Two Testimonies by deported people:
February 2019: B., sent to Caricole, directly from the airport in October 2018, stayed 3 months in the centre.
He tells us about the inaction of the social services, “the people” here, they stay 4, 5, 6 months but nothing changes, “if you want to see the director for something, you have to write to her, and she accepts or not…”.
Inside, no solidarity, no humanity is allowed by the agents:
« they brought a blind man, it was the retainees of the centre who helped him move, eat, and then they didn’t even left him the time to ask for a lawyer, they sent him back…”
“We could hear the man shout “help me!!” but the agents prevented us from helping him and 5 men took him away…”
He also underlines the fact that the retainees do not understand the decisions, “after some time they extend your stay, you’ll stay longer at the centre” or they deport you with the “federal police” and nobody knows what happens to the deported people…”
« There was a women, from E., she was deported and we learnt that she was arrested upon her return…” “then you stress out and it brings problems…”.
« We are deported with a very bad image of Belgium, because when I chose to go to Belgium, I thought they would really protect me and defend my rights…” “It is worse than a prison here, this is not normal…”
March 2019: Hello, I’m a young African man, I testify to try and explain what we are living in closed centres, particularly in Belgium. I prefer to stay anonymous for the sake of security.
This testimony also is a call to all the wholehearted people who want to help us, we the retainees who are imprisoned only because we wanted to request asylum or protection.
Deprived of liberty for more than 70 days.
It is sad to realise that everything is fake, people seem to try and help us but it is not the case. Let me explain. Everything has been planned. They give us lawyers but we ignore if they want to help us or not. Those amongst us who have the means to take private lawyers are luckier. It is difficult when you don’t have money.
It is sad to know that in two months, only two Africans got a positive answer (i.e the refugee status) and a few were released. Only 20% are released, the rest are deported.
A girl who had spent seven months here was deported and imprisoned when she arrived to her final destination. Some are exiled in other African countries.
I never committed any crime but they handcuff me at the court, just like a criminal, only because I ask them to release me to be able to go on with the procedure. Handcuffed, locked in a cell.
We are six in our room, we do not speak the same language. There are times assigned to shave, to comb your hair, eat and go to the courtyard, always with guards to watch us, to prevent us from escaping.
Why would we escape? We fled our countries to try and find help here but they refuse to help us. I think that if they really helped us, nobody would think of escaping.
When I arrived to the airport, the police officer who arrested me swore he would make me go back to where I came from.
The Foreigners Office make everthing possible to make us return to our countries. I don’t have a place to say there anymore, my parents died etc. but they want me to return. However, my life there is threatened. I am only asking for one thing, assistance, protection.
So many things happen in the centres. A lot of injustice, I swear! They only thing they respect is the human rights to hide and cover their injustice.
Because when they show to the world that our human rights are respected, people outside will never know what really happens here. How, in the middle of the procedure, they give you a ticket to return home. No liberty at all. They check us before we eat, before we sleep, when we wake up, we are constantly controlled. To tell you the truth, if they were doing everything they could to help us nobody would consider escaping because we would feel in safety. But we are always stressed, always. Each hour, each second, each minute. They can make us return any time. If they don’t want us, they’d better send us to other countries like France, Italy, etc. so that we might continue our quest.
Forgive me for the spelling mistakes, I didn’t study long, but please, don’t ignore this testimony. We really need help. I thank you.