EDITORIALS & OP-EDS / Solidarity with Mikaël Doulson, tried on November 7 in Boulogne-sur-Mer for supporting the Calais migrants He is charged with "participating in an illegal protest, with concealment of the face"
Latest news: On the 7th of November, the Court of Boulogne-sur-Mer acknowledged Mikaël Doulson to be guilty of the acts alleged against him (participation in an illegal demonstration and facial concealment), and sentenced him to a €502 fine payable immediately + a €500 suspended fine (in the case of a recurrence within 5 years). So he escaped imprisonment. So that's to say, if in France in a state of emergency, you participate in a gathering which you didn't know was banned, and you want to protect your face from tear gas and other toxic projectiles, it will cost you between €500 and €1000.
We receive and publish this message from our friend Michael Doulson, who became a new victim of the arbitrariness that has prevailed in Calais for too long.
My name is Mikaël Doulson, and I am a journalist working for an associative media.
On Saturday 1st October 2016 at 5:15 pm, while at a gathering in support of the migrants living in the camp, known as the "Jungle", which should be dismantled over the next coming days, I was arrested by French police in Calais.
I was charged with "participating in an illegal protest, with concealment of the face".
This, while I came to Calais simply to animate a percussion workshop for the migrants and to write an article about the gathering, that I didn’t know hadn’t been authorised. In addition, if I covered indeed mouth and nose with my scarf, it was only to protect myself from the adverse effects of the teargas which was massively used by the police on that day, as it is shown in the video below. The video of my arrest shows clearly that my attitude was completely pacifist and non-violent, my intention festive, and that I had no intention to disturb public order, nor to threat goods and people (at 14 min):
Furthermore, this video and many others show that force is used in a disproportionate manner (batons, sting-ball grenades, teargas, flash-balls) against an already highly discriminated, vulnerable and left out population:
I was held for more than 40 hours in custody in a 4 square meter small cell in terrible, humiliating conditions that are unworthy of human conditions: extreme insalubrity (blood and excrements on walls and floor), sleep deprivation (lights are turned around the clock), prohibition to drink water for several hours, many practices that are assimilated to psychological torture, aiming to break the psychological resistance of defendants before their immediate appearance in court. I was also insulted (when I asked politely for something to drink, the reply was “No, and it’s me who decides, you asshole!”), which also constitutes a deviation from the Code of Ethics of the National Police.
I would like to remind here, that France is regularly condemned by the European Court of Human Rights and other international jurisdictions for bad treatment of prisoners and for the detention conditions which are violating international laws (especially Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (Prohibition of torture).
At the end of my custody, I was brought up for immediate appearance, as if I was a dangerous criminal. I requested to postpone the trial to have time to prepare my defence with my lawyer, and I luckily was set free until the day of my trial.
Now, my trial will take place on Monday 7 November 2016 at 2 pm at the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) of Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais). The precise address is: (aptly named!) Place de la Résistance - 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer.
On this occasion, I invite you to come in numbers and attend the public audience, to support me as well as the cause of the migrants and undocumented. Because this trial is not only my trial, it is the one of all those who fight for their rights and fundamental liberties: freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of protest, all in all, freedom to hope and to get organised for the construction of a better world and future.
On 7th November as from 12 pm, a shared and self-managed meal will be organised on the square in front of the Court, to get to know each other before the trial. The idea is simple: everyone brings something to eat or to drink and we’ll share it!
If you want to support me, please sign and share this petition widely on social media, it will take you only 30 seconds.
Thank you for forwarding this message to your activist networks, family and friends, media (alternative or not), etc, to support my cause and to ask the public prosecutor and the District Court (TGI) of Boulogne-sur-mer to abandon all charges against me.
You can also help me pay part of my trial costs (lawyer, administrative fees, potential fine…)
via bank transfer to my bank account : IBAN : FR76 1350 6100 0090 7173 6800 164 and BIC : AGRIFRPP835. Bank : Crédit Agricole de Nîmes. Account name : Mr MIKAEL DOULSON.