AudioTestimony: detention in the “special wing” of the closed center of Vottem.
A detainee recently contacted us to tell us about his detention in the “special wing” of the center of Vottem. This place is distinct from the “cachots”. It is nevertheless a wing where the detainees are isolated in their room with restricted access to exits and activities fàr a indefitive time This wing, also known as the ‘secure wing’, was set up in 2014 initially for so-called ‘criminals’ who were released from prison and also, according to Maggie De Block, for those ‘whose behaviour requires special supervision and monitoring’ (by which she means those who are recalcitrant to the system, those who have decided not to be treated in this way).
At present, the person who testified is still in isolation.
Transcription of the audio
“Hello, I am someone from a closed centre. As I was in Morocco. I have been in Morocco for a long time because of the Corona it was the closed border. When I came back to Belgium, they stopped me at the airport and sent me to a closed centre. Now I’ve been in the closed centre for 6 months. Before I was in centre 127 in Brussels. They transferred me to Vottem, now I’ve been in Vottem for a month and a half. As I fell ill, as I asked for treatment, they gave me medicine, ten medicines per day. I asked for medicine and all that, to ask to be sent to the hospital, to check my health and all that. As I asked for five things, for medication, to go to the bank or to get my residence permit, they sent me to a closed room here in Vottem, isolation. It’s been seven days now in the room. I wrote a complaint about that. Nobody listened to me about the complaint. I write. And the people here are like a slave, they don’t give a fuck about you. You are like a dog here, not like a human. There is no human right. There is nothing when you speak for the right. They put you in an isolated room. They treat people here like a dog. I don’t understand the law at the Vottem detention centre, I don’t understand why they treat people like that. You’re sick, you’re not sick, you can’t stay in the closed room. Now it’s been six months. I have two children. I have a girl, I have a boy. My children cry for me every day. I went to court. Three releases and three negatives. I don’t understand the law in Belgium. “
Testimony from the first man closed in this wing 2014 : https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/a-prison-in-the-prison-in-vottem-the-secured-wing-of-vottem/