Deportation of 19 Congolese and 4 Angolese from Belgium.
It seems that the deportation of March 6th 2012 had been plotted for several months by the Belgian Foreigners’ Office.
Several days before, the Congolese and Angolese people had been gathered in the repatriation centre 127bis in Steenokkerzeel.
On March 6th, hordes of policemen were present around and in the detention centre of Steenokkerzeel. Some detainees were beaten, handcuffed, bound hands and feet, and violently embarked in vans and buses. A water pump had even been ordered for the occasion. The centre’s surroundings were not accessible neither for the press nor for the citizens. Among the prisoners, one was particularly mistreated; he got punched several times, he got undressed, bound and handcuffed.
They were all brought to the military airport of Melsbroek. There also, general mobilisation of the police and military forces.
In the plane, 21 handcuffed and bound persons, surrounded by 69 soliders and by a medical team called “B-Fast” that was going to bring humanitarian assistance to Brazzaville!
The plane took off at 05:30 p.m. It landed in Kinshasa around 02:00 a.m on March 7th. The deported people were taken in charge by the DGM (Directorate General for Migrations). No contact could be established with them because the soldiers on the spot had set up a tight lock-out around them. A Congolese television was at the airport and filmed the disembarking and arrests.here
The prisoners were transfered to Kin Maziere in Kinshasa; a detention centre that has an extremely bad reputation (here), and then to Kassapa’s prison.
Without any news, the families, private media, and human rights associations got mobilised in Kinshasa for these prisoners not to disappear like many others.
It may have been thanks to this pressure that the authorities decided to release them one after the other. But the detainees refused; they asked to be released all together at the same time. Most of them got freed after 48h detention. It seems that one of them stayed longer and was tortured.
They now are all very worried about the follow-up. They tell us that according to associations and media releases, the authorities define them as Kabila opponents, even as criminals, and they fear other pursuits. Many have been living hidden since their release.
These repatriation flights are organised in the framework of a bilateral cooperation between Belgium and DRC. They are organised in the biggest secret, and according to several testimonies, arrests, detentions and boardings are accompanied by systematic violence .
Here is what the Foreigners’ Office declares to Belga agency: ‘If the flight is a collective flight, the Foreigners’ Office reminds that each dossier has been dealt with individually and that these Congolese people do not risk anything when returning to Kinshasa.’
NGOs and associations publish statements and press releases asking for humanity, justice, human rights and transparency.
However, nothing will prevent Europe and its Member States from continuing deporting these “undesirable” persons for the sake of our security, of our economy or whatsoever…
The laws, conventions, treaties that are voted by Belgium and Europe allow and will continue to allow these so-called ‘collective or grouped’ deportations in a certain legality.
We don’t want this State terrorism that proclaims itself the right to decide whom on earth has the right to move, to breathe or even to live.