A pro-migrant organisation released amateur videos on Tuesday (12 May) showing migrants being brutalised by police on the motorway branch leading to the French ferry port of Calais.
In the videos, police officers are seen forcibly removing migrants from trucks, throwing migrants over the motorway guardrail and discharging tear gas at a group of migrants.
The scenes were filmed on 5 May, one day after French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Calais' Mayor Natacha Bouchard visited the newly-opened migrant welcome centre located outside the city and expressed the goal of bringing support and meals to the estimated 2,500 migrants living in Calais.
According to local media, Cazeneuve urged the migrants to forget about trying to reach the UK and told them they should claim political asylum in France. An increasing number of migrants have been trying to enter Britain via the French port of Calais in recent months and, as pressure grows from Westminster to take action, authorities have begun to construct a steel fence to secure the port from illegal immigrants.
Stopped from crossing the English channel, migrants have set up makeshift camps in and around the city that are slowly becoming their permanent homes and French authorities are trying to clear the camps inside the city.
France's human rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon said on Tuesday (12 May) he would investigate the case.