Police strategies: false flight dates, false test refusals, false boarding refusals at the CRA in Marseille
Below is an article and the testimony of a detainee at the CRA in Marseille (detention centre) with an expulsion order to Italy under Dublin procedures on his back.
The gendarmes’ lies send the people detained in the centre to prison. For example, one of them explains in this article how the police officers completely fabricated her refusal to board a plane, which could have landed her in prison.
In all administrative detention centres (CRA), it regularly happens that the judge of freedoms and detention (JLD) and the border police (PAF) lie about the dates of the airline flights by which people locked up in the centre are to be deported. The JLD is responsible in the CRA for extending the detention period of all these people, but to do so, especially after 2 months of detention have already passed, it must in principle prove that the state is actively trying to deport them. It therefore happens that false (e.g. non-existent) airline tickets are reported during a JLD hearing.
Since spring 2020, a negative PCR test is a necessary condition for the deportation of a detainee by plane: many people refuse it in order not to be deported. But refusing the test very often leads to criminal prosecution and prison sentences. The PAF, for its part, also invents false dates of deportation by plane to deliberately push detainees in the CRA to refuse the test and thus end up in prison. These police practices are recurrent in many CRAs in France.
More recently, the PAF of the Marseille CRA seems to have initiated another practice: the invention of false PCR test refusals. In practice, some people locked up in the CRA are sometimes sentenced to prison terms for tests they have never heard of and have never refused, despite being prosecuted for it! At the beginning of March 2022, an inmate of the CRA in Marseille, who could no longer stand being locked up, stated that he would have preferred to be expelled as quickly as possible. However, he was not offered a flight or even a PCR test, except that at the end of the 30th day of detention, when he appeared before the JLD, he discovered that PAF officers had invented false PCR test refusals for him without his knowledge.
Finally, more recently, at the beginning of May 2022, the PAF of the CRA in Marseille also invented false refusals to board deportation flights, even though these refusals lead to criminal proceedings (‘evasion of a deportation order’). We report below the testimony of a detainee at the Marseille detention centre. He explains that the police invented a false boarding refusal against him, shuttling him between the CRA and Marignane airport without him seeing the plane or expressing his boarding refusal.
I went to court [before the Juge des libertés et de la détention, JLD] today but the judge prolonged my detention to extra 28 days. I was given the option to appeal against it within the next 24 hours. I don’t have a means of lodging the appeal because the office of the refugee assistance here in my detention center [Forum Réfugiés] don’t work on Sundays.
The judge said I’ll remain in detention till June 7th and I have the right to appeal against the judgement. I don’t have confidence in the government lawyers because I think they are not doing much on my behalf. They said I refused to board the plane but that’s not how it happened.
On the 8th of April I went to prefecture on appointment only to be arrested. The prefect said I am been arrested because I am under the Dublin procedure. The prefect also said I have the right to appeal against the decision of removal to Italy. After I was driven to the detention center I requested for a lawyer to make the appeal and I was taken to an organization helping migrants at the detention center [Forum Réfugiés]. I explained myself to them, saying that I don’t reject going to Italy but I wish to know if Italy will be able to handle my asylum and also if I’ll be able to get treatment when I return to Italy because I am sick. The organization agreed and told me that they will write to the judge to tell to suspend my removal due to the sickness but I got no reply from them.The next day been 9th of April the police told me that I have to take coronavirus test so that I’ll be able to be transferred to Italy. I accepted and took the test. After the test I asked why should I be removed since I have appeal the next day? The police said that’s no problem, that what I have to do is follow them to airport next morning and when I get to airport that I meet the immigration officer at the airport and I’ll explain to him and I agreed.The next morning I was taken to the airport but I never say or spoke to any immigration officer. The police locked me in a cell at the airport [probably in a local de rétention administrative, LRA] and after like 1 hour they drove me back to the detention center.
Now they are charging me to court that I intentionally refused to board the plane. I’ll be going to court by tomorrow for appeal. I am sick and even the detention doctor have a report on that but it isn’t taken into consideration. I don’t have money to get a private lawyer and I don’t think the government lawyer will be able to get me out. Everything here seems to be a game plan.