Communication from the detainees of vottem closed centre

We the detainees of Vottem Closed Center wish to denounce the inhumanity of our arrests, detentions and deportations.

We were all arrested at our home or our work place. We have all been living in Belgium for several years.

Some of us have a wife and children here

Some of us have legal resident cards to another Schengen country

Some of us are seriously ill

Some of us were born in Belgium

Some of us have children that go to the same schools as our guards’ children

 We have all asked for Asylum or a legalization of our situation in accordance with the criteria set by the law.

And We are all treated like criminals during our arrests : handcuffed and held in police cells for hours sometimes with no food or water.

We were transfered, in handcuffs, to prisons that are renamed Closed Center for Foreigners. On the walls of our prisons each person writes their story in their language. Like a real museum of the world’s misery.

Some have been subjected to deportation attempts, sometimes two in 24 hours and have witnessed or been subjected to serious police violence. We are kept in solitary confinement and taken to the airport bound by handcuffs and ducktape, without warning, without being given a chance to tell our lawyers or our families.

Others have left in handcuffs to a country where they can not or do not want to live, to a country that they sometimes don’t even know.

Some have lawyers that do nothing to defend them and are incompetent. They are seen as collaborators to these policies of detention. The incompetence or lack of action of these lawyers plays into the hand of the Foreigners’ Office, giving it the opportunity to deport as they wish.

We make the comparison in between the actions of the Foreigners’ Office and the behaviors during the Nazi occupation: The Office can arrest and detain indiscriminately and in full impunity, the targeted population this time being the Foreigner.

We denounce the power given to the Foreigners’ Office and the fact it is allowed to work in full impunity, with no accountability. They detain, deport any “foreigner” sometimes in total disregard of the law.

 We denounce this Foreigner’s Office that has no problems violating the law and using dirty tricks to achieve it’s goals. It ignores decisions made by the  Council for alien law litigation Mediation committee (traduction de ‘conseil du contentieux’ a verifier svp)  as well as European decisions and international law.

We denounce this policy of indiscriminate efficiency : Deport everyone, keep the machine going, generate statistics.

We the detainees of Vottem Closed Centers wish to use this Call to show a face of Belgium that the belgian citizen doesn’t want to see.

 This Call will be broadcast during the Christmas Gathering around the Vottem Closed Center on Monday 24th of December.


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