UK Press release: Calais: Syrian refugees stage blockade of ferry terminal

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release
3rd October 2013

Sixty-five Syrian refugees have been maintaining a blockade of the
entrance of the port of Calais  since yesterday afternoon, in protest
against the inhumane treatment that they are receiving in France. Some are
on hunger strike. They are demanding that a representive of the UK Home
Office comes to Calais to speak with them and grant them refuge in the UK.

The blockade is now in its 10th hour. Up to fifty police are present.
Blankets are being delivered by local groups in support of the
demonstration.  The migrants are refusing to leave until their demands are

In a statement released earlier today the Syrian demonstrators stated:

‘We have been here now between one and two months. The French government
and police have been very bad with us and do not care about us. They have
kicked us out of our house into the street. Anytime we find a place to
stay the police comes and arrest us, destroy our belongings, close the

There is nowhere safe for us to shelter in Calais, we are here just for
one thing and that is to have asylum in England. Many of us have family
and friends  in England who we would like to see and be able to live with.
There is also a strong Syrian community there, more than in France.

We are now demonstrating in the port of Calais, we will not leave until
they let us go to England. We demand one person from the UK home office
comes here to speak with us, and to see our situation. We have the right
to claim asylum in england, but how do we get there? There is not a legal
way to cross.

We are about 65 people from Syria at the port at the moment, with our
families, old women, mothers, children the youngest being three years old
and friends.

We have the right to live a peaceful life and we have unfortunately war in
Syria. We need help quickly. We are looking for safety and shelter in
Europe but we have not found it yet and we hope to find it in uk.’

For more information please contact
0033 605 574 826
0033 683 199 894

Notes for journalists:

For background information on repression of migrants in Calais see ‘This
Border Kills’

For updates and news from Calais see the Calais Migrant Solidarity Website