At the Vincennes administrative detention centre (CRA), the police kill, ASSFAM turns a blind eye
published on Abaslescra.noblogs on 15/06
On Wednesday 14 June, some people made a surprise visit to Assfam – the association present at the Vincennes administrative detention centre – on its premises in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, with a banner, leaflets, posters and slogans. Assfam had not a word for M., who was found dead in his cell on 26 May after being beaten by the cops. Not a word about the conditions in which detainees are held. It has to be said that Assfam receives over 5 million euros in subsidies for its presence in the detention centres. The price of its silence, of its complicity.
Above all, see nothing, say nothing, do nothing that might embarrass the State. There’s no denying that Assfam, the association paid by the state to provide some semblance of access to the law inside the reception centres, knows exactly where its interests lie. And they are clearly not on the side of the detainees.
The death of M., who was found dead in his cell in the Vincennes detention centre on Friday 26 May after being beaten up by the cops, shows this.
When we learned of M.’s death, Assfam initially tried to hide it from us, as usual, “not knowing anything”. As usual, because every time we contacted them to report cases of police or medical violence in the CRA, we were told nothing.
Assfam then tried to cover its tracks with AFP. Referring to M., the head of the association explained that “this is a person that Assfam had not met since he was placed in detention, as he did not come to our offices when we asked him about our legal and administrative assistance”. The latter had not a word for M., not a word about the conditions in which the detainees are held.
If M. hasn’t come to see Assfam, as she says, it’s because the detainees inside the CRA have long understood that the association is complicit in this system of confinement and that, at best, it serves little purpose…
In recent days, several detainees have tried to lodge a complaint against the cops. But they quickly realised that Assfam was not going to support them once again. One detainee was met with an old-fashioned moralistic remark: “Are you really sure you want to lodge a complaint? You shouldn’t talk badly to the police”…
Assfam, which receives €5 million in subsidies for its presence in four CRAs in mainland France (Vincennes, Metz, Lille and Strasbourg), is a pretty rotten charity. And it belongs to a group that is just as rotten. Assfam is one of 650 establishments, associations and social enterprises owned by the SOS Group. This “leader in social entrepreneurship in Europe” employs 20,000 people and has a turnover of over one billion euros.
Its boss, Jean-Marc Borello, is a pal of Macron. He took part in the 2017 programme and is a member of the committee preparing the 2022 presidential election.
This group, which is involved in a multitude of activities (healthcare, crèches, etc.), has specialised in the confinement of young people: it runs closed educational centres (CEF) and reinforced educational centres (CER). These antechambers to prison, halfway between home and jail, are presented by the state as an alternative to incarceration. It also runs facilities for prison leavers and, hand in hand with the government, manages thousands of accommodation places for migrants.
Fight back against imprisonment and its complicit partners!
Justice for M., fire to the Vincennes detention centre and to all the others!