Algerian authorities crack down on migrants, deporting many to Niger
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Since early September, police in Oran, a town in northwestern Algeria, have arrested a number of people suspected of living and working illegally in the country. The migrants who were arrested are being held in detention centres, where they are enduring poor conditions while awaiting deportation. But when they finally are deported, they don’t get to return to their countries of origin. Instead, the Algerian authorities have been taking them and dropping them in the desert near the border with Niger.
"It’s true that we are migrants here, but we have rights and responsibilities (...). Look at the condition of the place where we are supposed to sleep! We can’t even sleep. Coronavirus… look at how we are living in Algeria!” says a man, narrating a video of the migrant detention centre where he is crammed into a room with about 50 other people. Their only comfort is foam mattresses on the ground, where they both sit and sleep. The facility is incredibly overcrowded.
Our Observer sent us this video, which he filmed on October 5 in a deportation centre for undocumented migrants in Oran, Algeria.