Reports

  • The scenes of despair and chaos amid humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

    In Herat, north-west Afghanistan, several refugees were injured as they implored the Taliban for humanitarian aid.. © Rachida El Azzouzi/Mediapart In Herat, north-west Afghanistan, several refugees were injured as they implored the Taliban for humanitarian aid.. © Rachida El Azzouzi/Mediapart

    It is estimated that around half the population of Afghanistan is facing famine this winter as the humanitarian crisis in the country, described by the UN as one of the worst worldwide, continues to develop following the return to power of the Taliban and subsequent international sanctions. Rachida El Azzouzi and Mortaza Behboudi report from the north-west city of Herat, where some families are reduced to selling their daughters to buy food. There, they witnessed, and filmed, a stampede by famished refugees, mostly mothers seeking vital aid kits from the overwhelmed Taliban.


  • The volunteers helping domestic violence victims in rural France

    By Élodie Potente
    One association in south-east France offers equine therapy to women victims of violence. © DR / Femmes répit One association in south-east France offers equine therapy to women victims of violence. © DR / Femmes répit

    According to a 2021 report by French senators, half of all murders of women in France are committed in rural regions, where just one third of the country’s female population reside. The plight of women victims of domestic violence is particularly acute in rural areas where isolation, local taboos and the relative scarcity of public services combine to aggravate their distress. Élodie Potente reports from the Drôme, a rural south-east département (county), where local associations and volunteers provide help for victims amid the absence of adequate state support.

  • France's unvaccinated hit back at Macron: 'Forcing us isn't the answer'

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    A sticker on a lamppost saying no to the Covid-19 vaccine, at Montreuil in the Paris suburbs. © NB. A sticker on a lamppost saying no to the Covid-19 vaccine, at Montreuil in the Paris suburbs. © NB.

    Less than a week ago President Emmanuel Macron caused controversy when he said he wanted to “piss off” the unvaccinated in France, whom he described as “irresponsible” and “no longer citizens” in his eyes. As Mediapart has found out, these comments shocked people who have not – yet – made the decision to get vaccinated against Covid. Divided between those who have doubts about the vaccine, others who are afraid, or some who simply feel that it is their duty to defend public liberties, the unvaccinated say they feel misunderstood and are unhappy about being stigmatised. Nejma Brahim reports.

  • Why voters in one corner of France are quietly turning their back on politics

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    On the ferry across the Rhine, between France and Germany. © Pascal Bastien pour Mediapart On the ferry across the Rhine, between France and Germany. © Pascal Bastien pour Mediapart

    The Bas-Rhin département or county in north-east France, which borders Germany, is dominated politically by the Right and far-right. Mediapart visited the region to test the mood on the ground and found that more and more local people, and especially those in rural areas, are choosing to abstain from voting. Quietly, and with no fanfare, swathes of people in this area are saying a discreet farewell to the world of politics. Mathilde Goanec reports from the towns of Drusenheim and Haguenau.

  • The tragedy in the Channel, and the fears of more to come

    By Sheerazad Chekaik-Chaila
    A boat carrying the bodies of the dead arriving in Calais, November 24th 2021. © François Lo Presti / AFP A boat carrying the bodies of the dead arriving in Calais, November 24th 2021. © François Lo Presti / AFP

    At least 27 people, including three children and seven women, one of who was pregnant, died in the Channel off the French port of Calais on Wednesday as they attempted to reach Britain in a clandestine journey by dinghy, according to the latest official toll. Sheerazad Chekaik-Chaila reports from Calais on the scenes as recovered bodies were brought to the quayside after the deadliest known tragedy involving migrants attempting to cross the Channel, and one which rescue services warn could be repeated with the arrival of treacherous winter conditions.

  • Innovative French cooperative launches railroad revival

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    Railcoop’s first freight convoy at Capdenac railway station, November 15th 2021. © Photo Nicolas Cheviron pour Mediapart Railcoop’s first freight convoy at Capdenac railway station, November 15th 2021. © Photo Nicolas Cheviron pour Mediapart

    Railcoop, a small French cooperative railways company this week inaugurated its first service, carrying freight for small businesses in the south-west of the country. The cooperative is the first of its kind in Europe, and it has big plans ahead, beginning with the opening next year of a passenger service across central France linking the cities of Bordeaux and Lyon and, along the way, dozens of small towns previously abandoned by France’s historic railways operator, the SNCF. As Nicolas Cheviron reports, for the cooperative's staff and stakeholders the launch this week was a two-year dream come true.

  • The French village mayor resisting Covid health pass and walking legal tightrope

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    Dominique Legresy, mayor of the village of Corn in south-west France. © Photo Nicolas Cheviron pour Mediapart Dominique Legresy, mayor of the village of Corn in south-west France. © Photo Nicolas Cheviron pour Mediapart

    Introduced in France this summer, a “health pass” attesting that the holder is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or has recently tested negative to the coronavirus, is required for gaining access to a wide range of public venues. This month, as the government moves to extend its power to impose the pass through to next summer, Mediapart took to the road to gather reactions to the restrictions in the lesser populated rural areas of central and south-west France, where local concerns contrast with those in crowded urban zones. Here, Nicolas Cheviron reports from the village of Corn, whose mayor, Dominique Legresy, a fervent opponent of the pass, confides how he tries “to allow things to happen” without breaking the law.

  • A year after Samuel Paty's murder, teachers in France give their verdict on the current classroom mood

    By Prisca Borrel
    Pupils and teachers gather at the Pierre d'Aragon secondary school at Muret in south-west France on November 2nd 2020, in homage to Samuel Paty. © Photo Lionel Bonaventure / AFP Pupils and teachers gather at the Pierre d'Aragon secondary school at Muret in south-west France on November 2nd 2020, in homage to Samuel Paty. © Photo Lionel Bonaventure / AFP

    On October 16th 2020 history and geography teacher Samuel Paty was murdered near his school in the north-west suburbs of Paris where he had previously shown pupils caricatures of Muhammad as part of a lesson. A year later, Mediapart visited a similar-sized community at Alès in southern France to speak to teachers there about life in the classroom following a brutal killing that shocked the nation. They told Mediapart about their hopes, their fears and their complicated relations with pupils who they say are being drip fed with 'fake news'. Some also expressed their anger about an education system they consider to be too passive in the face of the current situation. Prisca Borrel reports.

  • The smugglers and ancient alliances defying the borders of the Pyrenees

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    Shops in the Andorran town of El Pas de la Casa enjoy brisk year-round business with customers and smugglers attracted by its low VAT rates. © Photo Emmanuel Riondé pour Mediapart Shops in the Andorran town of El Pas de la Casa enjoy brisk year-round business with customers and smugglers attracted by its low VAT rates. © Photo Emmanuel Riondé pour Mediapart

    The Pyrenees mountains separating France and Spain have long been a crossing route for smugglers of all kinds of wares, which today range from cigarettes to elvers. But the 623-kilometre-long border between the two countries, definitively traced in 1866, has also never been a barrier for the centuries-old exchanges, local alliances and regulations established between the communities living on either side. Emmanuel Riondé reports. 

  • Why the lights have gone out over Lebanon

    Beirut residents without power to air conditioning units escape to their balconies. © Houssam Shbaro / Anadolu Agency via AFP Beirut residents without power to air conditioning units escape to their balconies. © Houssam Shbaro / Anadolu Agency via AFP

    August 4th marks the anniversary of the devastating explosion last year in the port of Beirut of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate unsafely stored in a warehouse, causing the deaths of more than 200 people and injuring more than 6,500 others. The blast accentuated an already severe economic and financial crisis in Lebanon, and has left it politically rudderless ever since. Amid high unemployment, soaring poverty and shortages of basic commodities, the population is now also struggling from constant power cuts, the result of withering institutional corruption which has all but paralysed its electricity network. Nada Maucourant Atallah reports from Beirut.