Testimony by a man who was subjected to a third and a fourth deportation attempt April 2013. Finally he was free
What happened yesterday?
Yesterday I was brought to the airport for a third deportation under escort. They bound my feet and put my hands in a kind of bag so that I stayed quiet and could not make a single move with my arms nor lean on anything.
It was already my third flight under escort. They do not allow me to follow my file here. Since I have been living in Belgium I have undertaken many different steps, I had integration classes, I was volunteering as a teacher etc. One morning they came to my house and told me that I was illegal on the territory. I answered that this was not possible since my orange card was still valid until the 31st of January. They arrested me on the 14th and since that day I’ve been in trouble.
Were you on the plane yesterday?
Yes, we went on to the plane. I resisted as much as I could and a few passengers told the captain that they did not want to travel with me in these conditions.
People stood up and refused that you travelled with them on the same plane.
They accepted that I got out of the plane but they told me that it was not over, that they would try to put me on another plane.
Another plane? On the same day?
Yes, on the same day. But it was not possible so they sent me back to Bruges and told me that they would keep me informed, that they would come back to pick me up in a few days.
Did the people also react on the second plane?
No they didn’t because we never reached the plane. When they saw that I had been resisting too much they punched me and then they trampled me.
They trampled you???
Yes, you know, they blocked my head with their feet and prevented me from making a single move with my head. My neck and my arms really hurt now, my arms are all swollen.
Here, one of my compatriots also had a broken arm. He had also left under escort and came back with a broken arm. Now they’ve put him in an isolated room, all alone.
He is isolated now, with a broken arm?
Yes. He must be getting his treatments. We don’t know what is going on. That’s how they proceed. As soon as there is something, they try to conceal you and smother you.
After that a doctor came to see me to ask me how I felt. I said I did not trust the doctors here and that if they wanted me to get a treatment they had to send me to the hospital. They refused.
Now you are back in the centre in Bruges and you are scared of another deportation.
I know that they will try again, they wanted me to be sure it was not over yet. What is for sure is that they will come this week, on Sunday at the latest.
Do you have other important things to say?
Yes I do. What is important is to do awareness-raising among these people who travel. I think that when someone travels, when he/she pays for his plane ticket, he/she has the right to chose not to travel with such people in such conditions because the circumnstances and conditions in which they make us travel are really not human.
Even in the centres we are in, it is really worse than prison! Sincerely, I would even prefer to go to prison than to stay where we are at the moment.
Yesterday they proposed to give me 50 euros to go back to my country, make a passport there and get a student visa.
I told them that it was easier for me to stay here since I am registered here and that they should give me this status here. I asked them to put that in written and sign but they said that the decisions were coming from Brussels, that Brussels had to take decisions… but I can not go back to my country.
You would like to stay… anyway, if you hear about a new deportation attempt please let us know.
There is problem with deportations. I think that everyone here is entitled to get information on their flight. Everyone should be kept informed on the flight, what time, what day etc. But that’s not how they do it: they come to see you and tell you your flight is for the day after.
Normally, and if they respect the law, you should be warned 48 hours in advance.
Yes indeed. But as soon as I get the notification I have to go to an isolation cell and they take my mobile phone so I may not call anyone. I have complained about that already three times but they only answer that it is the way it is. Why? I must be informed on my flight!