Call from closed centre 127 bis in Steenokkerzeel 04/10/2021

Following a walk in support of the detainees at the 127 bis closed centre, we were able to collect testimonies from the detainees.

The conditions of detention and life are alarming: 
– A Ghanaian man has been on hunger strike for over a month and is in a very bad condition. On 3 October, fellow detainees alerted us to his situation: “He can no longer walk, he is like a skeleton. He is going to die. We learned on 4 October that he had been hospitalised because of his health condition and we will try to get news of him as soon as possible

.- Ten others have been on hunger strike for 5 days (see link on our website)

– A man from Mali, with a residence permit valid until 2024 in Spain, was mistreated and beaten by his escort of six police officers during an attempt to deport him to Mali

.- As the temperature drops, there is no heating and internet access, which is essential for many administrative and legal procedures, has been very limited for at least a month.- No dialogue with the management of the centre is possible.

– The food is as usual of very poor quality and the portions are restricted.

This injustice, the repeated and daily mistreatment, the deterioration of health conditions inside the closed centres are amplifying a feeling of anger among the people locked up. The detainees are mentally broken and angry at the prisons in which they find themselves. 
Many cannot find words to describe the situation or feel that they are no longer considered human beings.

“We are not animals,” activists heard on Sunday. They do not understand why they are being detained and why they are being taken away from a country they consider their own. 
There are also people who have been locked up for many months and cannot see the end of it. On a daily basis, these people are forgotten, marginalised, and yet they exist and are only asking to be heard so that we can finally realise what is happening behind the fences of closed centres: migrants are locked up, gagged, hit, insulted.

One detainee shouted through the gates of his room: “we can die here, nobody will know, nobody cares”

It is high time that everyone became aware of the violence of our racist borders and of the migration policy imposed by the state and its administration, the police acting at the borders and on the territory, and the so-called competent courts of the country. Let’s continue to make sure that these people can be heard by everyone and let’s use all the means to achieve this. 
They are very supportive of each other in the centre and demand freedom for all. Many of them tell us that they want their demands and their living conditions, or even their survival, to be treated urgently by journalists.

Some words from the detainees:
– It’s not normal here anymore, we’re not human beings anymore”.

-I have no words to describe the situation to you”.

-” The man who has been on hunger strike for a month is a skeleton. He smells of death”.

– We are in Europe, in Belgium, the richest country in the world? Country of human rights?”

– “8 months in a closed centre and my country doesn’t give a travel pass. They know it very well

– “Those who want to leave we leave them here, those who don’t want to leave we expel them”

– “We are mistreated because we are foreigners, why mistreated?- “Our only solution is a hunger strike?

– “You have to talk with human rights”

– “We won’t forget, it hurts, we are going to die”- “We are mentally broken! What can we do? What can you do?”

– “Please call the media”.

This 06/10/2021 the hunger strikers are gradually transferred to other centres in order to separate them and break the movement

and in France : resisting against a deportation :

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