French police begin to clear migrants sheltered at Dunkirk gym

September, 2019

French police are clearing nearly 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port city of Dunkirk after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard.

The mayor of Grande-Synthe, a suburb of Dunkirk, last December opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold.

Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with approximately 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the cramped gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach the UK, had taken shelter.

A court in the regional city of Lille ordered the gymnasium shut on September 4 following complaints from local authorities and residents about violence, rubbish and the presence of people-smugglers among the migrants.

Source: AJ