Border police: arbitrary and racist arrests 30/09/2021

Border police: arbitrary and racist arrests 30/09/2021
In the last few days, we have been contacted daily by people arrested at the airport. They call us via the central office of a centre or from a phone at the airport.  They contact us in panic because they are threatened with arrest and repatriation. They are students arriving in Belgium, tourists or people in transit at Zaventem or Charleroi airport.
After these arrests, we rarely hear from these people because they are locked up and isolated (Covid) in the Caricole detention centre for repatriation. 
They rarely have the possibility to alert us, as they have no contacts in Belgium. They are repatriated in the following days without being able to defend themselves.
Last call from an angry tourist from a telephone of the Ministry of Interior on 29/09/2021: “If that’s the way it is, I want to be repatriated, no need to lock myself up for that. And I won’t set foot in your country again. 
Since then, we have not heard from him.
Another example: the arrest of a young Congolese man who managed to alert associations and who has already been subjected to two violent attempts to repatriate him.
They are arrested by the border police at Zaventem or Charleroi, in an abusive and arbitrary manner without any way of defending themselves. Their only way of not being repatriated is to ask for asylum, which is rarely their wish. If they decide to apply for asylum, they are kept in detention center while their application is processed (sometimes several months).
It is not uncommon – and given the number of testimonies received, one could even say that it is common – to see racialised people suspected a priori and without any tangible evidence by the border police of lying in order to settle on our territory. It seems that in the imagination of the police officers guarding our air borders, our country is an El Dorado towards which “all the misery of the world” rushes, loosely disguised as tourists, students, people in transit or even lecturers. One could smile at this stupid and nasty paranoia if its consequences for so many travellers were not so dramatic.
 And among our neighbours   court just confirmed: “To be Dutch is to be white” : art here
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