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Fatal assault in an asylum center in Pau, the alleged perpetrator imprisoned



On Sunday February 21, a 38-year-old Sudanese man was indicted for murder and imprisoned. The man, who admitted the facts, was being prosecuted for having stabbed a 46-year-old man, head of the reception center for asylum seekers (Cada) Isard-COS in Pau, managed by the COS Alexandre Glasberg Foundation.

The man presented himself on Friday February 19 around 10:30 am in the administrative premises of Cada. He asked to see the head of the asylum pole, described as a very experienced social worker, who invited him out, or at least to leave the corridor for health reasons. But the man instead followed him into his office. Shortly after, the employees of the center were alerted by screams and intervened to subdue the assailant, which they kept in a room. Despite the rapid arrival of help, the victim, father of two, died an hour later. He received at least 13 stab wounds.

→ THE FACTS. Pau: a reception center manager killed with a knife by an asylum seeker

According to the prosecution, which ruled out any terrorist motive, the man does not have a psychiatric disorder. He explained to investigators that he “Harbored reproaches” with regard to the structure, where he had been supported between 2015 and 2017, because he considered “That its situation does not[avait] not been properly treated ”, said the prosecutor of Pau, Cécile Gensac. That week he had come three times, including Friday “To obtain the structure, and therefore the victim, a paper for the attention of Ofpra (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) in order to allow it to be maintained on national territory”. Saying to “Escheat”, he mentioned “The fear of having had to return to Sudan because of the local wars” which motivated his visit to Europe, added the prosecutor.

A status granted and then lost

Arrived in France in 2015, the perpetrator of the attack had applied for asylum, which had been refused by Ofpra. But he then appealed to the National Court of Asylum (CNDA), and obtained subsidiary protection, a status granted to people who run a serious risk in the event of return to the country without being granted asylum.

However, following convictions for violence, including one with a resident of the center, and the other in prison where he stayed between January 2017 and August 2018, the man lost his right of residence. “The law provides that a person can lose his status for various reasons including the fact of constituting a serious threat to public order, public security or state security”, specifies Gérard Sadik, asylum specialist at Cimade. In 2019, 47 people lost their refugee status and 28 their subsidiary protection. The man did not go to the two convocations of Ofpra which were to notify him of this removal of status.

The Cada de Pau, which accommodates 257 migrants, refugees or asylum seekers, “Is one of those centers established locally for a long time which does very good work in the field”, according to Pascal Brice, president of the Federation of Solidarity Actors, of which the COS Alexandre Glasberg Foundation is a member. We are not confronted with permanent violence ”, indicates Philippe Ellias, director of the precariousness pole. “This drama touches precisely an association which discreetly plays a big role so that the tension does not rise and that things go as well as possible for the families which need to be accommodated”, confirms François Bayrou, mayor of Pau.

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