New Low for Europe as Police Bulldoze Camps, Tear Gas Asylum Seekers, and Shutter Borders

“The jungle burns,” reported Germany’s Die Zeit on Tuesday. French authorities in the northern prefecture of Calais began their planned demolition of part of the sprawling refugee camp known as “the Jungle” on Monday, and continued into the next day despite protests and clashes with refugees and humanitarian groups.

“While the current situation in Calais is clearly unsustainable, evictions are no solution to a crisis on which the French and British governments have turned their backs for years,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia director. “The authorities need to look at this situation holistically: not just out of concern for border-management, housing and hygiene. Each of these individuals has needs and rights that must be protected.”

Residents burned their shelters and sat atop shacks and lean-tos in protest of the government’s actions, and riot police in turn attacked the refugees with water cannons and tear gas in an attempt to disperse them.

Video footage from Britain’s Channel 4 News reveals that the French government also broke its promise not to use bulldozers to destroy the camp:

“This is not the way to solve the refugees problem,” Maya Konforti, a volunteer for a humanitarian group, told the New York Times.

Police on the Greece-Macedonia border also on Monday used tear gas and stun grenades to stop people from crossing into Macedonia.

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