08 February 2012 : Telephone interview of a man detained in 127 Bis Centre. He got arrested while at the hairdresser’s.
Listen to the testimony (FR):[audio:http://gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Je-nai-plus-assez-de-courage_01.mp3|titles=Je n’ai plus assez de courage_01]
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I’ve been in the detention centre since one month and a half and I’ve lost a lot of weight; my situation is awful. I’m waiting for justice to decide, I’ve been to the court of first instance but it was negative.
I’ve been in Belgium for 6 years, I asked for regularisation. I live also in a house, I’ve got an address, I pay the rent, I pay for electricity, I work illegally, like this I can eat. They caught me at the hairdresser’s, they came in and as I didn’t want to give my true name to the federals, they told me : “ Give me your name !” I gave a name because I didn’t want to give my real name, my true nationality because I was frightened to be repatriated.
After, he took my ticket in my jacket and he told me : “This is not your name, that is your name, why did you lie to me ?” and he hit me twice, he slapped me twice in the face and I had really a pain during two weeks.
I lodged a complaint but it didn’t change anything : I’m here at the centre, I suffer in the centre. I don’t want to go back to Morocco in my country. I don’t want to and I can’t at the same time. I’m really frightened something happens to me, I’m frightened to take the plane, maybe my heart will stop.
So, every time I hear the sound of the plane, here in the centre, I can’t even look through the window. Then imagine : I hear it every day, every morning, every evening, my situation is morally really bad, I can’t, I suffer a lot, I really want it to change; I really would like if someone has a grain, a grain of humanity, and if he hears my message, if he can do something, because for my part, I didn’t do anything, I’m someone respectable.
I asked for regularisation. I was working normally here in Belgium. I don’t want to be repatriated to Morocco. I don’t want to ! I just can’t admit it ! So to all those people who support the “undocumented”, who can do something, change something here at the centre, well, I tell them to have courage and I wish them to have a lot because I don’t have any !
How does it happen in the centre ?
It’s a shame, the situation for eating is really bad. There isn’t enough. Imagine the best dish here is rice, it’s rice alone ! Some of us made hunger strikes and they went to the cell but it doesn’t change anything in the end. Even if you do something, protest or what else, you can’t speak to jailers. A jailer, if you don’t speak correctly to him, or even, if so he wishes, he can write a report and after that you go directly to cell.
It is a real problem. I can’t understand what happens here. I’m waiting, alone here and I suffer, I suffer, morally. Me, I didn’t do nothing, I asked for nothing, I’ve never committed any crime here in Belgium, I’ve always tried to be respectable.
How do the jailers act with you ?
Normally they should act as human beings but it’s the opposite. They believe we are bad, they believe maybe we’ll hit them, we don’t want that. But really we can’t find more than 1 or 2 percent of the people we meet we can speak with. They should act as psychologists because we’re not here because we committed something bad. If you have a right for something, they can complicate the things, they’ll tell you that it’s the rules here, that it works like that, since a long time and that you won’t change the rules. They must really change their habits. Activists or human rights defenders should be here normally, not jailers. Them, they shouldn’t look after us, they are policemen, there’s not a big difference.
Do you have a lawyer to help you ?
Yes I took one, he tries to do his best and we’ll see what he’ll do. And the social assistants ? Do they come to help you, how does it work ? When they come, it’s to give the decisions coming from the Foreigners’ Office and most of them are negative. A friend of mine received a decision yesterday, the court decided on Wednesday about him and he received the decision on Friday. They don’t want to give the decision so the lawyer can’t have recourse. And now he must leave tomorrow, he has his flight at 6 AM even if he came in with a visa.
To which country is he going to be deported ?
To Morocco. Really he’s been very surprised. I told him he would be liberated because he didn’t do anything, he came in legally with a visa. You musty be strong. I motivate him. But yesterday in fact, he couldn’t, he cried, in a way which deeply moved my heart, I cried with him, I couldn’t in fact, it was a dramatical moment. He told me they had destroyed his life, he even lost his work in Morocco. He told me “what am I going to do when I meet tourists in my country ?”. I answered him “No, you mustn’t generalise, it’s authorities, not people”.
There are nice people in this country, there are people doing their job, sacrificing their life to work with all human beings, and the people who came here to help us, the organisations, just to tell us they’re with us, the “undocumented”, it has influenced us a lot. They cheered us up.
If I manage to get out of here, I’ll become an activist. I’ll fight for people to be free and for them to live the life they want to live. Nothing as bad as being imprisoned. I wish you the very best for your project.
Ok, good luck… I don’t know what else to say. We are with you. Good luck!