It becomes tricky to make a list of the phone calls we get every day from the closed centres. Here are a few elements and questions from the interviews made in the closed centres on the Belgian way to deal with migrations…
ABOUT RESISTANCE IN CLOSED CENTRES
For more than a month it seems that the management of the Belgian closed centres has become extremely difficult.
In the closed centre of Merksplas, a strong riot took place on May 10th, that was rapidly suppressed by the police. A dozen of recalcitrant detainees were put in isolation cells for 11 days! http://detention.theowlseyes.info/category/Merksplas
In the closed centre of Bruges, following a suicide attempt on June 4th, movements of protestation and indignation were born, after which everybody was isolated and women were “a pill” to calm down. The tension remains very fierce. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/tentative-de-suicide-grave-au-centre-ferme-de-bruges/
In the closed centre of Steenokkerzeel the tension has been very deep for a few days (because of the presence of ‘recalcitrant’ detainees, according to the management). The management has taken the offensive on June 5th and they started searching the prisoners and their bedrooms. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/05-06-journee-chaotique-au-centre-ferme-127-bis-a-steenokkerzeel/
A man from Guinea is in a cell because he doesn’t want to drink, eat and wash. His state is very worrying.
A man from the Ivory Coast who had spilled coffee all over him and got burnt was finally brought to the hospital after several days of isolation.
In the Caricole centre twelve asylum seekers started a hunger strike on May 28th to protest against the unpredictable and aleatory answers they get regarding their dossiers. The management ‘promised’ a solution to their problems. Ten of them are still on hunger strike!
In Caricole too, a woman from Cameroon requested the asylum. She is three months pregnant, expecting twins. The social assistant proposed her to abort before here deportation!!!!! Isn’t that scandalous?
On the other hand, deportations are doing well, and the repression of escorts is often fruitful.
Some of the deporations are cancelled at the last minute following external pressure or administrative issues.http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/category/expulsions-en-cours/?lang=fr_be
ABOUT THE FOREIGN OFFICE’S CIVIL DESOBEDIENCE
The detainees also report that arrests and deportations happen through cunning stratagems and are sometimes more than illegal. People are arrested after being summoned to the police station to settle their regularisation file, deportations take place with no respect for the legal deadline of 48 hours when the Office should warn the person, deportation take place by force as of the first attempt (a Tunisian man, father of 4 Belgian children was deported by force and by surprise).
Other facts: some of the the let pass that enable the deportation seem not to be issued by the concerned consulates and would be ‘trafficked’ by the Foreign Office. Several countries for which this has been reported are Congo, Afghanisgtan and Guinea.
A Senegalese man was going to be deported. At the last minute his deportation was cancelled following an appeal. They then took another Senegalse and deported him. That one did not have the chance to go to court.
In spite of administrative or humanitarian situations that are really shady, the Foreign Office keeps trying to bring the deportation candidate to the airport. It is pressure and appeals that may prevent deportation at the very last minute.
ABOUT THE TRIVIALISATION of our migration policies
One decision-making body got the supreme power to accomplish this task of getting rid by all means of all those undesirable. All the detainees speak of hatred and violence. Would this hatred and violence not be reprehensible, coming from a representative of the State?
The detainees, the ‘recalcitrant’ try with their very restricted means to express their revolt, to resist to this imprisonment in an extremely repressive prison environment, where people are locked in and isolated as soon as they show a sign of disapproval. Solidarity movements are frequent in the centres.
‘Citizens’ show indignation at this with their means.
Associations ask for alternatives to imprisonment and/or the humanisation of the centres. But violence and tortures are rarely denounced and seem to become trivial facts.
How long are we going to let it happen? How did we get to that? When are we going to denounce this fascistic drift of our “democratic” system?
Shall we continue to accept the unacceptable?