Chechen Refugees Camped in a City Center in France
“Midi Libre”, a daily French newspaper, has reported that several Chechen families, including 20 children, are camped out in the city center of Nîmes, France.
According to the article, on the morning of August 30, several Chechen families learned that they would be deported from France. That same evening they decided to set up a camp in front of the city prefecture because they have no more shelter. In France, the state provides accommodation for asylum seekers during the necessary period when the examination of their case is performed. This period for these Chechen families ended on Monday evening. Hereafter, they are undocumented, jobless and homeless people, thus they have decided to set up a camp.
A mother whose family name is Beligova is there with her eight month old baby. “I don’t understand! I don’t understand! My husband Arbi and I have lived in France since 2008. I left Chechnya ten years ago, I can’t return to my country,” said the young mother.
“Here we see a dramatic human situation. These people don’t want to be illegal. They can’t return to Chechnya. The state should find a solution,” said Luc Verschueren, a member of the Education without Borders Network (RESF – Réseau éducation sans frontière).
The fate of Chechen refugees is uncertain, but the families say that they will continue to stay in the center until they find shelter.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco