Audio testimony from the Vottem closed centre and call from the Voix des Sans-Papiers (VSP) in Brussels

06/03/2019: Call from the Voix des Sans-Papiers (VSP) in Brussels:

One of our friends, Diallo Ahmad Bilo, was arrested on 25 December close to the North Station and transferred to Vottem. Since 11 February he had stomach pains and asked to see a doctor. The only solution they proposed was to place him in confinement, saying he was simulating it (although he had had a surgery in November).

In this loneliness, this lack of justice, this individual and structural ill treatment, despite the alerts launched to his lawyer, nothing has changed. Therefore he decided to fight another battle: He started a hunger strike on 15 February to draw the attention on this robotised prison administration (Vottem has been existing for 20 years) as a response to the Belgian governement. A governement who doesn’t care at all for his person, this tireless fighter, always there to defend social justice, equality, dignity, liberty.

We don’t have the right anymore to claim our rights and to be considered as human beings. Will we undergo and accept this injustice which is the modernised continuation of slave trade? We have seen enough, it is time to change that.

The audio testimony by Diallo Ahmad Bailo (FR°

Témoignage Bailo

Transcription here below:

“My name is Diallo Ahmad Bailo. I have been in a closed centre since 25 December 2018, in the Vottem closed centre in Liège. I have been in Belgium since January 2014, I have been undocumented since January 2014. Since I am undocumented, they called me ‘illegal’.

I was born in Mauritania but my parents are from Guinea Conakry. I had information from my lawyer yesterday, the Foreigners Office wanted to contact the embassy of Guinea to deport me there, but I don’t know anything, almost nothing of Guinea. I wanted them to deport me to Mauritania. And concerning my health too, I have been sick for a very long time. I did everything not to be deported but I can see there are no other solutions. I stopped the hunger strike because of my health, I have liver problems so I can not do a hunger strike for a long time. Since they didn’t release me I decided to stop doing it.
Here in the closed centre it is not like outside. The medical services only give you paracetamol when you have a headache. It’s only that, there is no proper medical service here, unlike outside when you are free.
Inside, I have been in confinement for 2 weeks. I am alone in my room. I can go outside during 30-40 minutes per day and I have one shower per day. There are 3 meals per day, there is television but I have been in confinement for 2 weeks.
I haven’t slept for two weeks, I am really stressed and I have a lot of nightmares.
Only the guards come to see me, I don’t see anyone else. I do not communicate with anyone else. And the other workers, they are not really open, they only say ‘hello’, ‘hello’ and that’s it. To me it’s like if they were racists. They don’t speak to anyone, not even a ‘hello’, some of them say hello but others pass you by as if they couldn’t see you.

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