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[ 19. Apr 2009 ]

Freedom for the accused of the Fire of Vincennes!

Since the end of 2007, the detainees of Vincennes (France), like many others detainees of detention centers for migrants, have ceaselessly struggled for their freedom. They have demonstrated and gone on hunger strike, they have refused to be counted or to come back in their rooms, they have burnt their mattresses.


The 9th of April 2009 a detainee of the center was already saying: "we have to think about struggling differently. People and cops don't give a shit about the hunger strike. They don't give a shit about sans-papiers. They don't give a shit if we die. People eat razor blades every day and nobody hears about them. The little things we do are not worth it. We have to create a damned mess to put them under pressure."

On June 21st 2008, a Tunisian called Salem Essouli died because of a lack of medical care. The next day, a silent demonstration organized by the detainees was harshly crushed. Then a revolt blew up, and the center was destroyed by fire. That night, the detainees were transferred to other centers all over the country: Rouen-Oissel, Lille-Lesquin, Nîmes-Courbessac, Palaiseau, Mesnil-Amelot et Paris-dépôt-Cité. Salem Essouli's family has registered a complaint in

The center of Vincennes had 280 beds, its destruction means less arrests and deportations. During the next months we could observe a clear diminution of razzias and deportations in Paris. That's why the state hurrried to build a new center in the same place, which opened in November 2008.

Wanting to set an example, the state has arrested several ex-detainees of Vincennes: two were arrested the very day of the fire. One has been freed but stays under control as a witness with a risk of being charged, the other has been detained; six other arrests occurred during the months of July, October, November and December. One of them as been assailed in jail on November 4th and is still in hospital with serious medical consequences.

So, eight persons are accused of destruction by fire of public good and violence against policemen. There may be other persons accused. At the end of February and beginning March, three of them have been freed but are still prosecuted. Four persons are still detained despite the numerous requests of liberation made by their lawyer. We still don't know when the trial will take place.

The Vincennes detainees' revolt isn't isolated. Others happened before, others happened during the summer at Mesnil-Amelot, Nantes, Italy, Belgium, and still others will happen.

The Vincennes detainees destroyed their jail. Solidarity with the prosecuted detainees means struggling against migration policies, their ideology and their practices!

We will hold on!

Free the prosecuted Vincennes detainees and drop the charges against them!
Close the detention centers for migrants!
Freedom of circulation and installation!

Mail to liberte-sans-retenue (at)
Send money for the defense of Vincennes detainees at : CICP-Vincennes,
21 ter rue Voltaire, 75011 Paris

This article was published first on 09. Apr 2009 @ ::