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Last Friday, racial profiling controls around Calais train station – an illegal practice that is part of daily life for police forces and for the city in which they are  (see here and here). Among the alleged foreigners, a man of Sudanese nationality who is without papers to prove his identity. We will call him Mr. M, his identity does not concern us after all.

Mr. M is placed under administrative detention, a procedure that concerns those without a residence permit, the person being “detained” at the police station for a maximum of 16 hours while the prefecture examines his situation and decides on his future. This is part of the measures of deprivation of freedom by simple administrative decision reserved to foreigners.

The Pas-de-Calais prefecture decides and delivers an Obligation to Leave the French Territory (OQTF), with Sudan as country of destination, and places the man in Coquelles detention center, near Calais – another measure of deprivation of freedom consequent an administrative decision for foreigners.

Mr M appeared in front of the Judge of Freedoms and Detention within 48 hours from the beginning of the detention, so today, Monday morning, in order to verify the legality of the conditions of arrest and detention, and authorize the extension of the retention period for other 28 days.

We have learned during the court hearing that the Sudanese embassy was contacted to deliver the pass necessary for deportation. Put in detention on Friday, hearing on Monday morning, a weekend between the two, the administration has shown remarkable celerity to do this procedures.

This morning, the judge released Mr. M because of a procedural flaw. But the OQTF is still there. After a delay of 7 days, he can be arrested again, put in detention and deported to Sudan, unless the Administrative Court cancels the OQTF.



Turner: rain, steam and speed.