Arrests and deportations – Update

Update 10/02/2012 : Arrests are ongoing and lately the favorite targets of the Foreigners Office are minors and women. According to several testimonies by hosts who look for their guests in the centres, the information is not given anymore by the people working at the reception of these centres. One of the answers frequently given is “weet het nit mevrouw “(I don’t know madam”) and they hang up.


Arrests :

The police is everywhere in search for migrants in all the parkings and train stations of the country. Even if wishtleblowers associated to the platform sabotage the raids, we are the witnesses, through the hosts and the people retained in closed centres, of multiple arrests, mainly of Erythreans, Sudanese and Ethiopians. These arrests sometimes happen with heavy violence by the police forces.

The majority of the people arrested are freed with another Order to Leave the Territory, probably because of a lack of places in the centres. One part is driven to closed centres. The last days we heard that the most frequent detentions are of young people and women, which demonstrates a very well known sadism: retain the most vulnerable!

Closed centre

After a lot of searching, the hosts finally find their guests back with the help of other hosts, and sometimes thanks to a picture! The hosts who have the time and energy bring them a mobile phone, deal with the lawyer, go and pay them a visit.
Those who don’t have hosts are very isolated. The most resourceful manage, with the help of a co-retainee, to alert us. Others remain without contact, without phone, without lawyers etc and it is by chance that they are discovered, sometimes after several months of retention. It is more than likely that some are deported without anyone being informed!

Lawyers :

At present, lawyers are not court-appointed anymore for people coming from Sudan. The social assistant often tells them: ‘You don’t need a lawyer since you will be sent back to your Dublin country’ or ‘If you request asylum, you will be deported to your country, you’d better not request asylum’, ‘a lawyer is not of any help’. Here we notice again the misappropriation of the role of social assistants by the Foreigners Office.


Most of the Sudanese and others in closed centres are systematically being deported to their ‘Dublin’ country (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany). According to gathered information, it seems that they often agree by signinf an document in a language they do not understand. We also got testimonies that, if they do not sign, it is the social assistant who signs on their behalf. For those who do not have a lawyer or a contact with the outside, which is often the case, while ‘official’ assertions say the opposite, it is extremely worrying. If they are sent back to their Dublin country, it is not guaranteed that this country will not send them back to Italy or Sudan, and they will find no one to advise them.


Sudanese are really the scoop of the year, but for others, migrants in transit, all those undocumented people who have been living for years in Belgium, the asylum seekers, the same illegal procedures are being used daily without any external supervision, once they find themselves in closed centres.

According to the government, a commission to assess repatriations would be implemented, a sort of compromise found between the different parties in order to legalise the illegal actions of the Foreigners Office! They are being trusted! The commissions only report what they are supposed to report.

Small example of the procedures used: testimony by a Congolese man who had resisted a violent deportation and who finally got his asylum right!

Freedom of movement and establishment for all
Visas for all

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