Audiotestimony : “There are some serious things waiting for me back home”.

Testimony given on 29/02/2024 by a man who has been in the Merksplas detention centre for almost 5 months. His first attempt to be deported was on Friday 01/03/2024 to Dakar, which he refused. Today, 04/03/2024, the office has extended his detention by 2 months.



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Transcription of the testimony

A. My problem was a family problem. Before, you see, I was a Muslim,but eventually I changed religions. And that was that. The day it happened I got lots of death threats.

E. From your own family?

A. Yes. I was 22 at the time. Now I’m 34.

E. What happened after you wanted to leave?

A. After receiving the threats I ran away from home. And my whole family started looking for me everywhere to kill me. Because, you see, my dad used to be an imam. He was an important imam in the village where we lived. When he heard I’d changed my religion, he had a heart attack and died. Since then my family has been looking for me looking for me until I came here to Belgium.

E. So when did you come to Belgium?

A. I came here in 2015. As soon as I got here I applied for asylum. In the end it didn’t succeed. I got a negative opinion. But since I’ve been here I’ve never done anything stupid. I’ve never had any problems with anyone here. That is, until now. Until the police caught me and took me to the centre. That was in October. The 12th of October. At Merksplas here I did four months, soon five months. On 11 March it will be five months.

Normally, if you don’t have a laissez passer or a ticket, you’re released in five months. That’s what  the law says. But yesterday I finally received a ticket. Because they want to make me back to my country. But I can’t. There are things waiting for me there. I left my country because of the problems, because of the death threats, I can’t go back there. It’s better for me to die here. I know that there are waiting for me there, until now. Because I know my family well, they’re they’re not going to let go of anything.

E. So you want to resist deportation?

A. Yes.

E. And what do you mean with regard to the centre and how you’re treated there?

A. There’s a lot of suffering here at the centre. Imagine someone who hasn’t done anything at all and they get locked up here. Personally, I don’t think it’s normal. It’s so complicated. And at the same time I really need help.

E. And how do you feel now?

A. I feel a lot of things. Because of the ticket I received yesterday. Because I know that there are things waiting for me there. As I told you earlier, the threats… I’m in deep shit.

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