The 234 people rescued by the humanitarian boat in the Mediterranean had been transferred to this area, created in a holiday center on the Giens peninsula, in Hyeres.

Migrants leave the humanitarian ship “Ocean Viking” in Toulon, November 11, 2022. (AFP)

The Council of State rejected, Saturday, November 19, the request of the National Association for Border Assistance for Foreigners (Anafe) which demanded the closure of the waiting area created temporarily to receive migrants from the Ocean Viking, on the peninsula of Giens, in Hyeres (Var). “The judge notes the exceptional circumstances in which the reception of these people had to be organized” and observes “that the rights of these foreigners have not, by this sole fact, been seriously and manifestly illegally hindered”.

The 234 survivors rescued in the Mediterranean and disembarked on November 11 in Toulon had been transferred to this area while their files were examined. A large number have since been released, either by court order, or because they are unaccompanied minors, or because they have been granted admission to the territory for asylum after interviews with the French Office Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra).

No serious infringement of a fundamental freedom

The summary judge of the Council of State notes that the Ofpra “was able to conduct the interviews legally provided for” and that “the judge of freedoms and detention and then the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal ruled on the extension of the detention measures, which was moreover refused in the vast majority of them”.

It also notes that “with the exception of the few hours during which the persons were present on the military base, the applicant association was able to access the holiday village without hindrance”.

According to the press release, the Ministry of the Interior sent Anafe an “updated list of the 16 people” kept in this center, “in order to facilitate the exercise of its mission of assistance, as it had been engaged during the hearing at the Council of State” which was held on Friday, and “lawyers also have access to the holiday village”. The judge in chambers of the Council of State concluded that “the absence of a serious and manifestly illegal attack on a fundamental freedom”.