PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – On Thursday night, French Guianese authorities repatriated more than a dozen Haitian migrants sending them to Port-au-Prince while another 27 were gathered and held in detention centers awaiting their repatriation.
The operation occurred less than a month since the country’s Prefect announced, on August 20, that it would be suspending reception desks for asylum seekers in the prefecture and to the Red Cross, citing a “saturated service”, “stock” of applications to be processed, “the not calibrated structures” and a “misuse” of the procedure.
Nearly 4,000 asylum seekers files are pending in August, according to the French Office for Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA).
The French Guinese are implementing a wide-reaching restriction on their borders. The prefect made complaints to Suriname, a neighboring country, and said it was serving as a gateway to illegal Haitian migration. Suriname, in turn, announced it would no longer waive the visa requirement for Haitians. This went into effect on September 15, a few days ago.
The “Inter-Movements Committee Near the Evacuated” (CIMADE) a French association for the defense of the rights of foreigners founded in 1939, considers the expulsions as unacceptable and illegal, recalling that collective expulsions are prohibited by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The CIMADE points out that after these first expulsions there are still 27 Haitian detainees at Administrative Retention Centre (CRA) in Félix-Éboué.
For its part the Prefecture remains silent and gives no signal that arrests and deportations of illegal Haitian migrants will cease.