Listen to the testimony (FR) :
So, you were deported at the beginning of the week, weren’t you? You were at the closed centre in Bruges, what happened?
Yes I was. On the 15th they came to pick me up in the morning, they had said around noon, they told me to go and see the assistant. The latter told me that I had to take my luggage and go to the airport.
That is when I contacted my friend Francesca, once at the airport I also contacted my lawyer. He told me that he had not received any answer, because he had introduced a request but he got no answer. He had said he would do something but… I could not refuse, I really had to go to the airport.
Once at the airport, they asked me whether I wanted to leave. I said I did not have the choice since I had a request pending, that remained unanswered, therefore I did not have the choice, I was going to leave.
Then they sent me to a room where they searched my bag. Then the worse thing happened when they asked me to undress completely. I asked why and they answered it was for security reasons. But what did they think I, a little girl, would do to the people in the plane?
It was awful, it’s really what marked me most, suffer this treatment, stand naked in front of people so that they may search you. They even handcuffed me! There I said no, I do not oppose my return therefore I don’t want these things around my hands! They said it was the procedure, that they didn’t have the choice, they had to do it.
Two police men escorted me to the plane and I remained handcuffed until Burkina Faso. It was such an abasement to me, because they really didn’t have to come to that, it was hard, really hard, it was violent. On the plane I asked them to remove the handcuffs but they refused, again because of the procedure. It is their procedure to mistreat people like that. Even if you do not refuse to leave, in spite of that they will make you suffer these things. It was really humiliating to undress for no reason, there are people who are even searched in their genitals.
How is it in your country?
Actually, I’m not with my family, I did not go back there of course. I am at a friends’s in a host family, a friend of mine had told me that if was coming back I could stay at her’s in the meantime. I am there all day, at home, I do not go out.
You had been on a hunger strike for two or three days in the closed centre of Bruges, do you think it is linked?
Honestly I don’t know, but it can be, because the people there just pretend, but they follow all your movements.
Were you heavily watched in the centre?
Yes we were! Too much! The least movement and they were making a report, all the time! So I don’t know if they forward them or not, I really don’t know.
Fichier à télécharger (FR) (clic droit – enregistrer sous)
First testimony of this woman :
All I wanted was to be protected
Testimony by a woman who ran away from a forced marriage and who is detained in the closed centre in Bruges
Listen (FR) :
You are in the closed centre of Bruges. Can you explain since when you’ve been there and how/why you arrived in Belgium?
When I arrived at the airport, they directly brought me to the Caricole; it is also a detention centre not far from the airport.
In fact, regarding the purpose of my travel: I was running away from a tricky situation; a forced marriage in my country. I wanted to escape this union and find refuge somewhere. But I didn’t know there was a place where one could request asylum, I was just running away from that situation… When I got to the airport, I was arrested because I did not fulfil the conditions of travel; I didn’t have any hotel reservation etc. hence they sent me to the Caricole. There I was informed that one could request asylum and everything started from that moment.
So, you requested asylum at that moment, right?
Yes, I did. I was running away from a particular situation and I totally ignored that it was possible to request asylum, if I had known it I would have done that directly.
Since when have you been there ?
I’ve been here for two months and a few weeks, I arrived on the 11th of February.
So, you were running away from a forced marriage with a man who is older than you I suppose?
Yes, the man is older than me and he even has two wives and big children. He is a longstanding friend of the family and he is also my boss because after he wanted me to work for him at his workplace.
I ran away! I asked for some help from a friend, because I had tried several times, it was the only way… but it made me do bad things because… I needed money for the travel, I had to steal money from where I was working, to be able to organise all that…
And now you are in the detention centre of Bruges, right?
Yes I am. I introduced my first asylum request, they refused, I had a first interview, and then a second interview, negative. We appealed to court, they refused and they told me I had to return.
The latest news, when I rang my friend to tell her it didn’t work, she said I’d better not come back because it was hectic over there, they even called herself in and they were looking for me everywhere.
Once at the airport I said I could not return.
A friend told me that I had the right to introduce a second asylum request. I did not know. I refused that one and this is how I found myself transferred to Bruges.
They tried to deport you twice already, didn’t they?
Yes they did. They even told me that the next time they would handcuff me and send me back home. I tried to explain my situation, I tried to make them understand that all I wanted was to be protected, that I was not there for another reason. Because the general consulate refused, they said that at my age and seen my level of studies I could not be forced… but they forget that we have traditions, back home they don’t care about your age, they don’t care about your level of studies; if your family decides so, there is nothing you can do about it… this is what they don’t understand, there is nothing you can do about it!
Thank you Madam.
Talk to you soon, thank you, good bye.
Download the testimony (FR) : (Right clic – Save as ) – Je voulais qu’on me protège