Ocean Viking: not enough judges or interpreters, dozens of migrants released in the Var

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Dozens of migrants will be able to leave the “waiting area” in which they have been staying since the arrival of the Ocean Viking in France. Overwhelmed, the investigating judges let the legal deadline pass.

Arrived on French soil a week ago, dozens of adult migrant passengers from the Ocean Viking ship will be able to leave the “international waiting area” in which they were to stay in a holiday village on the Giens peninsula in the Var.

After four days, the extension of their detention in this closed center had to be approved by a judge of freedoms and detention. The law gives the magistrate 24 hours to rule. Overwhelmed, the judges did not render their decision in time. Var-Morning explains that due to the excessive number of files to be processed, and in the absence of a sufficient number of interpreters, the five judges of freedoms and detention presided over the last hearings on Tuesday evening. Too late.

The migrants have been housed for a week in a holiday village on the Giens peninsula.
Photo MaxPPP

The prosecution appealed the orders issued by the Toulon magistrates. The Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal validated the orders. At the same time, precise Var-Morningfor the files examined on time, lawyers raised nullities for procedural defects.

The Ocean Viking at the port of Toulon, November 13, 2022.

The Ocean Viking at the port of Toulon, November 13, 2022.
Photo MaxPPP

Result: several dozen migrants – the exact number is not yet known – are free to come and go on French soil, including those who have been considered ineligible for an asylum application.

Thursday, 26 of the 44 minor migrants taken care of in the Var ran away. Unlike adults, they were not housed in a waiting area but in a hotel which they were not allowed to leave. They were supervised by educators and supported by the Departmental Council of Var.

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