Paris, January 6th, 1998 français  / english / italiano / deutsch


Eighteen members of the Lille Sans-Papiers Committee ("CSP 59") have been on indefinite hunger strike since November 17th, 1997 - in other words for 49 days. They are holding out with courage and determination for the "regularisation" of their right to stay in France.

This hunger strike is the 4th in the history of CSP 59 and was started after a wait of several months, during which some sans-papiers received their 9th appointment for an interview with the authorities, without any clear indication of the government's decision on their fate. In this way, after a series intimidations and prevarications against a background of repression, the local immigration authorities, who are already renowned for their contempt for the cause of the paperless immigrants mobilised by the Sans-Papiers, are now playing with the lives of the hunger strikers and attempting to force them into capitulation by attrition and divisive manoeuvres.

Do we really have to wait for a man to die before we find a collective solution to the legitimate demand for the global regularisation of the hunger strikers and their comrades?

Already, three hunger strikers had to be hospitalised last week as an emergency measure because they were vomiting blood. According to the association of 14 local doctors set up to monitor the hunger strike, the situation is becoming "genuinely perilous" for all the others.

The National Coordination of Sans-Papiers in Struggle vigorously denounces the cynicism and obstinacy of the local immigration authority (Préfecture du Nord), which is deliberately allowing the situation to deteriorate in contempt for the life of paperless foreigners whose only crime, in most cases, is to be unmarried (because married immigrants have a much higher chance of obtaining a legal residence permit). The Coordination also denounces the inconsistencies and dead-ends of the Circular of June 24th 1997 and of the proposed laws contained in the Chevènement and Guigou Bills, which represent a continuity of suspicion, criminalisation and discrimination, while maintaining the Sans-Papiers in particular and all foreigners in general in a situation of social and economic precarity and exclusion. This state of affairs is unacceptable.

It is therefore urgent to send letters and faxes of protest to the Interior Minister/Home Secretary:

Monsieur le Ministre de l'Intérieur
Place Beauveau,
75008 PARIS
Fax: (+33) 1 43 59 89 50

fax a copy of your message to the hunger strikers :

(++33) 3 20 86 15 56

For further information, please contact:
Coordination Nationale de Sans-Papiers
22 rue Pajol
75018 PARIS
Tel/Fax: (+33) 1 46 07 16 19

Bank a/c: CMDP No. 80187841