2009), Mr. X (5 July 2009), Youssef (2009), Mr. Y (15 March 2009).

The deaths in Calais are only some of the many, many lives lost at Europe’s borders. There are countless more who are constantly dying at the hands of racist immigration controls and the situations they create, in Calais and across all border regimes that violently protect the fortresses of a privileged minority, at the expense of the rest.

Featured Image Source: Calais Migrant Solidarity

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