France has proceeded with the expulsion of nine Afghan migrants, Immigration Minister Eric Besson confirmed, despite protests from rights groups. The migrants were flown back to their war-torn country in a special charter flight.
AFP - France expelled about 10 Afghan migrants, sending them back to Afghanistan on an overnight British charter flight, a police source told AFP on Wednesday.
It was the second charter expulsion of Afghans since the closing in September of the so-called "jungle", a camp in Calais where many migrants and refugees assembled, hoping to cross the Channel to Britain.
The immigration ministry declined to comment on the expulsions, which drew protests from campaign groups on Tuesday after reports of the planned charter flight.
The refugees' aid group Cimade said eight Afghans had been transferred on Tuesday from a camp in the northern town of Calais to Paris where the British plane was to pick them up at Charles de Gaulle airport.
It had earlier said that police were planning to expel a total of 11 migrants, and called on the government to reverse the decision.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Tuesday defended the expulsions, saying France had made commitments to Britain, the desired destination for many migrants passing through France.
In October three Afghans from France and 24 from Britain were repatriated to their war-torn country, drawing protests from the left-wing opposition and humanitarian groups.
Date created : 2009-12-16