The human rights group Gisti has reported that Natacha Bouchart, mayor of the Pas-de-Calais region, France, has put systems in place to ban refugees from entering a local swimming pool.
Newsweek reported that those hoping to enter the Piscine Patinoire Iceo, located about 20 minutes away from a camp, which holds mostly refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan, must now present an identity card and proof of address. Many of the refugees, who are fleeing war and poverty and sleeping in shacks that are constructed of wood, tarpaulin, and tape, have no way to obtain such proof-of-address cards.
The camp is often referred to as the “New Jungle” and has a population of about 6,000.
In a response to an open letter sent from Gisti to Bouchart, the decision to request identification cards was presented as a non-discriminatory measure. More than a dozen aid associations, including Amnesty International, have denounced Bouchart’s actions. Read More