CLOSED CENTRES: violence and transfers: “All our rights are being taken away”

People gathered in front of the Immigration Office on 19 January 2024 to denounce the recent deaths of people who were detained in closed centres, to denounce the conditions of detention and the physical and psychological violence to which these people are subjected on a daily basis and which lead to these deaths, and lastly, to call for regularisation! 

In response to the claims and testimonies, the Immigration Office denies the allegations, stating in particular that “each place provides all the medical and psychological support necessary to ensure that the return is as comfortable as possible”.

However, the detainees testify to the lack of care provided, the threats and torture they have suffered and the trauma this has caused:    

 “We’re being taken for idiots; yet we know how to talk, we know how to make sense of things, we can have a dialogue, we can negotiate, but all we get are threats of forced return if we dare to talk to the media, if we phone you, or if we ask for a shrink or a doctor. We can’t defend ourselves, we don’t have any rights; and many are very afraid of reprisals if they say anything or if they phone you.”

“There’s no one to talk to, no one explains anything to us”.

“People don’t know what’s going on here, it’s worse than racism, it’s hidden slavery, we can’t defend ourselves, all our rights have been taken away”.

“We are all traumatised by these threats and genuine torture”.

it’s terrible to lock people up and mistreat them because they’re “undocumented””.

“It’s enough to drive you mad in the face of this injustice”.   

The detainees at 127 bis also told us that a suicide had taken place at the center on 07/01/2024. To this day, management denies this death. Some detainees at this centre told us the following:

 “they are trying to hide it from us

 “enough is enough, this is the second time in 15 days”.

 “we won’t let it be”.

 “I am not surprised, we are treated like animals, I understand how it could have come to this”.


 The Immigration Office attributes the psychological state of people detained in closed centres to the fact that “they are often at the end of the procedure and in the process of being repatriated to their country of origin”, and therefore acknowledges neither the violence of the detention nor their responsibility for the trauma that detention as such, but it also causes and perpetuates the behaviour of the employees of these closed centres! 

However, there has recently been further evidence of the violence to which these people are subjected:

– At 127 bis, a detainee was severely beaten up by security on 06/01/2024: he had arrived late for his breakfast. He expressed his disagreement. Security isolated him in a room without cameras, beat him up and put him in solitary confinement. After a few days, he was transferred to another centre and placed in isolation. As of 24/01/2024 he is still there.    

– At 127 bis, Sunday 14/01/2024 at 10pm: A prisoner asks about the hair clippers. A guard tells him to go and look in another room. He doesn’t find it and asks again. The guards laugh at him. He insisted. “An hour or two later, 10 security told me to go to the office. I refuse and go back to my room (because I know very well that means isolation cell). Suddenly, 20 security guards arrived. About ten prisoners prevented security from taking me.” There was a general fight and 5 prisoners were put in solitary confinement. One of them said that he had received very few beatings, but that others had been badly beaten. He lodged a complaint. The 5 were transferred to various centres. 



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