Audio : They separated me from my daughter ! (FR)

10/05/11 – Testimony by telephone from an Iranian woman, detention center 127 bis.

Listen to a reading of the testimony (FR) :

[audio:http://gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/on-ma-sc3a9parc3a9-de-ma-fille.mp3|titles=on-ma-sc3a9parc3a9-de-ma-fille]

– Tell us how and when they tried to deport you and what happened?

My husband, my 16 year old daughter and I arrived in Belgium two months ago. We left Iran because of my problems with the Iranian government. We came to Belgium to claim asylum. After my first interview and despite the help of a lawyer and all the evidence I provided, our request was refused. We appealed this decision but my case was not even re-examined. They called me a few days later and told me that they would come and get me next Sunday because I had to leave Belgium and go back to Iran.

I asked for a translator because I didn’t understand everything that was being said to me but they said that there would be a translator at the airport. They came to get us, brought us to the airport and separated us. They placed me in one room and my husband and daughter in another!

I continually told them that I cannot go back to Iran because the minute I get back the Iranian regime will put me in jail for the rest of my life.

That day they did not deport me but they separated me from my family and took me to a detention centre. My husband and my daughter couldn’t stop crying and they pleaded with them to let me go, but to no avail. I’ve been here for ten days now and I haven’t heard anything from my husband and daughter. My daughter has a heart condition and cholesterol problems.

It’s like a prison here. What crime have I committed to be brought here? I haven’t killed anyone nor stolen anything. All I did was come here and apply for asylum. If I had wanted to go to jail I would have stayed in Iran and gone to jail there! On which page of the human rights book does it say that a human can be treated like this? Where is it written that a mother can be separated from her daughter for ten days?

That is ten days now I have been here and I am being treated really badly. Over the course of these ten days, they have told me on three separate occasions that I will be deported. My moral is very low, I am ill, I don’t have any word from my family. In Iran, I was the manageress of a nursery, I had a comfortable life. I only left Iran because of my problems! I can’t believe it. Why do I find myself in jail over here?

– How are you treated in the detention centre?

Very badly, like animals! I’ll give you an example: my husband got me a lawyer who said I could put forward a second claim for asylum. That is what I did but it was refused again! The next day, they came and told me I was going to be deported from Belgium. They separated me from the other detainees and took me to the second floor. I waited for two hours in a room with two policemen. Finally, they came and told me I had to go. But they were speaking in English so I couldn’t understand them. The only phrase I was repeating over and over was: ”help me” but no one was listening to me. I tied myself to the radiator in order to defend myself. They hit me so hard on my hand that my fingers bruised! There were ten people with gloves. They picked me up like you pick up a sheep! Can you believe it?! They threw me in a police van that was like a cage! At the airport, I kissed all the policemen’s hands but no one was listening to me! They treated me like I was a piece of rubbish.

We are asylum seekers. We didn’t leave our country because we didn’t have a house. We are not illiterate. Ever since I came to Europe, I haven’t seen a trace of these so-called ‘human rights’ which they speak of all the time, and even less evidence of any women’s rights. Why are they treating me so badly? Why are they breaking me? Who is responsible for my daughter’s crisis?

We came here to apply for asylum. If I lose my daughter, I’ll have nothing left, I’ll have no reason to fight anymore (crying). We weren’t treated like human beings. I know the laws and I also know that entering a country without permission is illegal but this is too much…We only asked for asylum. Why did they take my daughter from me? Why did they separate me from my family? We can’t go back to Iran, why do we have to be in a prison?

(crying)

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