Torture in the 127 bis detention centre
Mr. X had testified to us on 05/05/2021 about the extreme violence he had suffered in the 127 bis detention centre, and we had avoided publishing it at that time to avoid pitting him at risk of further reprisals in the centre.
As a result of this violence, he suffered severe back pain which was treated by the centre’s doctor with painkillers. On 30/06/2021 (one and a half months later), following the persistence of these pains and his difficulty in walking, a scan was requested: “Major disc herniation”.
Observation by an external doctor 07/07/2021: “The scan effectively shows a herniated disc between the L4 and L5 vertebrae with compression of the L5 root (5th lumbar) which can cause very significant sciatic pain in the left inner limb and damage to the nerve which can eventually become chronic. If he had no symptoms prior to what he experienced in the centre, these findings can possibly be related to the trauma (prolonged forced position as he describes).
Statement by a visitor 07/07/2021: “He attributes his back problem to the violence he suffered in the centre on 5 May. He is very specific about what happened: he was arrested on 30 April and had to give up his phone. He had kept the sim card and refused to give it up when he was asked for it. He was handcuffed with his hands behind his back, then his feet were tied and his legs were folded over his back and he was hit in the back. And since then, he has been in pain. He is ready to lodge a complaint, he says.”
As a result of the serious injuries he sustained, Mr. X was released from the centre on 07/07/2021 with an Order to Leave the TerritoryThis day 09/07/2021 he asks that we publish : “So that this is no longer inflicted on others.”
AUDIO of 5/05/2021 (FR° here https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/torture-127-bissans-titre.mp3
Trascription of the audiotestimony
I am at the 127bis closed centre. Yesterday
morning, Wednesday, around 9 a.m. I got messages from my lawyer and I
wanted to communicate them to my social assistant. I called the
security. There was a woman in front of my door. She opened the door and
I asked her if I could see my social assistant. She told me that the
social assistant would be there in the afternoon. I told her that it was
urgent, that I had to make an appeal, today being the last deadline for
the lawyer to get my file. She answered that it was not up to me to
decide and that I would have to wait until the afternoon. I also asked
her to take the piece of paper I was holding with the phone number and
email of my lawyer. I asked her to leave that on her desk so that she
could give it to my social assistant when she would see her. The woman wanted to shut the door while I was trying to speak to her.
I had a small Nokia mobile phone. I threw it on the floor. I said it was complete nonsense.
The woman rang the security which arrived in number, asking what was going on. I told them. They said listen, everybody here has to listen, I wanted to speak to the woman but she wouldn’t listen, then I threw my phone on the floor.
“That’s what we said Sir, you can not do that, you should respect people.””Fair enough, people deserve respect, but we also do, we are human beings just like you!”Then they took my phone and left. They came back half an hour later with the director of the centre.
They said that they discussed what to do and that I had to be sanctioned. They told me I would have to stay in a confinement cell for 24h and they brought me there. They took away everything I had in my hands, my pockets, they took my shoes, my belt, everything. I had my sim card in a small pocket, they wanted me to give it to them. I refused, saying that I would put it in my phone to ring my lawyer so that he could tell me what to do.
The director came, with more than 7 men. They came to my room. He ordered them to take me by force and get my sim card. The 7 men were after me, they handcuffed me, trampled my back, doing everything possible to get my sim card. They handcuffed me, tied my feet with handcuffs, my hands behind my back. They left. They came back a second time to check I was tied enough to not get away from there. They tied me a second time.
A man took my feet from behind, I was lying on my stomach. He bended my feet to reach my head. My back and my head hurt a lot. Then I shouted, I stood up and I could not sit down, be in a comfortable position. I cried and told them that they had broken my back.
Then they ran directly to take off the handcuffs and the tape. I had cried a lot, the mattress was full of stuff, they cleaned everything, they took the handcuffs and the tape, they left and closed the door. They left me this way during 13 hours until noon the day after. I was on diet all night, no food, no drinks, nothing, and no one came. They came the day after to tell me that my confinement was over and that I could leave that room. But I was unable to stand up. They insisted on my standing up but it was not possible. I told them that my back was broken and that it hurt a lot.
I stayed there for two more hours. They could see that I did not move. I remained in the same position as the day before, lying with my belly on the floor. Perhaps they got scared, they rang the ambulance; I was driven to Vilvoorde’s hospital. They took a radiography. The doctor said that nothing was broken, so they drove me back to the centre. That’s where I am now, I am explaining everything to you from another isolation cell.
Here is my testimony of what happened in the centre.