In exile: An overview and news 28/05/2019

In exile: An overview and news 28/05/2019

It has been one year since we have been collecting the phone calls from hosts about the arrest and imprisonment of their/our guests in closed centres.

An annual overview: (partial) numbers based on data collected through host families and lawyers

During one year, more than 1000 migrants were detained in transit. Their retention period varies from 5 days to sometimes 5-6 months. Some have already been retained several times (up to 6 times).

The vast majority of them are covered by the Dublin Convention. After 2 months of retention, between 150 and 200 of the 1000 persons were deported to their ‘Dublin country’.

Seven persons were voluntarily returned (2) or forced (5) to their country of origin: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt.

Three persons were granted asylum or subsidiary protection at the centre

About ten persons were transferred to an open centre for the further processing of their asylum applications.

More than 700 were released with an order to leave the territory (OQT), mainly thanks to the intervention of lawyers.

These figures do not include data on arrested undocumented people arrested at home or in the public space, asylum seekers arrested on arrival at the airport, people who want to stay here for a while, but who were arrested at the airport and rejected because their visas were “non-regulated” (here is a recent testimony http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/about-the-abomination-of-closed-centres-audiotestimony-from-the-caricole-closed-centre-03052019/ , retainees who are subject to a double sentence and who, after serving their sentence, are taken from prison to a detention centre to prepare for their deportation.

Trapped victims, a substantial budget, an enormous psychological damage…. . A policy aimed at criminalising those who are primary victims. In short, a policy that is costly both from a human and a financial point of view, a policy that does not solve problems and does not offer effective or humane solutions!

News 28/05/2019 :

– The hunt for people on the run in stations, camps and car parks continues, followed by arrests and imprisonment for some of them.

– We regularly hear testimonies of serious violence in closed centres: ill-treatment, imprisonment, racist verbal disputes, transfer from centre to centre, etc. Retained victims, who want to remain anonymous, tell us about real torture.

– We also receive regular reports of attempted suicides.

-Some of them are often in a very bad physical or psychological condition and are sometimes retained in the centres for weeks and even months. They are often prosecuted in an incomprehensible way (isolation, transfer, etc.) as if they were being punished for their vulnerability.

-The criminalisation of refugees has also taken a new direction: under the name “Detection of criminal networks of trafficking in human beings”, targeted raids have taken place in recent months, and several dozen refugees suspected of being traffickers in human beings have been imprisoned in our prisons for months while awaiting trial. Last conviction: 10 months imprisonment for 4 illegal burglaries in the port of Zeebrugge. After the prison, he was transferred to a detention centre and opted for a voluntary return to Italy.

Against closed centres
For Freedom of movement and establishment for all!

Gettingthevoiceout and the references of the closed centres of the citizens’ platform

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