French group rejects plans to oust it from deportation centres
Aid organization CIMADE, the only group allowed access to
French deportation centres, on Sunday rejected a plan by the Immigration
Ministry to restrict its mandate, dpa
"We intend to continue the defence of foreigners in deportation centres," the organization said in a press release in Paris.
CIMADE regularly publishes reports critical of conditions in deportation centres and has complained in recent months of violence used against deportees.
Immigration Minister Brice Hortefeux had recently announced that CIMADE's contract for legal aid would be withdrawn and given to several organizations.
CIMADE said it suspected that the move was an attempt by government to suppress criticism.
"The government wants to weaken critical counteraction," Pierre Henry, head of the organization France Land of Asylum, was quoted by the newspaper Journal du Dimanche as saying.
On Saturday, the Immigration Ministry said it would surpass its target of 26,000 deportations this year. The ministry has budgeted 42 million euros (58 million dollars) for deportations in 2009.