Interviews

  • NGOs drop support for 'ill-prepared' Calais Jungle evacuation

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    A group of migrants close to the "Jungle" camp in Calais, October 1st 2016. © Reuters A group of migrants close to the "Jungle" camp in Calais, October 1st 2016. © Reuters

    The notorious makeshift migrant camp in the French Channel port of Calais, which NGOs estimate houses between 8,000 and 10,000 people, including 1,300 minors without parents, is to be evacuated and razed in the coming weeks. But 11 humanitarian associations involved in providing assistance for the migrants living in a shantytown of huts and tents known as “the Jungle”, many of which initially supported the move, have now applied for a court order to halt the operation, arguing that it is “a violation of the fundamental rights of the exiled”. Carine Fouteau hears from the head of one of the most active NGOs, L’Auberge des Migrants, why it has now come out against the evacuation and his fears over the consequences.

  • Pulitzer winner Walter Robinson on Catholic Church's paedophile cover-ups

    By Daphné Gastaldi
    A scene from the film Spotlight. A scene from the film Spotlight.

    Walter Robinson is an investigative journalist with The Boston Globe who in 2002 exposed a vast paedophile scandal in the American Catholic Church, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 and inspired the 2015 movie Spotlight. As the French Catholic Church becomes ever more engulfed by revelations of paedophile abuse and a system of protection for the priests involved, Robinson, in this interview with Daphné Gastaldi, details what he uncovered in the US within a system that precisely mirrors the scandal in France.

  • Anthropologist Scott Atran on why Islamic State is a wider threat than realised

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    Anthropologist Scott Atran, a research fellow with Oxford University who also teaches at University of Michigan and John Jay College in New York, is a leading expert in the study of the motivations of those who join jihadist ranks and the rise of the Islamic State group, and advises governments and international organizations on the issue. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, he argues that the draw of IS is widely misunderstood, is not limited to disenfranchised communities, and that the organization can only be overcome by a different military, political and psychological approach by Western nations.

  • In France 'the poorer you are, the poorer you get'

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    The charity Oxfam recently sounded the alarm about an explosion in wealth inequality across the world. Academic Patrick Savidan says that France, which once resisted this trend, is now in the same boat as other developed nations as the gap between wealthiest and poorest grows wider. Savidan, who co-founded a commission to monitor inequality, explains in an interview with Mediapart's Dan Israel that while the rich have long been getting richer in France, the latest development is that the poor are now getting poorer too.

  • The Paris attacks and Europe's 'overlooked' traffic in arms

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    One of the key issues arising from the Paris terror attacks on Friday November 13th is the apparent ease with which the perpetrators and other terrorists got their hands on significant numbers of “decommissioned” military assault weapons. Belgium, where some of those who carried out the Paris attacks lived, is said by many to be the hub of the flourishing illegal firearms trade in Europe. Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant interviewed Belgian expert Cédric Poitevin on the issue.

  • Why Islamic State is targeting France

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    DATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes DATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

    Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris terror attacks on Friday, November 13th. But why has the terror group made France its “principal target”, ahead of other states involved in the anti-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria? French journalist and author David Thomson, an expert on French jihadists, explains the background to Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux.

  • Slovak president on migrants: 'We must show our solidarity'

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    The Slovak government is officially opposed to the imposition of migrant quotas on European countries. However, in an interview with Mediapart the president of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska, insists that his country must “abandon” its current stance. “We are capable of doing more for refugees,” he declared, ahead of a meeting of EU interior ministers on Tuesday to discuss how migrants are to be shared between members states. Mathieu Magnaudeix reports.

  • Moroccan rights activist denounces a 'relaunch of repression’

    By Ilhem Rachidi

    Amid the tumult of the so-called Arab Spring movements in 2011 which swept from Tunisia to Libya, Egypt and Syria, the pro-democracy ‘February 20th movement’ in Morocco, ruled by an authoritarian monarchy, mobilised hundreds of thousands around the country. After the protests forced King Mohammed VI to agree a number of constitutional reforms that included free elections, the movement soon petered out, and rights groups have denounced the return of a clampdown by the authorities against opposition militants. In this interview with Ilhem Rachidi for Mediapart, Abdellah Lefnatsa, responsible for economic and social rights with the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, details what he calls the “revenge” of the regime with the harassment and jailing of pro-democracy militants, and analyses the failure of the 2011 popular uprising to obtain truly democratic change.

  • 'The breeding ground for jihadists is the denial of democracy'

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    la mosquée Imam al Sadek dans le quartier de Sawaber dans la partie orientale de Koweït City.
'attentat à la bombe commis vendredi contre une mosquée chiite et qui a fait 27 morts dans la capitale de l'émirat © Reuters. la mosquée Imam al Sadek dans le quartier de Sawaber dans la partie orientale de Koweït City. 'attentat à la bombe commis vendredi contre une mosquée chiite et qui a fait 27 morts dans la capitale de l'émirat © Reuters.

    Four terror attacks on Friday that left scores dead across four countries on three different continents raised speculation that Islamic State had launched a concerted offensive from its Syrian and Iraqi stronghold to mark the first anniversary of its Caliphate. However, an expert on jihadist movements, Wassim Nasr, dismisses the idea that the outrages in France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Somalia were part of a coordinated campaign, and says the West still does not understand Islamic State's real strategy. In a wide-ranging interview with Mediapart, the specialist contends that Western states, including France, have themselves created the breeding ground for jihadist groups by backing dictatorships over democratically-elected popular movements. Pierre Puchot reports.

  • Dying to earn a living: the truth about occupational health risks in France

    A recently-published study of health risks at the workplace in France demonstrates the grave dangers millions of employees are exposed to and the immense difficulties in attaining official recognition of these and the illnesses that they create. The study is presented in a book entitled Les Risques du travail, co-authored by experts on occupational health and safety, and which is an updated version of a similar study published under the same title in 1985. In this interview with Mathilde Goanec and Rachida El Azzouzi, two of the new book’s co-author’s, Annie Thébaud-Mony and Laurent Vogel, detail their findings and explain why the evolution of the economy and industry over the past 30 years have made occupational risks more diversified and the health consequences harder to legally prove.