Fire at Vincennes detention centre, 2 cellblocks out of action – France


Yesterday (Friday 1 July) prisoners in Vincennes migration prison outside Paris set a fire which spread through the detention centre taking two buildings out of operation. Vincennes was famously destroyed by fire in 2008 (the picture above is from then, as we haven’t yet seen good images from yesterday’s fire). We have roughly translated / adapted the brief report below from French corporate media (original here).
Emeute et incendie… La nuit a été agitée au CRA (centre de rétention administrative) de Vincennes. Ce vendredi, à cinq heures du matin, des détenus – on les appelle des retenus car ils ne sont pas en garde à vue et en cellule, ont mis le feu à des matelas. L’incendie s’est propagé, nécessitant l’intervention d’un important dispositif de police et des pompiers de Paris et l’évacuation des occupants. Le feu a été circonscrit rapidement. Ce vendredi matin, des membres du cabinet du préfet de police se sont rendus sur place, le sujet étant sensible…

This Friday at 5 AM detainees set fire to some mattresses. The fire spread, needing (sic) the intervention of a large operation of police and fire brigade from Paris and the evacuation of the occupiers. The fire was rapidly brought under control. This friday morning, members of the office of the prefect of police were on site, the subject being sensible …
The CRA (detention centre), sited on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes park, next to Paris, imprisons more than 100 women and men without papers, threatened with deportation.
The riot was provoked, according to a police source, by an attempt to deport “an Algerian detainee to his country of origin”. Then “when the forces of order arrived at 5AM to take him to the airport, his comrades wanted to oppose his departure. They banged on the grills and set fire to matresses in the rooms. Some of them used a ping pong table as a projectile against the forces of order.”
There were no injuries and no escapes. But the rooms of two of the buildings, 260 square metres in total, have been ravaged by the flames and are now unusable. CCTV cameras have been destroyed. The electricity is out of action. The prisoners have been transferred. This is not the first time that incidents of this type, rebellion and fire, have struck the CRA of Vincennes.

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