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EDP journalist recounts attack at Calais Jungle migrant camp

Tom Bristow's Calais trip to the 'Jungle' migrant camp. Photo: Archant

Tom Bristow's Calais trip to the 'Jungle' migrant camp. Photo: Archant

Archant

I interviewed Hussain moments before he began punching me.

Tom Bristow's Calais trip to the 'Jungle' migrant camp. Photo: Archant  Tom Bristow's Calais trip to the 'Jungle' migrant camp. Photo: Archant

He said he was 21, from Jalalabad in Pakistan and tried every night to get to England by jumping on a truck. “It is very difficult,” he said.

We were standing on a sand dune where the Jungle ends and a no man’s land begins – separating the camp from the French police who protect the road into the port of Calais.

I was walking towards the road to video lorries, when I heard a shout of “no video” behind me.

I looked around and Hussain was standing next to me with a wiry young man.

I told them I was not videoing them and showed them my phone so they could see they weren’t in any footage.

The wiry man then grabbed my phone and tried to pull it from my hands.

I kept hold of it and we wrestled for control. I could see Hussain shaping up for a punch which I couldn’t avoid. His fist thumped into the side of my head above my left ear.

A second hit to my head followed and we all fell to the sandy ground.

The man wrestling me for the phone was on top of me, while Hussain punched me in the face. I looked up and saw his white teeth and mouth open over my arm, about to bite.

At that moment I let go of the phone and they ran off into the camp.

I got up and walked towards the police van, two officers were coming towards me.

They had seen the attack in the distance but said they were under orders to not get any closer to the camp.

I waited with them for around 90 minutes until we saw Hussain and his friend walking out of the Jungle and the officers arrested them and took them to Calais police station.

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