(Non)management of the coronavirus in closed centres, between abandonment and repression. Testimony06/04/2019.


For the past weeks, the whole Belgian society is being reorganised so as to follow the sanitary measures decided by the government. The whole Belgian society, well.. almost. In closed centres, prisons, psychiatric hospitals and for homeless people, the measures taken are not the same. The forgotten people of this capitalist society are still and even more subject to social inequalities, including gender and race inequalities.”We are abandoned to ourselves”, declares a retainee at the Merksplas closed centre.

Since the transmission of the virus happens through droplets, either by coughing, sneezing and/or touching objects such as door handles, food, cutlery, etc.,the measures prescribed by the Belgian sanitary services have been to avoid as far as possible that too many people find themselves in a same space, touch the same objects, in the common living spaces. 

Testimony 01-04-2020:

no measures and in case of fever you are placed in isolation cell. Last week in Merksplas, a man had 39oC fever. They placed him in confinement for 5 days although there is not even a table there to eat, and no ventilation system.They took him out and placed him back with the others without making any test. Still in Merskpas, block 3, a man tells us: there is no distancing of 1.5 meter, water in the shower is cold, there is no soap to wash your hands. We are 4 per room, the guards do not respect the distance either, and do not wear masks. Today, on the floor above block 3, they controlled the people, they took all their clotes (even their underwear) supposedly after medicine had been stolen,but they could not find anything. They brought people to the showers to search them. He says that the centre must be clsoed and that it will be closed. 
Concerning collective institutions, washing hands, objects, surfaces and wearing a mask is highly recommended in order to protect,  notably, the persons at risk  (persons suffering from chronic respiratory diseases, cardiac diseases, renal diseases or diabetes) who could have respiratory complications if they contracted the virus. However, in closed centres, persons at risk have not been detected and no prevention measures have been implemented on 6 April 2020. 

Visits have been suspended, but the workers of closed centres are doomed to leave the institution every day and have loads of contacts with many other people, contrarily to the persons retained. As far as the latest are concerned, they are never informed on the institutional decisions related to possible measures and existing cases. Already being exposed to a traumatic system (deportation threat, imprisonment, promiscuity, loss of landmarks, institutional violence, etc.), they are also exposed to the climate of societal fear surrounding the coronavirus, but with no access to information which could enable them to make individual or collective choices for their health.

Testimony 30/03/2020: 

“Now my wife and sons can’t come to visit me. I’m in block n°3 in the closed center and it’s a very critical and dangerous situation, it’s like hell. We are three in each room using the same toilets and shower and 20 people leave close to each other in this block. Nothing’s done to protect us from the virus, we eat and play together, we touch the same doors and we smoke in the same room. There’s a lot of people working there going in and out. Nobody carry masks here and there’s no machin to control the virus. We saw on TV that 2 prisonners in Merksplas’ prison got affected. If everybody get sick what are they gonna do ? Now I always stay in my room because I’m afraid also for my family. I’m so stressed up that I only eat twice a day. They have to empty and close the center so everybody can stay healthy !I saw on TV that people are dying, I want to go out and join my family. Everyday my wife calls me and cries, she’s alone working and taking care of the children.”


The retainees are subjected to a hierarchical institutionnal power, against which they have very few means of action. Some try to respond to the constant violence and injustice they face by organising themselves collectively in different ways, by revolting, by trying to speak to the director of the centre, or sharing their testimonies. Each time the repression of their acts and attempts to make their voices and choices heard is very harsh so as to stifle any kind of solidarity

Testimony : 01-04-2020:

Demonstration and isolation cells!Strike began upstairs in block 3 : Two weeks ago, people from upstairs of block 3 started a demonstration and shouted because they refused to go back inside after their lunch outside because of coronavirus. Everybody shouted in solidarity downstairs but they didn’t do no strike. The police came, 6 guys from upstairs were put in isolation cells and 4 guys from downstairs as well for 3, 4 and 5 days : ” we didn’t fight and didn’t touch anybody !”

Testimony 30/03/2020:” after lunch, (which they continue to have in the refectory), the retainees led an action, they refused to leave the room without having talked to the director. A. strongly spoke to the director, telling him that it would cost absolutely nothing to the Belgians to empty the closed centres in this crisis period, that anywaythey would be locked down at home, and above all that in 3 months, after the crisis, they would still be able to find plenty of ‘illegals’ to fill back the closed centres…’ The director finally said that he would investigate/wait for news or information from Brussels. The retainees are ready to start that again, they are waiting for news beginning of next week. If nothing comes on Monday or Tuesday, on Wednesday they will ask to speak to the director again.  A. insists on the fact that the talks will be peaceful, without violence. A.A. agrees for us to relay the information he gave us under the condition that he remains anonymous. 


Testimony 30/03/2020:

In the prison next door, in Turnhout, one person was positively tested to the coronavirus, I am worried, I saw that on TV. In the prison of Forest too. Everybody here is worried because for sure there are people infected here. 60 people are working every day here in the centre. The situation is really dangerous. We don’t get any information, they do not tell us anything. They release certain people because they have to reduce the numbers, but others remain here, we don’t know why, although we didn’t do nothing wrong”, tells us a retainee in Merksplas. (…) do you follow sanitary measures? Really, nothing has changed here since the outbreak of the virus. Business as usual, at the refectory, the people serving the food wear masks and gloves. The guards don’t say a word, they don’t wear masks. We are exposed to danger constantly, everybody. We spoke to the director this morning because we should all leave the centre, it is too dangerous.  (…) Nothing changed,we go to our rooms from 10 p.m till 7.45 a.m, they lock us in. They come back to open at 7.45 a.m, we go to breakfast. In the refectory we sit as usual, then we go to the veranda where there is the snooker, the babyfoot, we play there as usual. In the room? We can all be there at the same time, which is 20 people currently.   In the bedrooms we are now three, before we were 5, but apart from that nothing has changed  (…) Please, something has to be done, otherwise we are all going to die here.


Hence, the persons retained in those centres do not have access to adequate sanitary measures and are confronted to the exacerbation of institutionnal violence. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, they are even more forgotten. In front of imprisonment and increased violence, more and more retainees get weaker,develop post-traumatic and psychosomatic symptoms(amenorrhea or heavy menstrual periods for many women; vomiting, headaches or traumatic injuries, severe depressions, even depersonalisation symptoms) or inflict this violence against themselves (escalation of self-mutilations).

Western capitalist societies rank and prioritise human beings through the system of imprisonment and borders. There are those who may access certain territories and those who may not. 
The (non) management of the coronavirus epidemy in closed centres strengthens this prioritisation. There are those who deserve their lives to be taken care of and… the others… the retainees of any kind (prisons, closed centres, psychiatric hospitals, factory workers, etc.), the unproductive of society who are usable (as shown by the call for undocumented or retainees to produce masks at a lower cost) and disposable…  


We are deeply outraged, revolted and opposed to that inhuman unequal racist and capitalist system borne by Belgian authorities. 

We call for the opening of all the closed centres, the release of all the retainees and the provision of places to welcome them. 

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Rebellion at the 127 bis wing R 30/06/2020. Call to the media

 
 
 
We hear through a text message that it is “complete mayhem” at the 127bis and that “journalists should be warned”: 
 
Following the solitary confinement of one of them because he was claiming certain rights, a solidarity movement started this morning and all the retainees of wing R called to be placed into solitary confinement because they also claim for those rights! 
 
After discussing with the director who promised them that the retainee would soon leave the confinement cell the calm has returned.
 
They rang us yesterday.
They were EXTREMELY nervous. They got no answers to their questions (see below). 
They are angry, outraged with these inexplicable retentions and call for an access to the media to explain and express themselves. 
 
 
SOLIDARITY!
 
Appeal a few dayys ago
 
21/06 2020

Retainees in the 127 bis closed centre in Steenokkerzeel call us and ask us to spread their message.
“We are treated like animals. The staff is constantly bothering us. No respect, no hello, no please, no goodbye.All our deeds and actions are controlled by the guards or by cameras everywhere. They keep distributing sleeping pills. It becomes a real psychiatric asylum. They say we are dangerous criminals and that they will keep us the time it takes. As soon as we ask for something they threaten us. The food is awful and there is never enough.When we ask why they treat us this way they systematically answer that it is the law. 
Is it really the law? Where in the law is that treatment written down?
Some of us are ready to leave the country. But how? There won’t be any plane to our countries before months. 
The world needs to know.

We demand:

– Respect of human rights for us too

A humane treatment- Enough food

 – Respect from the staff – STOP threats and violence 

Hygiene in the places

Transparency of the authorities as regards closed centres 

 – And our rapid release, since there won’t be any possibility to deport us in the short-term! 

Our question: “Why this treatment?: we need answers.”


Signed: Retainees of the 127bis closed centre in Steenokkerzeel

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Double penalty or banishment : a peculiar method of racism!

20/06/2020

A great part of the retainees in closed centres are actually former prisonners to whom  documents were withdrawn following a condemnation for infringement to public policy or for a minor offence (speeding, unpaid fines, etc.). They are picked up at their home or transferred from prison to a closed centre in view of their deportation.
 
 
The possibility to deport a ‘delinquent’ immigrant after they have served their sentence exists since 1980 1. Deportation is not a judicial measure, hence it is not really a sentence but rather an administrative measure, which depends on the Minister of the Interior. 
Being applied in an erratic way, it seems obvious that it is more a political strategy than the enforcement of a law. 
 
 
In the years 1990, ministerial circulars (SP) somehow conformed its use and specified that those measures should not be applied to foreigners of the second generation unless under exceptional circumstances, i.e van attacks, pedophilia, important drugs trafficking, etc.
In 2005 (OpenVLD) a law puts an end to this possibility since it specifies that foreigners who were born in Belgium or who arrived in Belgium before 12 years old can no longer be deported. The spouses of Belgians and the parents of Belgian children can no longer be deported unless in extremely rare cases2.
 
 
However, since then, Michel’s government came by, with Jan Jambon, the friend of a certain Theo Franken (NV-A) holding office, and in 2017 the “Order to leave the territory was revalorised”. Here we are: assumed racist law that enables to deport foreigners without any judgement, even if they were born and legally residing here. 
 
 
This contextual setting seems necessary to us in order to explain the absolutely staggering possibility applied by the Foreigners Office in case of minor offences against a foreign person living in Belgium for years or since always, knowing that the appeals have no suspensive effect! 
 
 
The offences we hear from are sometimes speeding or unpaid fines! The people are then transferred from prison directly to a closed centre in view of their deportation. 
 
 
Some of them arrived here when they were children, others were born here. In general, they have all their family residing legally here, or even with the Belgian nationality. Some never ever set foot in the country where the Foreigners Office want to deport them to!
 
 
They are desperate, some are revolting. Informed by their embassy that “no deportation would happen before beginning 2021” they refuse this new discriminatory retention: 
 
 
« We served our sentence, we paid for our crap. Why we, foreigners, are being doubly punished? 
 
 
The most recalcitrants are punished and transferred to the secured wing in Vottem, where they are totally isolated from the outside world and social contacts. Sometimes they stay there for several months. 
 
 
   « It’s torture, madam. » 
   « They are tyrans. »
 
Testimonies from the green wing, in 2015.
 
 
At the time when media all over the world are gargling to speak about racism and relaying the demonstrations of thousands and thousands of human beings throughout the world denouncing institutional racism, here in Belgium the double racist and discriminatory penalty is being trivialised. No one reacts, no one denounces. 
 
 “There is an evil which most of us condone and are even guilty of: indifference to evil” (Rabbi Heschel, friend of Dr Martin Luther King)
 
STOP CLOSED CENTRES
NO TO DOUBLE PENALTY
 
        
1 law of 15 December 1980 on the access to territory, stay, establishment and return of the foreigners 
        
2 modification of article 21 of the law of 1980
Publié dans External contributions, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Closed centre: “Why this treatment? We need answers” 19/06/2020

Archive 127bis 2016

Retainees in the 127 bis closed centre in Steenokkerzeel call us and ask us to spread their message.
“We are treated like animals. The staff is constantly bothering us. No respect, no hello, no please, no goodbye.All our deeds and actions are controlled by the guards or by cameras everywhere. They keep distributing sleeping pills. It becomes a real psychiatric asylum. They say we are dangerous criminals and that they will keep us the time it takes. As soon as we ask for something they threaten us. The food is awful and there is never enough.When we ask why they treat us this way they systematically answer that it is the law. 
Is it really the law? Where in the law is that treatment written down?
Some of us are ready to leave the country. But how? There won’t be any plane to our countries before months. 
The world needs to know.

We demand:

– Respect of human rights for us too

A humane treatment- Enough food

 – Respect from the staff – STOP threats and violence 

Hygiene in the places

Transparency of the authorities as regards closed centres 

 – And our rapid release, since there won’t be any possibility to deport us in the short-term! 

Our question: “Why this treatment?: we need answers.”


Signed: Retainees of the 127bis closed centre in Steenokkerzeel

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Call for action – 20th of June – World Refugee Day – UPDATE VIDEO

from Coasts in Solidarity

No one is illegal, never! –
Open your borders, open your eyes!

Call for actions on 20 June 2020 – World Refugee Day – Join locally!

more infos : https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/

Corona prevents us from meeting – so we’ll spread out instead! Join the transnational solidarity action where ever you are and show that the struggle against racist border policies continues!

2020 has illustrated, better than ever before, that in today’s world equal rights for all human beings is still a distant goal. The situation of migrants in most parts of Europe and other parts of the
world is shameful. Camps at the external borders of Europe are overcrowded. Camps inside European countries remain.  Many migrants are still undocumented, living on the streets.

Even in these times, governments ignore the rights of refugees and migrants. By and large, it has been solidarity groups, NGOs, courageous citizens and migrants themselves who have countered the threat of the pandemic.

We want to draw attention to the situation of migrants, open the eyes of the wider public and demand practical solidarity. Because we absolutely want this situation to stop. It is based on laws and political decisions that definitely can and definitely must be changed.
We call for actions on 20 June – World Refugee Day!

“WE” – who are we?

We are antiracist activists from several European countries who formed the project, “Coasts in Solidarity”. Our main aim was to highlight and support the struggle of migrants at the closed UK border along the Channel and the North Sea during this summer. We wanted to organise harbour events, spread solidarity ideas and use the sailing vessel LOVIS to get more public attention. For obvious reasons we cancelled those plans. As the conditions for migrants have not improved, we agreed on alternative ways to raise attention and public pressure.

Our Proposal for Action
We’ve come up with an alternative common action: A flotilla of paper boats with short messages on them (like “Open your borders, open youreyes”, “Flight is not a crime”) will appear everywhere! Everybody can fold them, small and large, colored or not, and distribute them in public places, in buses and trains, at shopping centres or in parks.
Create your own ones or download the “form” that includes written testimonies of refugees, which can be folded into paper boats. This way, when the paper ship is unfolded, the voices of those who are mostly silenced become audible.

In addition, there will be audio files with recorded testimonies of migrants for downloading. Play them in public places, from balconies or bicycles, in buses and trains and elsewhere, via mobile phones or speakers.

Feel free to choose other actions or to combine our call with your demands.
Send pictures of your action and demands via twitter #coastsinsolidarity

For the right to stay and to move! Stop deportations – once and for all!

Dignified living conditions and health care for everybody! Close down all the camps – once and for all!

Build solidarity cities and networks! Let us change societies from their foundations!

Publié dans Migration policy, Struggle stories | Marqué avec | Laisser un commentaire

News from the centres and deconfinement alertA 03/06/2020

Deconfinement ALERT

According to recent news, the European borders will open again on 15 June 2020. Flights will resume as of that date.
Some retainees already got the information that the centres will be filled again.

Raids and arrests will therefore resume in our neighbourhoods, in public transports, in parking places, etc. to refill these centres where more than 400 places are available.

However, a message has been circulating lately…
« When the borders reopen, the persecution of undocumented and asylum seekers will start again in order to fill the closed centres and relaunch the deportation machine. To confront that situation, an informal anti-raid network is organising itself.»

Let’s be careful in case of raids or arrests.
Let’s prevent these arrests.
Let’s go to the police stations where people have been brought to and claim their release.
Let’s go in front of closed centres to show our soliarity with their struggle and claim their release.
Let’s prevent deportations.

News from the centres on 1 June 2020 :

They still are a hundred or so (for 600 places) in closed centres. A lot were released after the COVID outbreak.

The remaining retainees have mostly been there since before the lockdown and kept there until flights resume. Many have been retained for 5, 6, or even 10 months: Ethiopia, Algeria, Guinea, Bangladesh, Morocco, Cameroon, Benin, Mali, Tunisia, Gaza, etc.

The Foreigners Office harass them and keep them retained to try and deport them as soon as flights resume.
Many retainees wonder why they are being harrassed that way: “Many were released because of the pandemic. Why are we still here? All these months in prison are very long. All we want is to be allowed to continue our asylum or regularisation requests outside, free!”
“Is all this legal?”

Bruges closed centre: they are still a dozen to be retained.

A man cuts himself regularly and for months they have moved him from isolation cell to medical service and vice-versa.

« In this room even a dog would not sleep. The mattress stinks, the bathroom is disgusting.It is stressful, very stressful, I can’t sleep. It is not normal at all. You have pain somewhere, you would like some medicine, they refuse to give it to you. They speak to you badly. There is no humanity. Ok, it is true, I am illegal because undocumented, but I am not a criminal. And I am not an animal.”

The last days, they revolted peacefully against these retentions and threatened to go on hunger strike. The police intervened directly. As a result: 3 were placed in isolation cells and then transferred to other centres.
« We wanted to start a hunger strike but we didn’t do it, we stayed quiet. Then the police came and placed 3 people in isolation cells. Why these 3 persons and not everybody, and why us?”

Caricole closed centre : they are 26, all retained since the beginning of the year, many of them are women arrested at the airport in January 2020.

“We are left behind we do not sleep, we have psychic problems because of this imprisonment. The doctor only gives us paracetamol, always. Sometimes we shout, then the management comes to speak to us and tell us that they will ask the Office. ”

« Our retention is extended for 2 months every 2 months. It’s a nightmare. The food gives us stomach pain and diarrhea. I haven’t eaten for 15 days. There is war in our country, we do not understand why we are not welcome here. »

LET US ALL BE WHISTLEBLOWERS

LET US SHUT CLOSED CENTRES

STOP DEPORTATIONS

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Saved just in time, a young Syrian girl escapes the Belgian authorities’ push back

08/05/2020

Right in the middle of a world sanitary crisis, Belgium tried to cross a new boundary in its migratory policy. The first ‘push back’ ever recorded on the Belgian territory should have taken place Friday 8 May a.m.

E. is 16, she left Syria 5 months ago. Her journey led her to catch a flight from Greece to Belgium. She landed in Airport Brussels on Tuesday 5 May. As soon as she arrived, the authorities immediately tried to put her on a flight back to Greece, with the greatest discretion.

On 6 May, warned by the authorities, the Foreigners Office gave an order to leave the territory (Annex 13) to the young girl and planned a new deportation to Greece on Friday 8 May.
On 7 May, a whistleblower warns of the situation. Several actors urgently put pressure on the Foreigners Office to avoid this new deportation attempt.

Following the ongoing pressure by these different actors towards the Office, the Guardianship service was warned at 3 p.m on 7 May and the young Syrian girl was released in extremis. E. was retained for around 48 hours in the transit zone of the airport.
At no moment E. was allowed to use her right to international protection.
A situation all the more serious since she is minor, therefore vulnerable by definition, and according to article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, she should be protected.

Such a deportation practice also called “push back”, is totally illegal.

This practice that is known to be implemented in Greece, Spain, at the border between France and Italy and many other borders of our continent, with the support of Frontex, was already denounced as illegal by the UNCHR in 2016, notably on the Balkans road. Resorting to that practice is illegal, violent and racist. How does Belgium allow itself to cross a boundary in the cruelty of the treatment inflicted to migrants? Who is hiding behind this kind of recommendation? It is in total contrast to international conventions since it violates the non-refoulement provision of the Convention on Refugees. If that refoulement is the first we are being informed of, we are wondering how many people might already have been subject to it in breach of their rights?!

We denounce all the deportations, all the more when they are applied to children.

Stop to racist policies !
No escalating horror !
No to Push backs

STOPDEPORTATION

Publié dans Migration policy, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Words by a retainee in the closed centre in Bruges

27/04/2020

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. THIS CENTRE MUST BE SHUT DOWN. Testimony

« There are 120 places in the closed centre.

Most of the prisoners have been released. Many had a legal record. We are still 15. And there are more guards than prisoners. We don’t understand why the 15 of us are still being retained.

Some are coming from jail, others never had anything to do with courts.

2 Vietnamese, 1 Ethiopian, 2 Moroccans, 1 Albanian, 1 man from Egypt…

Some have been here for months. Some have children here in Belgium.

We do not want to stay imprisoned in such an inhuman way. And to remain in complete uncertainty about our fate, it is really a medieval situation…

We do not understand why we are still being retained, why some have been released and others (with very different profiles) continue to be retained.
There is absolutely no logic.

I served my sentence and I am being punished again… I want to be with my family…
It is much worse here than in jail. In jail, you know why you are there and you know when you get out. Here, your fate is in the hands of the Foreigners Office.
We still have rights, haven’t we?

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE;
This centre should be emptied.

Publié dans News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Escape attempt in Merksplas and news from Bruges

23 April 2020

MERKSPLAS

Since the publication by RTBF on 9 April 2020 of the article « Nourriture avariée, cachot pour les malades, distanciation pas respectée : le quotidien dans un centre fermé au temps du coronavirus » (Rotten food, solitary confinement cells for the sick, failure to respect distancing: the daily life in a closed centre during Covid-19) and the visit of Myria who confirmed the retainees’ saying, repression goes on in the centre.
Despite the food being less rotten, the tension in the centre remains extremely palpable.

On 10 April, there was a general search: body and cells.

Masks were distributed (of very poor quality according to the retainees), however the majority of guards do not wear them. Rumours about staff members infected by the COVID only increase the fears and anxiety of the retainees.

« Who else could bring the virus here. They are the only ones who have contacts with the outside.”

20 April : « Yesterday, during the meal, the room of two retainees was searched. Nothing has changed: there is still no hot water in the showers.”

21 April :
Five people tried to escape around 8 p.m but they got caught up. After this escape attempt, the whole 3A wing was searched, the retainees had to undress and were totally naked. One retainee completely freaked out and broke everything with a fire extinguisher: doors, windows, cupboards.

« All the retainees had to strip naked in front of the ‘big guys’ (the guards of the centre) while they were searching everywhere, it was humiliating. We are all punished although we didn’t do anything. One guy completely flipped… The workers of the centre no longer want to work here. They are under pressure. I didn’t do anything, it is not fair. Many others were released, not me, why? I am not even able to return to my country.”

The five people are currently in solitary confinement.

BRUGES

The retainees tell us about the lack of hygiene in the centre, they say that the precautions against the virus are not respected.

A man who wants to return to his home:
« I accepted all the return conditions but they keep me! I served my sentence, double sentence in the closed centre, triple sentence with the Coronavirus”.

« It is physical abuse here, but above all mental abuse.”

« They are playing with people, they are wearing us down, I’m losing my head.”

« I want to regain freedom. It is my right. »

« They give us masks but the guards do not wear any. However the risk comes from them who keep coming and going. If there is a case of infection, they will again put the blame on us. »

« We are angry. »

« The centre, I’m not telling you! Disgusting. If the hygiene inspection service came, this centre would be immediately closed down! »

« The situation remains the same, the closed centre is extremely dirty, it is disgusting. We are still 6 people to share a cell. The seats of the TV room are super filthy…»

LET’S BURN CLOSED CENTRES
STOP DEPORTATIONS

Publié dans Getuigenissen, Nieuws van de gesloten centra, Strijdverhalen | Laisser un commentaire

Forgotten of the Covid-19: A group of undocumented people demand immediate regularization

Video action and repression

Photos of the action

This Monday, April 20 at 11 a.m., a group of undocumented people, the forgotten ones of this period of COVID-19 crisis, carried out a sharp- action fought in front of the Tower of Finances, where the office of Maggie De Block, Minister of the Social Affairs and Public Health, but also of Asylum and Migration.

With the help of placards, 60 undocumented people appeared silently for a few minutes, in order to raise a first alarm signal and make the reality of this part of the population visible to the eyes of Belgian citizens. The action was carried out in compliance with the health recommendations of the containment: those present persons were wearing masks, gloves and standing at a social distance of 1.5 m.

Before dispersing calmly, a spokesperson read the group’s message and demands:

“Before this pandemic, we, undocumented people, already lived every day in fear and difficulties. We were working in the black market to earn enough to live with our families and our children. A situation of explotation that we denounce however. Since the containment was announced, all areas have been closed and there is almost no work. Overnight, we find ourselves without any income and any help to provide for our basic needs. We do not have access to health care, we can no longer buy food or pay our rent. Despite these difficulties, we respect all the confinement rules set by the Belgian state.

Abandoned by this system, we are launching today this cry of injustice that is killing us. More than the coronavirus, it is above all this migration policy that condemns us to agony. Men, women, children, young and old, sick people… We are the forgotten ones of this crisis and we are dying slowly! We are citizens and claim our rights. We go out despite all the risks, to cry out for all humanity, to cry for justice.

Our request to the federal government are simple:

– We are asking for recognition by the Belgian state of our existence in this country for years: we want to be regularized. The regularization of undocumented people in the current situation is necessary and urgent.

– We also demand the release and regularization of detainees in closed centers.

We also appeal to citizens who support our cause: we ask them to react with us and to denounce this unacceptable situation.”

A few dozen supporters with papers were present. The police identified 6 people (including two legal observers of police violence) who are at risk of receiving a report.

Press contacts:

– Rabia (FR/AR)- rabiex22@riseup.net – 0465 95 40 14

– Keltoum (FR/AR/EN) – marzakikeltoum5@gmail.com – 0488 56 78 89<image8045|center>

 

Publié dans Strijdverhalen | Laisser un commentaire

NEWS FROM VOTTEM : The Foreigners Office is relentless!

18/04/2020


We regularly receive increasingly desperate calls or messages from people still being retained in the closed centre in Vottem (CIV).
« We are the forgotten of the Kingdom of Belgium, help me”.


They still are approx. 30 who ignore why they have to remain imprisoned whereas approx. 80 others have been released.
The release requests introduced by their lawyers, who really made a heavy job, jointly, based on the coronavirus pandemy and the current impossibility to send them back in the countries of origin (or another one), give mixed results: when the judge instructs the release, it is often followed by an appeal from the Foreigners Office and it takes several weeks. And time is very slow when one is imprisoned.


They are obviously all very worried about their health: in this pandemy, they assert that social distancing is not respected, and it is rare to see a security guard wearing a mask. If every retainee has shower gel, often insufficently, they do not have soap to wash their hands, unless they buy it themselves at the “shop” in the centre.
After many remarks by a retainee to the staff about the lack of individual protection and the disrespect of social distancing, he was firstly told that this was going to be discussed during a meeting, then he was placed in solitary confinement (courtyard forbidden, no internet, and alone) in a “disgusting” cell. He no longer has contacts with his co-retainees except on the phone. The reason they gave him, after him asking several times is: “You may provoke a rebellion when asking for better sanitary measures.”

When they had visits from family or friends, they still could get tobacco and a little money to buy cigarettes or waffles from the distributors, but since the visits have been forbidden, they are even more deprived. The CRACPE gave a little support, like us who continued sending phone recharges through text messages thanks to the emergency mobile phone set up since the start of the quarantine, which also allows us to have a constant contact with the retainees.

Many have family in Belgium, sometimes even wives and children, and the fact of not seeing them adds to the psychological stress of their retention. Others have their families very far, or in another European country; the whole world is affected by COVID-19. They fear for their health but also for their families’.


We heard that the staff of the centre led work stoppages; claiming for a risk premium. For us, it is obvious that such a promiscuity with so few protection means increases the risk of propagation of the virus, both for the staff and for the retainees.


For that reason, and because the function per se of closed centres, according to law, i.e implement deportation measures, became purposeless, seen the current situation, we call for the immediate release of all the retainees and in all the closed centres of Belgium.


Of course, we maintain our main demands: that closed centres be abolished and that deportations be stopped, as well as the demand to regularise the undocumented. At the time when agriculture lacks workers but also elderly houses, hospitals etc. all the undocumented we know are willing to put their skills at the service of the community!

Source:CRACPE: https://www.facebook.com/pg/collectifderesistanceauxcentrespouretrangers/posts/?ref=page_internal

Also a call by a lawyer:

The Foreigners Office is relentless

Even after disgusting images on the retention conditions in the Merksplas closed centre were diffused, the Foreigners Office remains relentless on some files so as to maintain foreigners in retention.

While the courts are pronouncing releases on the basis of the illegality of retentions, the Foreigners Office makes appeals, which extends the retention of at least two weeks and obliges the court of appeal and the lawyers to meet during quarantine.

Retentions are clearly illegal since in theory they should only serve for deportations which are currently impossible.

Above all, retentions are criminal since they go on in a quarantine period and under conditions of promiscuity and insalubrity which are unworthy of a country like Belgium. The conditions in the five closed centres in Belgium are unspeakable and it must end.

Once again, we demand the release of all the people retained in the closed centres.

Publié dans External contributions, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Audiotestimony from closed centre in Bruges “Our fate is between your hands” 08/04/2019 

 
Audiotestimony from closed centre in Bruges “Our fate is between your hands” 08/04/2019
 
 
                                     
“I am in the Bruges detention center since March 30th 2020. Since I have arrived here, I can’t buy shampoo, I can’t buy shower gel.
The management, the guardians and the inmates do not wear any masks and nobody respect the corona measures. The 1.5 meter distance between us is not respected, we all live together in one group. There is a room where we can go for smoking once in a while, we are 20 to 25 people in a 6 meters square room. 
 
 
In the courtyard, guardians do not have masks or gloves and they don’t respect the measures. They stay together. In the two other TV rooms and the billiard room, it’s the same thing, there are two guardians, people go all over the place from a room to another.
In the courtyard, there is no respect of corona measures, nor in the two rooms.
 
 
For the rest, if you go to the doctor, if you call and go there, you must wait but at the end he does nothing for us. He treats us like animals.
Here, the meter and a half of corona measures, there is nothing at all, nobody respects that.
In the morning they take the temperature of the management people, only them, and if they have more than 37°, they don’t enter. But corona, as everybody knows, you can have  « koorts » as we say in dutch (fever) only after a week or ten days.
 
 
If a sick person arrives here, everybody is going to be sick. We are all going to be sick because we all have contacts with each other, we hold hands, we stay close to each other, we even smoke cigarettes together. We have to light cigarettes with the chief’s lighter,from their hands to ours. There is really absolutely no respect for coronavirus.
        
Moreover, in the dining room also, all the groups – there are two groups :A-B and C-D – go down to eat together. I am B11. We go down to the dining room, and we eat together. There is about twenty inmates and about ten employees. There is also two people working in the restaurant, who gives us food, and we are all in the same room. Nobody, not even one of the inmates or of the employees, respects the 1.5 meter measure.
I hope that you can give us a hand, this situation is really inhuman. I am sick, I have 42% of my lung capacity, I had tuberculosis in the past. Since I have been here, people go around and leave us in an inhuman situation. It’s been a week and a half since I had a shower. I have to wash with water and soap. They give a soap that really cuts your hand, I don’t know how this soap is made, but it cuts your hands. And in the showers,you have to wash yourself with water, there is no shower gel nor shampoo.
 
 
Thank you for your information, and we hope that you will give us a hand. I am the father of Belgian children. There are lots of people here who have kids and places where they live. You can look after us because we are also human beings, even if we are foreigers, we are also human beings.
 
 
 
Thank you very much and goodbye. Our fate is in your hands, madam. We are not afraid of going on hunger strike or go to the isolation cell, but we are afraid of contracting the corona, of maybe dying with our family far from us, and without being able to go back to our native country when we’ll be dead, they will put us in a plastic bag and throw us here, in Belgium.”
Publié dans Audio testimonies NL | Laisser un commentaire

Multiple actions to empty the centres: new testimonies by retainees

30/03/2020


At the time when, to confront the Coronavirus, several retention cetres are emptied in France, others are burning in Italy, the closed centres of Belgium are still quite full. Full of retainees who have no or very few information. We get loads of phone calls by retainees who are extremely stressed out by the situation. 


In several centres, the retainees try to resist and make themselves heard by organising meetings, collective actions, demonstrations, gatherings with the management of the centres, hunger strikes and sometimes also less pacifist actions. Their protests are often repressed, notably with stays in confinement cells as retaliatory measures. Article by Knack:https://www.knack.be/nieuws/belgie/asielzoekers-opgesloten-maar-niet-beschermd-tegen-corona/article-longread-1582095.html


Last week, a few people retained in wing L of the 127bis closed centre who were totally exasperated “got nuts” and expressed their anger by protesting.  “It was real war”, told us one witness. Their rebellion was punished and several were placed in confinement cells. 
Beginning of March, among the 700 people retained, from 200 to 300 were spontaneously released, only the ‘sick and vulnerable’ ones, according to the Foreigners Office. Nevertheless, these releases happen very slowly and randomly, at the discretion of the Foreigners Office who would fear not to convey a ‘good image’ if they released everybody in one go.

 
Formal notices and appeals to courts against the illegality of retentions during the Coronavirus crisis enable the release of several retainees, but the closed centres still retain a certain number of persons. It is outrageous that retainees are only released thanks to the intervention of third parties because of the illegal nature of these retentions. Several social assistants even try to dissuade retainees to follow their steps because “if they take a lawyer it will prevent their release”. 


Inside the closed centres, the stress caused by the situation is extremely high. Most of the retainees only get information through television. They live with thefear that the virus enters the closed centre through the staff who work there and continue to go back and forth from inside to outside. 
“In the prison next door, in Turnhout, one person was positively tested to the coronavirus, I am worried, I saw that on TV. In the prison of Forest too. Everybody here is worried because for sure there are people infected here. 60 people are working every day here in the centre. The situation is really dangerous. We don’t get any information, they do not tell us anything. They release certain people because they have to reduce the numbers, but others remain here, we don’t know why, although we didn’t do nothing wrong”, tells us a retainee in Merksplas.


The retainees are well aware of the difference there is between their fate and what is happening outside. The hygiene conditions are very bad and dangerous. The retainees are still several in their rooms, in the common spaces like the refectories, the bathrooms, etc. Very few measures are being taken, there are almost no masks, gloves, disinfectant gel for the staff or the retainees. 


In the Merksplas closed centre: “We are three per room and we use the same toilets and shower, and 20 people are very close to each other in this block.  Nothing is done to protect us from the virus, we are eating and playing together, we are touching the same doors and we are smoking in the same room. Many people are working in this block, who come and go. Nobody wears a mask here and there is no machine to control the virus. We saw on TV that two retainees of Merksplas are infected. If everybody falls sick, what will they do? They should empty and close the centre so that everybody may remain in good health!” 


In Bruges and Holsbeek closed centres, “medication is given from hand to hand, withouth gloves nor masks”.


Besides, a parliamentary visit was even refused at the closed centre in Vottem (Liege). No control from the outside is possible for the moment. https://www.todayinliege.be/lacces-au-centre-ferme-de-vottem-refuse-a-la-deputee-sarah-schlitz-une-violation-flagrante-de-larrete-royal/


In the centres, some have been retained for several months. One of them has been expecting his deportation to Bengladesh for 8 months. Others are under the so-called double penalty, i.e situations where people were convicted to sentences for public disorder, served their sentences, and once out of jail are directly transferred to a closed centre to be deported. Some of them have parents, wives and children here in Belgium.   https://www.revuenouvelle.be/Le-retour-de-la-double-peine


We call for the immediate release of all the retainees in closed centres. It is unacceptable that they are kept retained behind these walls whilst all of Belgium is under confinement. We call for the definitive closure of all the centres, camps, hotspots, as well as for the regularisation of all the undocumented. 

FREEDOM FOR ALL, with or without documents. 

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

LET’S EMPTY THE CLOSED CENTRES

23/03/2020

The Foreigners Office refuse asylum requests but continue to deport. 

On 16 March 2020, the day before the confinement, two Guineans were deported to Conakry.

An Ethiopian had to go through a thrid deportation attempt on 19 March 2020. He was driven to the airport to then be brought back to the closed centre afterwards. Neither his lawyer nor himself were informed of the reason for this deportation attempt and its last minute cancellation. 
Many people remain retained in the different centres of the country and several lawyers’ offices thrive to have them released, either by introducing release requests or by putting pressure on the Foreigners Office. 
All these retentions have become illegal due the world health crisis because the administrative retention of a foreigner is only allowed to ensure their fastest deportation. When, as is currently the case, the deportation becomes hypothetical if not impossible, the retention is no longer legal. 
On 19 March 2020, Maggie De Block  declared that the number of places in closed centres would be decreased to 315 places: 127bis Steenokkerzeel: 60 places  – Caricole : 50 – Brugge : 60 – Holsbeek: 14 – Merksplas: 71  – Vottem: 60 and that 300 retainees would be released ‘in the following days’. 
   
Many retainees are still waiting for their release which depends on the arbitrary decision by the Foreigners Office. Others will remain imprisoned despite the health crisis and the impossibility to deport them. 

We demand the release of everybody and the definitive closure of the closed centres.

If you know of a person retained in a closed centre, please warn us rapidly on gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net !

More info : 
Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Clodes centers : Virus threat, State violence and resulting revolts! 

Testimony by a retainee in Vottem ( FR ): here
 
18/03/2020
 
 
In the shadow of the Coronavirus mediatisation, the people retained in closed centres rebel against the racist administration that imprisons them, and abandons them in this pandemic episode.
This article tries to take stock of the resistance and fights that the State would rather see invisible. Most of the information gathered this Tuesday 17 March come from retainees who often sound the alarm, and from their supports and acquaintances in the outside world.  
 
 
Merksplas closed centre:
 
A Guinean man was driven to the airport on Tuesday 17 March without any medical checkup nor any information related to the virus. 
A revolt is also ongoing in the Merksplas closed centre where retainees refused to eat. Currently there are six people in confinement cells following the intervention by the police. 
Some retainees were released by the administration. Internal rumours say that everybody will be released. 
The staff of the centre do not wear masks. Apparently ‘it is a complete mess here.’ 
 
Vottem closed centre : 
 
A few retainees had a chat with the director who asked them why they refused to eat. There are only one or two persons who feed themselves in each wing. “Beware, it can go far if you push too much’, said the director, referring to the confinement cell. 
There were a few releases yesterday and approximately 5 or 6 men were released this Tuesday 17 March according to our sources. Rumours say that around 30 people should soon be released. 
A. has been retained for 4 months and a half. He is sick and complains about a some thickness in his stomach, he is stressed and doesn’t go to the bathroom. ‘I amhere and I ignore the reason why.’
 
The CRACPE (Collectif de Résistance Aux Centres pour Étrangers) summarised the situation in Vottem in a statement, which notably says:  
“Since Monday, a hunger strike movement started among the men retained in the closed centre for foreigners in Vottem.
They denounce their retention and the dangereous promiscuity in the context of the coronavirus epidemy. In this challenging time, they also suffer from the absenceof their friends and family who are many to live in Belgium. Visits have been forbidden until further notice. 
A few have been released, in very samll amounts, since the end of last week, notably those who had very serious health problems, or among those who should have returned to Italy. All those who remain do not understand, and they started the hunger strike movement to obtain their release.  
The situtation is extremely tense; some are desperate, as shown by an escape attempt on Saturday, and two suicide attempts over the last days. 
They asked us to make this statement because they feel forgotten and can not get heard.’ 
https://www.facebook.com/collectifderesistanceauxcentrespouretrangers/
 
 127bis closed centre:
 
In the L wing, the retainees sometimes refuse to eat and they all want to go on hunger strike. 
On 14 March, a visitor used his privileged access seen his mandate to visit the 127bis and reported very serious sanitary issues: hygiene conditions have not been reinforced, toilets are dirty, there is no soap, no toilet paper, no adaptation measures in the rooms, no care reinforcement by doctors and nurses, etc. 
On 15 March there were 12 releases following a hunger strike of several people, notably from Aghanistan and several African countries. This Tuesday we heard that3 people were released. 
Still in wing L: the social assistant came at 11 a.m., the retainees asked her for information. She did not want to answer, just saying ‘may be tomorrow’ before leaving. 
Nobody ate at lunch time and it is likely that everybody will continue. They are even more isolated than usual because visits are no longer permitted. 
 
One of the retainees testifies:  “we are not gangsters, we are not animals. We have questions but no answers, some people are here for 4, 5, 6 months without answers (ndlr: tickets). What with corona? We stay here? For how many months?
A host also testifies: ‘I could feel they are scared of the virus, just like us, and that they fear being stuck there for x time. He told me that they were all shouting ‘we are not gangsters, why do you lock us?’ 
Seven new releases are known in the wing: 3 Erythreans, 1 Ghanaian, 1 Ethiopian (Dublin France) and 2 Arabs (Dublin Belgium).
 
Caricole centre :
According to our sources, there have been 29 releases lately.  
 
Bruges :
 
It seems that the administration decided not to lock women in Bruges anymore. We heard that six women retained in Bruges were transferred to the Holsbeek closed centre. 
Men have organise a demonstration in the centre to ask their liberation: 6 of them were take in isolation for 36 horesm
 
Closed centre for women in Holsbeek 
We were informed of the release of 6 women. They all are in the centre waiting for their release. 
 
According to an NGO, the Foreigners Office would have announced that there would not be new incarceration, except of people coming from jail. Since they are currently non removable, their retention would then be illegal. The people arrested at the airport could also be retained soon, but since the borders are closed and there are no more planes, there will not be too many people. 
The Foreigners Office would also have promised to release mainly the ‘vulnerable’ ones so as to reduce the number of prisoners and guards.

 

The Foreigners Office would also have promised to release mainly the ‘vulnerable’ ones so as to reduce the number of prisoners and guards.  Just in case, we insist that the promises of that ominous administration are not worth our consideration, not more than their despicable policies. 
 
In front of the coronavirus, the government call for prudence and solidarity, and puts pressure on the workers, above all female workers of the public services that they nevertheless continue weakening. 
The disastrous sanitary situation in the closed centres (as well as in prisons) is not an anecdotal failure of the State administration, but it reveals the structural racism of these isolation and freedom deprivation places. It shows how the State treats the bodies they deem unworthy and how its administration exposethem to all kinds of violence among which retention in itself. 
 
As of today, closed centres should be emptied and destroyed as of tomorrow. 
 
Publié dans Audio testimonies, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

The forgotten of Coronavirus

16/03/2020
In these times of true risk, acknowledged by the WHO, of propagation of COVID-19, it is urgent to immediately close down all the retention centres, hotspots and open-air prisons, etc. 
Seen the living conditions in prisons and closed centres for foreigners, the precariousness, the weakening the system is imposing to the retainees, and seen that these persons are being confined in closed spaces, it is obvious that the risk of contamination is high, which has to be avoided at all costs. 
The people retained, be it in closed centres, in prisons or any other confinement place, even temporary, should be immediately released. 
Besides, the access to medical care should be free to everyobdy (with or without documents) addressing any of the health structures of the country. 
Over the last days, several retainees have been killed by the State during the many revolts that happened in prisons in Italy. (see also https://mob.nantes.indymedia.org/articles/48727). The retainees are claiming their immediate release, amnesty and unconditionnal access to health care.   In France, one case of Corona virus has been confirmed in a retention centre (CRA) in Lesquin, near Lille. The retainees are doing a hunger strike and ask for the immediate release of all the people retained in retention centres.  https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/freedom-for-all-liberte-pour-tou-te-s/
French petition  “Fermez les Centres de Rétention !”http://chng.it/H5cCj8bTkv

We are joining their fight and claim the amnesty and release of all the people retained in prisons and retention centres.We continue demanding their definitive closure. 

Fire to all the prisons!

Freedom for all!

Stopdeportation !

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

In case of retention. Update 07 March 2020

 
When retained in a closed centre, it is important to very rapidly address a lawyer (without blindly accepting one suggested by the centre). 
 
Indeed, during their retention, some get an Order to Leave the Territory against which lawyers may introduce an appeal in extreme urgency with the CCE within the following 5 (if not the first OLT) or 10 days (if first OLT). 
 
Others get an “X1” (decision to maintain the retention so as to determine the Member State in charge). This “X1” is then followed by an “X2” (decision to transfer to the Member State in charge with the decision to maintain the retention in the closed centre in view of the transfer to the Member State in charge) when the Dublin country has been determined. 
For several Dublin countries (France, Germany, Nordic countries, etc.) the lawyers suggest a voluntary return since an appeal would be useless (except in cases of huge physical or psychic vulnerability with a certificate. See below). 
For other countries (Italy, Spain, Greece, Eastern countries, etc.), appeals are sometimes possible. 
 
 
Information to submit to the lawyer, by order of importance: 
 
– Name of the person as registered in the centre (most often it is the name on the OTL, if the person already got some). 
– 7 digits identification number (Foreigners Office/IBZ/SP), indicated on the badge they got when arriving at the centre 
– Centre: 127bis, Caricole, Vottem, Bruges, Merksplas, Holsbeek
– Bloc/room/bed number 
– Nationality as registered by the Office 
– Real nationality if known 
– Date and place of birth
– Date of arrest
– Place of arrest (important)
– Number of Orders to Leave the Territory (OTL) received 
– In which country were the fingerprints taken? (Dublin, possible asylum request) 
– Vulnerability (sickness, psychological problems, pregnancy, etc.) 
– Family in Europe or in the United Kingdom, single/married 
– Phone number or co-retainee’s phone number 
 
 
DUBLIN
 
Almost all transit exiles in Belgium depend on another Schengen country (their ‘Dublin’ country) for their asylum request. The Foreigners Office systematically apply these Dublin returns.  
 
Currently, most of them have Germany as designated Dublin country. In that case, a request for voluntary return is adivsed. They will be released in Germany and able to resume their migratory journey from there. 
 
 
A few figures based on notifications on gettingthevoiceout
 
  • Number of retentions notified in December 2019 : 23
All declared and Dublin returns executed (voluntary returns or deportations) Germany: 12, Italy 3, France 2, Norway 1, Switzerland 3, the Netherlands 1
One Italy Dublin was released following an appeal.
  • Number of retentions notified in January: 50
Number of Dublin: 39, others non communicated:  Switzerland 4, Sweden 2, Germany 15, Italy 7, Greece 4, France 2, Norway 1, Malta 2
Releases following appeals: France 1, Italy 1, Malta 1
 
 
Obstinacy
 
Some have been retained sometimes for more than 6 months. The Office are relentless and extend their retention for 2 months every 2 months, sometimes despite releases ordered by Courts of Appeal against which the Office introduce another appeal and win in front of the Indictment Chamber. 
 
It concerns people who firmly oppose their deportation by legal means and/or their own fight actions in the centres and during escape attempts. 
 
Amongst them(non-exhaustive list): 
  • – exiles who firmly refuse their deportation to their country of origin; 
  • -undocumented who have been living in Belgium for several years, who fell in love and went to their commune for a request of marriage or cohabitation, considered as ‘white marriage’ by the Office, http://amoureuxvospapiers.be/
  • -undocumented who wish to have their children registered at the commune and arrested following that request; 
  • -people who committed an offence for which they were convicted and will be deported, even if they have wives and children here! Double penalty: https://www.revuenouvelle.be/Le-retour-de-la-double-peine
 
 
Prevention
 
Important for the people who are regularly in contact with some retainees: before their departure (try to) collect all the information (see above) which could help us find them back in case of arrests and be able to intervene rapidly. 
 
Message by the lawyers : 
« In the framework of future arrests or retention records, several lessons are to be drawn: 
1) If the person has psychological problems, it is essential that they mention it while being questioned by the police or the Foreigners Office; 
2) If the person has a psychological or medical certificate, it is essential that they give a copy of it to the police or the FO (if they do not carry it with them, they should mention it during their hearing); 
3) If the person, during the questioning, do not fluently speak the language, they should say it and refuse to communicate in the absence of an interpreter (valid for all the records!);
4) As far as possible, medical and psychological certificates should precise the degree of seriousness of the medical troubles and the absolute necessity of a follow-up or medical treatment in the short/medium/long term. 
 
These advice are applicable to all the persons having medical and/or psychological problems. Thank you in advance to forward this message to the persons in contact with vulnerable people. It will increase their chances to be released in case of retention and prevent their deportation. 
It would be good that the exile who already consulted Médecins du Monde, Médecins sans Frontières or any other practitioner or expert has a certificate or proof in the most serious cases. The latter should describe the physical and psychic state of the exile.  
 
Remind the exiles that they should never sign a document if they do not understand it. The pressure is too strong, they should write on top of their signature and in their native language “I do not understand.” 
 
 
We continue asking the retainees and their relatives to testify about these retentions and deportations, please send your written and/or oral testimonies to  gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net
 
 
NO TO CLOSED CENTRES
STOPDEPORTATION
Publié dans Migrants in transit, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

09/03/2020 Women’s strike: Hunger strike in Holsbeek detention center : Update

Update 11/03/2020: They stopped their action this afternoon: The direction told them they were going to take care of their problems; We’re waiting for their release?


On 8 March 2020, at a time of mobilisation for women’s rights, activists visited the women detained in the Holsbeek detention centre. Through the gates, they exchanged with those detained and made invisible by the politics of borders. 

“We are about 20 women in the Holsbeek detention centre. Some of them are pregnant. Many of us are there after a marriage proposal, a marriage that the administration considers to be a white marriage. Others are separated from their children who live in Belgium. Everyone suffers here, the food is disgusting. Some of us don’t eat.We are all very stressed and can’t sleep.Some of us have been here for several months, one 7 months.Where are our RIGHTS? “We’re not criminals, we’re treated worse than criminals.”

After this visit, a group of women joined the resistance the next day and started a hunger strike. They protest against their imprisonment and the conditions of detention.
“Nobody ate today. They “want good food”, they want their freedom. For the guards they don’t care if someone dies or gets sick. They say they’re going to stop eating all week. »”They don’t want us to have contact.” “We need help, no one’s talking to us.”
No info for 16 pm, and for some of them their phones are turned off!Probably under pressure, none of them have answered our calls.


Women in battle, women in resistance, the strike will take the form of a hunger strike if we reach the bottom of humanity.

Address of the closed centre: Tel: +32 2 793 89 01.Mail: cih.onthaal@ibz.fgov.be Address of the closed centre: Tel: +32 2 793 89 01: 19 De Vunt, 3220 Holsbeek https://goo.gl/maps/pu5mjhbrp1YC1fnk7Route: From Leuven, take bus 333 (Peron 11) to “Wilsele Gemeentehuis”.
#8mars #Patriarcat #StopCentreFermé #LibertéPourToutes #Noborder

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Sea safety Channel 02/03/2020

Hello all.
Seeing weather conditions crossings have not been many in the past month or so.
Yet, this also means more people waiting for crossing this way adding up and potentially bigger wave of crossings in a week or two, when meteo forecast shows nicer (yet not nice) conditions.
So here we share once more this flyers about sea safety that were made by Alarm Phone activists back in winter 2018-2019. As far as it was observed rescuers do come when called, but sometimes it takes longer as people leave from places where it is almost physically impossible they’ll ever reach the UK and/ or can’t provide an exact GPS position.
We strongly not recommend attempt crossing in small boats, yet , because these crossings are taking place, we invite associations on the ground to share security informations as attached and reach back to us if any issue comes up.
calais_solidarity@riseup.net

flyers about sea safety:
Engl: https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ENchannelsafetyatsea.pdf

FR: https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2FR-lamanche-FINAL.pdf

Arabe: https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/arabeFAchannelsafetyatsea.pdf

Patchoun: https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/PAlamancheFINAL-1.pdf

Farsi: https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/FAchannelsafetyatsea-2.pdf

Publié dans Migrants in transit, News from elsewhere | Laisser un commentaire

Sailing Vessel Lovis in Zeebrugge and Ostende :Meeting on 6 March in Brussels

Hello all,

The sailing vessel “Lovis” will pass the Belgian coast in June 2020. Her journey along the German, Dutch, Belgian and French coasts brings the campaign “Coasts in Solidarity” with her.

With this e-mail we would like to invite motivated people, collectives and organizations to come together in Brussels on Friday evening 6 March at 6.30 pm (Barastraat 142, close to the south station), to further shape the 4 days that the Lovis will pass the Belgian coast. Feel free to forward this mail to potential interested parties.

What is the campaign about?

Our motive for taking action is the attack – in all its forms – on the dignity of (trans) migrants. Rather than the quotidian aggression and apathy, we place understanding and solidarity at the center of our relationship with people on the move, regardless of the reasons that led them to leave their home base.

Various themes will be addressed during the campaign, under which “right to freedom of movement”, “security at sea”, “criminalization of migration, rescue at sea and solidarity”, “European border policy”, “refugee policy”, “climate & migration “,” people not papers “,” European arms exports vs. migration policy ”, discrimination against transmigrants, etc.

A central slogan of the campaign, which connects all these themes, is

Open borders, Open eyes

Solidary coasts on the rise

Who is driving this campaign?

An open group of activists from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and England work together on a voluntary basis to set up this campaign. You’re hereby invited to participate, if this wasn’t the case already.

The initiative comes from the LOVIS crew, the 30-person crew of the sailing vessel Lovis. You can find detailed background information about their operation here: https://lovis.de/en/

The voyage and the international campaign

The ship will depart from Hamburg (Germany) on the first of June, arriving in Brest (France) mid-July. During 6 weeks the ship will throw out the anchor in differnt ports, where it will dock for 1 or a few days. The actions and activities that are organized at every location take place in cooperation with people, collectives and organizations that are active in and around that location in solidarity work with (trans) migrants.

The campaign is therefore not only a perfect excuse for all those actors who are active in the same region to meet (again). The various movements along that long coastline are also connected under the name “Coasts in Solidarity on the rise”.

And Belgium?

The Lovis can be expected to be in Belgium from 17 to 20 June. The preliminary proposal is to stop in Zeebrugge and Ostend. In Ostend we will moor in the Visserijdok, in front of O.666, a temporary occupation project in the buildings of a former fishermen’s cooperative. Klein Verhaal makes this socio-artistic hotbed available for the campaign (thanks!), which offers us a wonderful base for setting up activities.

Saturday, June 20 is also the international refugee day. The beach and dike in Ostend will attract a crowd of people on that summer weekend for the actions & activities that we want to set up.

Meeting on 6 March in Brussels

Although several people are already involved in Belgium, and there are already a number of proposals on the table about how we want to shape the Belgian chapter of the Lovis-campaing, the concrete planning is still in its infancy. The perfect moment for a broad invitation, and to see who wants to contribute to the Belgian etape of this campaign.

Consider yourself invited on March 6, 6:30 pm in Barabara (Barastraat 142, near Brussels South).

The purpose of the meeting is:
– getting to know the people who are in
– discussing the possibilities that the ship, the place and the moment give us
– round of concrete proposals for activities & actions + drafting the working version of the 4-day planning
– setting up working groups per
f.e. location / action / focus, and sharing responsibilities

We provide dinner (vegan, free contribution). Please confirm your participation, so there’ll be enough food for everybody.

Do you want to be involved in the organization, but are you unable to attend this meeting? Let us know. If you send proposals for activities in advance, they will certainly be discussed. We will then keep you informed of the further course of the preparations.

Contact: <mattijs86@gmail.com>

All the best & hope to see us then!
The campaign crew

Publié dans External contributions, Migrants in transit, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

“Fuck them and their law” : Libérons Anton, Vrijheid voor Anton: Nl Engl, Fr

 “Fuck them and their law” : Libérons Anton, Vrijheid voor Anton: Nl Engl, Fr

Source: https://bxl.indymedia.org/spip.php?article26693

“Fuck them and their law” : Libérons Anton, Vrijheid voor Anton posté le 09/02/20 mercredi 12 février 2020 12:00 lieu : Ambassade des Pays Bas
adresse : Kortenberglaan, 4-10, 1040 Bruxelles

Appel à rassemblement Ambassade Pays bas à Bruxelles ce 12/02/2020, 12 heures pour exiger sa libération du centre de rétention à Rotterdam

Samenkomst voor de Nederlandse ambassade op 12/02/2020 om 12 uur om zijn vrijheid te eisen uit het retentiecentrum in Rotterdam

Kortenberglaan 4-10- avenue de Kortenberg (Schuman)
1040 Brussels
Belgique

Free Anton !https://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/post/2020/02/07/121/#more-121
https://enoughisenough14.org/2020/02/08/rotterdam-tweebosbuurt-free-anton/


Laat Anton vrij !

English below / Français plus bas

Hij heeft een lachend gezicht, tedere ogen, en in stilte hoor ik hem nog schreeuwen Fuck them and their law.
Hij bevindt zich nu in een gesloten centrum in Rotterdam.

Hij vertelt ons hoe hij aangehouden werd. Hoe hij gewoon naar vrienden wou gaan, en politie zag voorbijlopen. Geen geluk, ze volgen hem. Misbruik van identiteitscontrole. De arrestatie veranderde snel in een achtervolging, vernedering en extreem geweld. Hij was het eerste slachtoffer van de toenemende repressie in de wijk. 22 januari tweeduizendtwintig. 13u12.
Hij laat ons zien hoe de politieman hem in zijn maag kniet. Hij is in elkaar geslagen.
En ondanks de fracturen veroorzaakt door zijn gewelddadige arrestatie, ontving hij geen medische behandeling. Hij krijgt pijnstillers zonder psychologische hulp. Onmenselijke realiteit van deze gesloten plaatsen.
Ze weigerden hem vrij te laten voordat zijn oordeel word uitgesproken. Hij zal dus alleen achter tralies moeten wachten.
Maar we gaan hem niet in stilte laten gaan.
Hij denkt terug aan Wit-Rusland, de gevangenis, de politieke vervolging ; aan de gruwelijkheid waarnaar hij terug zal worden gestuurd.
Ik denk terug aan hoe onze wegen op een hoopvol kruispund waren gekomen. Hoe we binnekort gescheiden zullen zijn.
Op 12 februari 2020 wordt het asiel aanvraag van Anton gehoord. Zes dagen om te beslissen over iemands leven of dood.
Anton schreef zijn asielaanvraag alleen, zonder advocaten, overwonnen door de emotie van zijn vlucht en de onderdrukking van zijn dromen. Ze zal daarom zeker worden geweigerd, omdat ze niet in staat zijn de waarheid te horen die hij in zijn eigen woorden uitdrukt.
Anton loopt daarom het risico deze laatste rechtzaak te verliezen en zal waarschijnlijk op 12 februarie, in de avond in een vliegtuig worden gegooid.
Anton zal dan naar Polen worden gestuurd, waar hij gedublineerd is, maar de fascistische drift van de regering zal hem snel de lucht in nemen naar Wit-Rusland.
Anton heeft geen kracht meer en riskeert zijn lot voor een laatste keer in eigen handen te nemen.
Anton riskeert de dood hier of elders.
Voor Anton, omdat niemand zo’n behandeling zou moeten ondergaan, verzamelen we ons deze 12 februari voor de rechtbank van Rotterdam (Wilhelminanplein 100-125) of voor de dichtsijzijnde Nederlandse Ambassade !
Laat Anton vrij !
Meer info : squat-vestia@riseup.net
================
Libérons Anton !

Il a le visage souriant, le yeux remplis de douceur et dans le silence, je l’entends encore crier Fuck them and their law.
Il est maintenant en centre fermé à Rotterdam.

Il nous raconte comment il s’est fait arrêter. Comment il voulait juste aller voir des amis, a vu des flics passer. Manque de bol, ils le suivent. Contrôle d’identité abusif. L’arrestation tourne vite en course poursuite, humiliation et extrême violence. Il aura été la première victime de la montée de la répression dans le quartier, ce 22 janvier deux mille vingt. 13h12.
Il nous montre comment le policier lui donne un coup de genou dans le ventre. Il s’est fait tabasser.
Et malgré les fractures provoquées par son arrestation violente, il n’a pas reçu de soins médicaux. On lui donne des analgésiques sans avoir eu recours à une aide psychologique. L’infame réalité de ces lieux fermés.
Ils ont refusé de le libérer le temps du rendu de son jugement. L’attente se fera donc seul derrière les barreaux.
Mais nous n’allons pas le laisser partir dans le silence.
Il repense à la Biélorussie, à la prison, à la persécution politique ; à l’horreur vers laquelle il sera renvoyé.
Je repense à comment nos chemins perdus se sont croisés. Comment bientôt nous serons séparés.
Ce 12 février 2020, la demande d’asile d’Anton sera jugée. Six jours pour décider de la vie ou de la mort de quelqu’un.
Anton a rédigé sa demande d’asile seul, sans avocats, abattu par la déchirure de sa fuite, l’oppression de son souffle et l’étouffement de ses rêves. Elle sera donc surement refusée, car ils sont incapables d’entendre la vérité qu’il exprime avec ses propres mots.
Anton risque donc de perdre ce dernier procès et sera probablement jeté dans un avion ce 12 février au soir.
Anton fera alors escale en Pologne, ou il est dubliné, mais la dérive fasciste du gouvernement le portera vite dans les airs jusqu’en Biélorussie.
Anton n’a plus la force et risque de prendre pour la dernière fois son destin en main.
Anton risque la mort ici ou ailleurs.
Pour Anton, car nul ne devrait subir pareil traitement, RDV ce 12 février au tribunal de Rotterdam (Wilhelminanplein 100-125) ou devant l’ambassade hollandaise la plus proche de chez vous !
Libérons Anton !
Plus d’infos : squat-vestia@riseup.net
================
Free Anton !

He has a smiling face, his eyes are filled with sweetness and in the midst of silence, I can still hear him shouting Fuck them and their law.

He recounts how he got arrested. How he just wanted to go back to see some friends, saw cops passing. And no luck, they started following him. Abusive identity check. The arrest quickly turned into a humiliating and violent chase. He was the first victim of the heightening repression in the neighbourhood. January the 22nd two thousand and twenty. 1:12 p.m.
He shows us how the policeman kneed him in the stomach. They beat him.
And despite the fractures caused by his violent arrest, he has not received medical treatment. He is simply given painkillers without any psychological assistance. Inhumane reality of these closed places.
They refuse to release him before his hearing. He will therefore have to wait alone behind bars.
But we are not going to let him go in silence.
He remembers Belarus, prison, political persecution ; the horror to which they want to send him back.
I recall how our lost paths crossed in Tweebosbuurt. How soon we will be separated.
On February 12th, 2020, Anton’s demand for asylum will be heard. Six days to decide on someone’s life or death.
Anton wrote his asylum request alone, without a lawyer, beaten by the heartbreak of his flight and the suffocation of his dreams. It will surely be refused. They’re incapable of hearing the truth which he expresses in his own words.
Anton is thus at risk of losing his last trial and will probably be thrown on a plane on the evening of February the 12th.
Anton will then arrive in Poland, where he is dublinized, but the fascist drift of the government will quickly take him up in the air to Belarus.
Anton has no strength left and risks taking his destiny in his own hands for one the last time.
Anton risks death here or elsewhere.
For Anton, because no one should undergo such treatment, let’s come together this February 12th at the court of Rotterdam (Wilhelminanplein 100-125) or in front of the Dutch embassy closest to you !

Free Anton !

Publié dans News from elsewhere, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

‘Voluntary returns’ and ‘Deportations’: testimonies

28/01/2020

It is more and more frequent that social assistants, spokespersons of the Foreigners Office in closed centres (the Office call them ‘return assistants’) advise to opt for a ‘voluntary return’, sometimes under the threat of a ‘forced return with the police and the prohibition to come back before several years (from 2 to 5 years)’. For info: a deportation that follows an Order to Leave the Territory goes together with a Schengen ban from 2 to 5 years.

For ‘transit’ exiles, this proposal is almost systematic: a voluntary return to their country of origin or to their Dublin country. For some Dublin countries (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Nordic countries, etc.) lawyers generally advise to sign for a voluntary return, save in exceptional cases. This voluntary return will prevent the intervention of lawyers, it will considerably reduce the retention period and amount to a release in their Dublin countries. There they will be able to re-submit or continue their asylum request or resume their migratory journey. In other Dublin countries (Italy, Switzerland, Eastern countries, Spain, etc.), appeals are possible and advised according to the situations.

Certain retainees refuse these deportations and resist; which does not please the staff of the centres:

Here is a testimony among others:

The guy was beaten by 5 guards and placed in isolation for 3 days because he refuses to go back to Italy. He would be OK to go to France where his asylum request is ongoing.”

Others, i.e. asylum seekers, regularisation seekers or transit exiles who are being threatened with a deportation to their countries of origin hold up, resist during the deportation attempt, testify or act. Others go on hunger strikes in the centre, others refuse to meet the embassy which would enable the Foreigners Office to get a let pass necessary for their repatriation, others find other means.

Testimony by a host :

Today we were able to grasp A’s situation who understands perfectly well the options that are proposed to him. Personally, I can but admire the dignity with which he told us: “I’m in Europe, not in Africa, I have rights, I’m not a criminal, if I ask asylum in Belgium it is outside, not here”. He understands the zigzag but he doesn’t want to zigzag, in the end he came to Europe because he believed in human rights; rights that were violated because of his retention. Humble and proud. He doesn’t have many things to loose anymore, having no family left… Of course we tried to argue for another hour, we will see… But today I was able to understand him fully.”

Very often these actions bear their fruit. For example, hunger strikers are released after 20, 30 or 40 days because they became « Not Fit to Fly » seen their health status.

It is simply inconceivable that after using all the legal ways to obtain a release, some people have to risk their lives. These actions are often supported by the co-detainees and/or outside people, but almost never by NGOs or the associative sector who abstain from taking a stand.

Words by a detainee after a demonstration in front of the 127bis :

I am voiceless, you are admirable. You struggled against the rain, the wind and the police to cry for our freedom. It made me cry, you are wonderful people whom I’d like to meet. Thank you everybody, I am deeply moved. I felt that if you had the power we would all be free. It gave me joy and hope. From the bottom of my heart, thank you !”

But very often these naysayers will be repatriated unexpectedly, without respecting the rules of the procedure.

For example, for a woman who had related the violence she went through during a deportation attempt:

Five men came to fetch her this morning at the centre to drive her to the airport in her pyjamas.”

And for a man retained in Vottem:

They just gave me my ticket at 6 p.m for tomorrow morning at 10.30 a.m. A man stopped me at the canteen to give it to me, it is a joke! I haven’t seen my assistant for at least a week and now they are giving me a ticket on the Saturday evening, as if they didn’t know before. They don’t want to leave us the time to realise, they always do things unexpectedly,to prevent us from reacting, it is terrible”, when I get there in Congo, I will need money, how will I manage?”

He is totally lost, he is shared between the aversion for the system and still hopes to have a dialogue with the staff members to avoid the deportation, I am not convinced he still wants to resist.

In Vottem too, the repatriation attempt implies lies:

In a devious way, they tried to make him sign a request for voluntary return instead of the confirmation receipt of a parcel. They pretended the call of a doctor to take him away from the group and placed him in confinement with no means of communication before his repatriation.”

For asylum seekers and undocumented in closed centres whose requests are rejected by the Foreigners Office or the CGRA, this proposal of voluntary return is done. After a retained several months they break down and accept.

Testimony by a support person to a woman retained for several months:

Madam E, that I have been supporting for two weeks, decided to sign a ‘voluntary’ return and will be repatriated. She has been living in Belgium for 9 years, has family here and mainly her daughter who is 19. She had different jobs, including voluntary jobs for public institutions (!) that could not give her a contract since she was undocumented. The Court ordered her release (on several occasions, if I got it well). The Foreigners Office however insisted and systematically brought the case to another court in appeal that proved them right. Madam E also tells me that her regularisation request was ongoing but that the time was too short for it to succeed. She cannot stand the retention anymore and she asked her lawyer to arrange her voluntary return. She doesn’t know anyone in her country anymore and so far she was not able to reach anyone who could welcome her on arrival. Nevertheless what makes her panic the most is to leave her daughter alone since to her she still is a child. The latter also knows some administrative problems with her EU residence permit and also has personal problems. She is organising everything for her daughter to have several people to turn to after she is gone. Really ridiculous and shameful.”

F, 21, Moroccan, 5 months in a closed centre. Her family is living in Belgium legally.

The social assistant is threatening her: “Soon you will get a ticket, if you go to the airport and let them deport you, I will talk to the police so that they do not forbid you Schengen entry for three years, you’d better think twice, it is better for you”. Under pressure, she signed a paper to accept her return and avoid a Schengen ban. She did not get a copy and could not read to me what was written on the paper – it seems that she signed a voluntary return.”

Under threat, these people would sign anything after a terribly exhausting stay in a closed centre to put an end to these daily tortures and to escape forced deportations.

They call these practices Firm and humane.

Lies, intimidations, violences, fake promises are their practices.

 

FIRE TO THE CLOSED CENTRES

STOPDEPORTATIONS

 

 

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Marqué avec , , | Laisser un commentaire

France : Prisonners fight 22/01/2020

Communiqué du 22 janvier 2020 des prisonniers de Oissel en lutte

The prison for foreigners in Oissel (near Rouen) is known for its violent and racist practices, its administration suppressing all resistance movements. In this prison, solitary confinement is regularly used to beat up prisoners.

This prison was partially burned down by prisoners at the end of April after a violently repressed hunger strike.

Last Saturday some policemen beat up a prisoner and took him to solitary confinement (he came out on Wednesday 22 January) because he wanted to show his solidarity with another prisoner. In the evening policemen with dogs entered the centre to put pressure on the prisoners. Since then, the violence, the racist insults, have not stopped.

On the evening of Wednesday 22 January, the 42 prisoners from the Cra men’s ward in Oissel went on hunger strike. Their communiqués were passed on:

Au centre de rétention de Oissel (près de Rouen) la police est violente et nous humilie tous les jours. Toujours ils provoquent, ils disent “Baisse les yeux !”. La nourriture est froide et n’est pas halal, alorsqu’il y a une majorité de prisonniers qui sont musulmans.
Même la prison c’est mieux qu’ici. Y en a ils ont 10 ou 20 ans ici et onles mets en centre de rétention.
Depuis samedi c’est encore pire. La police à encore voulu mettre unprisonnier à l’isolement. Son ami s’y est opposéet ils l’ont amené violemment aussi à l’isolement. Le soir y avait la police avec des chiens et des cagoules dans le centre pour nous faire peur.
Le prisonnier qui était à l’isolement il vient d’en sortir. Ils l’ont
tabassé, il peut pls parler, il a des bleus partout. Les yeux et les
oreilles sont gonflées.
Hier ils ont cassés le pied d’un autre prisonnier.
Tout ça va pas du tout. Tout le monde se plaint. Nous sommes plus de 42 prisonniers enfermés ici. Donc là on fait la grève commune. Ce soir personne ne mange.
On va essayer d’occuper le couloir parce que ce qui c’est passé depuissamedi dernier c’est encore pire que d’habitude.
Ici y a pas d’hygiène. Les chambres sont pas nettoyés tous les jours.

On revendique
-La fin des violences policières, de la xénophobie des policiers et de leurs racisme
-Un minimum d’hygiène et de dignité
-De la nourriture correcte
-Des soins corrects

Les prisonniers en grève de la faim de Oissel, le 22 janvier

Publié dans News from elsewhere, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Frontex deportation to Guinea: 20/01/2020

20/01./2020

We learnt that Guineans were taken away from the Vottem closed centre and transferred to the isolation cell of the 127bis centre. They were promised a forced military flight in the evening. Then we heard that they would be driven to Cologne to be deported on a Frontex flight with other compatriots on 21 January 2020. 

As promised by Maggy:

“Forced return, the absolute key  https://www.levif.be/actualite/auteurs/le-vif-77.html

‘Forced return remains the absolute key of our asylum and migration policy’, declared Mrs De Block within that context. According to the Minister, in 2020, the Foreigners Office continue to target the forced return of illegal criminals, rejected asylum seekers and transmigrants. They will continue to increase their actions. This week, forty places have been reopened in closed centres to retain priority target groups, such as illegal criminals, recidivists causing troubles and illegals in transit through Belgium. Their deportations continue to be planned in closed centres.’  

Article in La Libre Belgique: https://www.lalibre.be/international/europe/pres-de-140-000-personnes-ont-rejoint-illegalement-l-ue-en-2019-5e2182e2f20d5a253a9cc67f

FRONTEX

“Fabrice Leggeri also pointed out the agency’s role in the organisation of repatriation operations. Last year, 15 850 persons were repatriated, compared to 13 700 in 2018.”

Annual report of beautiful Frontex  https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Publications/General/frontex_inbrief_website_002.pdf

“Frontex remains a partner for EU countries in organising charter flights. In 2019, the agency also expanded its role in coordinating returns on commercial flights.Frontex is building the European Union’s capacity in returns by integrating various information systems that allow countries to coordinate and have an overview of return operations at the European level.”

STOPDEPORTATIONS

#BelgiumDeports #NobodyIsIllegal #StopDeportation

Publié dans Collective deportations, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Borders kill 21/12/2019

List of the known exiles who passed through Belgium and were killed by borders since July 2017

 

TRIBUTE TO:

2017 :

-Omar, 18, Sudanese, died under a bus in Brussels on 23 July 2017

-Dejen, 16, Ethiopian, died in Aalter after falling from a truck on 4 November 2017

-M, Sudanese, found dead in the canal in Brussels on 17 November 2017

2018

-Mohammed, 39, Ethiopian, died in Jabbeke chased by the police on 29 January 2018

-M, 22, Algerian, died in Zeebruges on 22 March 2018

-Mawda, 2, Kurdish, killed in Mons during a police chase on 16 May 2018

-Amalou Ourez, 20, Guinean, crushed by a bus in Berchem-Ste-Agathe (Brussels) on 19 June 2018

-X,19, Vietnamese, run over by a car in Jabbeke on 17 August 2018

-Imran Ullah, Afghan, run over by a car in Ramskapelle on the E40 on 9 September 2018

-Kebede, 25, Erythrean, killed on a parking in Wetteren on the E40 on 12 September 2018

-Gebre, 36, Erythrean, committed suicide in the Vottem closed centre on 9 October 2018

2019

-Adam usman Kiyar, 20, Ethiopian, very well-known in Brussels, died in a truck in Calais on 8 March 2019

-Amaneal, born in 1986, Ethiopian, his body was found dead on the railway in Silly (Tournay) on 17 April 2019

-Mahammat Abdullah Moussa, 25, Chadian, most likely dead on 17 April 2019 hung under a bus at the North Station in Brussels and his torn body found at the arrival in FolkstoC

-Géri, 25, Erythrean, died after falling from a truck on the A29 near Rotterdam on 6 July 2019

– Nicknam Massoud fund in the Northsea in Zeebrugge on 25/08/2019, drowned at his crossing of the Channel to GB, Iraqi, 48 years….

– Nixon, suicide in the open centre in Lanaken on 23/10/2019, SriLankais, 34 years old

– 39 from vietnam , women and men found dead on 23/10/2019 in a truck in Essex /GB after a drive past Zeebrugge

Pham Thi Tra My, 26, from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Dinh Luong, 20, from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Huy Phong, 35, from Ha Tinh
Vo Nhan Du, 19, from Ha Tinh
Tran Manh Hung, 37, from Ha Tinh
Tran Khanh Tho, 18, from Ha Tinh
Vo Van Linh, 25, from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Van Nhan, 33, from Ha Tinh
Bui Phan Thang, 37, from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Huy Hung, 15, from Ha Tinh
Tran Thi Tho, 21, from Nghe An
Bui Thi Nhung, 19, from Nghe An
Vo Ngoc Nam, 28, from Nghe An
Nguyen Dinh Tu, 26, from Nghe An
Le Van Ha, 30, from Nghe An
Tran Thi Ngoc, 19, from Nghe An
Nguyen Van Hung, 33, from Nghe An
Hoang Van Tiep, 18, from Nghe An
Cao Tien Dung, 37, from Nghe An
Cao Huy Thanh, 33, from Nghe An
Tran Thi Mai Nhung, 18, from Nghe An
Nguyen Minh Quang, 20, from Nghe An
Le Trong Thanh, 44, from Dien Chau
Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh, 28, from Nghe An
Hoang Van Hoi, 24, from Nghe An
Nguyen Tho Tuan, 25, from Nghe An
Dang Huu Tuyen, 22, from Nghe An
Nguyen Trong Thai, 26, from Nghe An
Nguyen Van Hiep, 24, from Nghe An
Nguyen Thi Van, 35, from Nghe An
Tran Hai Loc, 35, from Nghe An
Duong Minh Tuan, 27, from Quang Binh
Nguyen Ngoc Ha, 32, from Quang Binh
Nguyen Tien Dung, 33, from Quang, Binh
Phan Thi Thanh, 41, from Hai Phong
Nguyen Ba Vu Hung, 34, from Thua Tien Hue
Dinh Dinh Thai Quyen, 18, from Hai Phong
Tran Ngoc Hieu, 17, from Hai Duong
Dinh Dinh Binh, 15, from Hai Phong

 

– Ermiyas Ungessa, Éthiopie, 28 , death in Tournai ( Belgium) on 20/12/2019

BORDERS KILL

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

Let’s gather in front of the 127bis Closed centre this Sunday 22 décembre 2019 at 3.30 p.m

19/12/2019

Hostels are calling for a gathering at closed center 127 bis, against the imprisonment and repeated attempts to expel their “friends” and in solidarity with all the prisoners. Any initiative of refusal in front of the closed centres is to be welcomed and
to support.
SOLIDARITY!

Let’s gather in front of the 127bis Closed centre this Sunday 22 décembre 2019 at 3.30 p.m 

We are calling for a gathering in front of the 127 bis closed centre this Saturday 21 December at 3.30 p.m to support the prisoners who claim their release, to show them our solidarity and send a strong signal to the political leaders so that they stop these illegal retentions and deportations.

Mr A, 19, Somali, has been retained in a closed centre for 10 months. He went through 4 deportation attempts, one of them extremely violent against which he lodged a complaint, and another one in deepest secrecy without being allowed to warn anyone (his mobile phone was confiscated in disregard of the right to ongoing legal assistance!) and others cancelled at the very last moment for technical reasons.

He just received an extension of imprisonment for one month and risks new deportation attempts: petition here: https://www.change.org/p/a-maggie-de-block-secr%C3%A9taire-d-%C3%A9tat-%C3%A0-l-asile-et-%C3%A0-la-migration-lib%C3%A9rez-abdulahi

His psychological state is getting worse and worse each day, he should be released. 

Mr T.  28, has been retained in a closed centre for 9 months. He went through 3 violent deportation attempts and has been on hunger strike for more than 20 days. His life is in danger. Here is one of his testimonies:   http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/deportation-youre-an-animal-youre-a-monkey-why-do-you-make-like-this-you-monkey/

Others are there, retained for several months expecting their possible deportation.

We witness a lot of acts of despair each day in the closed centres: hunger and/or thirst strikes, suicide attempts, self-mutilation, escape attempts: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/escape-attempts-suicide-attempts-hunger-strikes-in-the-closed-centres-resistance-to-deportations/

“The earth belongs to everybody” said a female retainee. 

No one is illegal.

Practical info:Address :127 bis Tervuursesteenweg 300 1820 Steenokkerzeel https://goo.gl/maps/wQ6hz5KDKauMRQjp9

Train Gare du Nord : 15h10 Direction Leuven – Voie 6 – Arrêt Nossegem

Publié dans Migrants in transit, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Escape attempts, suicide attempts, hunger strikes in the closed centres, resistance to deportations

13/12/2019

Calls for help and acts of despair in closed centres are countless

Resistance to deportations

A lot of migrants are deported to their Dublin country, before coming back or resuming their migratory route.
Others doomed to be sent back to their ‘country of origin’ strongly refuse and are violently beaten by their escort during the deportation attempt.
Each week we get testimonies about extremely violent deportation attempts.

The latest was on 9 December 2019: ‘She was fetched by force in the beginning of the afternoon, placed in a cell by 6 police officers, 4 men and 2 women. The women remained in the cell. They undressed and tied her. Before boarding the plane they beat her. Once in the plane, she shouted and cried and some passengers reacted. She finally disembarked and was again violently beaten, notably on one hand that was already painful.
The police told her that there was not enough space in Belgium, that it is a small country and that she had to leave.

Small groups of hosts and activitists gather to go to the airport and warn the passengers of the presence of a person who will be deported by force on their flight, when they are aware of it. Some passengers oppose these deportations with determination.

Escape attempts

14 October 2019, Vottem
Around 2 p.m this Tuesday, two retainees tried to escape by scaling the fences. The first one was prevented from doing so by the guards and the second one climbed but fell from 5 metres. He was taken to the hospital, severly wounded.

22 November 2019, 127 bis
A man tried to scale the fences. He got caught and transferred. We lost his trace.

Testimony by a visitor : ‘Mamma mia, my little heart is torn with stress and pain… Sitting in the waiting room, sympathising with the two visitors of our nice Brazilian student (who saw his student visa refused while being in his second year of architecture, living in Belgium for 17 years, speaking 4 languages… and who finally decided to sign the papers for a voluntary return), more than 20 guards in a panic, running shouting to the outside, worried gazes, in radio contact… The guys (and girls) are running to the passage around the backyard, to the corner of the prison (yes indeed, it is a closed centre not a prison, we are fully aware of that!) that gives out to the street. The retainee tried to jump over the high fences (imagine the despair? there is no way to escape from there). He found himself in the passageway, did not manage to cross the second fence and got caught. I saw them all come back, the guy surrounded by two big men, direction confinement cell undoubtedly. I wanted to meet his gaze, to put my hand on the window to tell him that I was with him, but he did not see me. It really broke my heart to see that the guy was ready to try the impossible despite the risks of repression, a punishment even more severe than deprivation of liberty and the promise to be sent backto a country where he no longer wants to be…’.

Suicide attempt:

Vottem 28 November 2019
A man cut his wrists this morning after hearing he would be deported the day after. They took him away and we lost his trace.

Vottem 11 November 2919
A man going to be deported swallowed all the sleeping pills he had for the last 15 days at one go. He fainted. He was brought to the hospital then got released.

Holsbeek 25/10/2019
A woman, desperate because she would be separated from her children in case of deportation cut her wrists. She was taken to the hospital and brought back to the centre after being cured.

127bis 1 December
Message by a co-retainee:
– Two or three weeks ago, an Afghan got a ticket to Poland. He knew that if he returned to Poland he would go to jail for 2 years to then be expelled to Afghanistan. Desperate, he cut his wrists 3 or 4 times with a razor blade. He was sent to the hospital but never came back. His co-retainees ignore what happened to him.

Hunger strike

Many women and men started hunger or thirst strikes, sometimes the only way left to have their claims heard.

Some are maintining their action in spite of the difficulties and the dangers for their health.
After ten days or so they are sometimes placed in confinement cells, but most often a real cell without any medical check. A few disappear or are deported, others end up being released after several weeks.

These cases are only the ones we are being notified of, but we are convinced that, seen the administration pressure of the different closed centres not to reveal this information, these acts of despair unfortunately are far more numerous, so as the forced deportations with escort that happen in complete anonimity at least twice a day!

Nocamps
Stopdeportations

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Violent deportation, what a pleonasm, they are all

05/12/2019

Appalling stories are ongoing (voir http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org). Today we learnt that the authorities of the Foreigners Office want to deport Mr. A at all costs. Mr. A is from Somalia. He already went through inhuman and degrading treatments from police officers escorting him previously. Let’s remind though that cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments are forbidden by Article 5 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights in the same way as torture. The European Court of Human Rights reminds that there is no exception to that prohibition. Besides, every State shall forbid (…) acts constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments that are not acts of ‘torture’ when such acts are being perpetrated by a civil servant or any other person.
Therefore it should be the State responsible to pursue the wrongdoers from the police, and a complaint of the victims, such as the one that was lodged, should not even be necessary. Here it is the opposite, everything must be repressed, both literally and figuratively. Is it out of fear of what would be discovered during the instruction, just as it happened with Mrs T recently, that the Foreigners Office is in such a hurry to repeat this man’s plight?

Under the leadership of Maggie De Block, the Foreigners Office once again seems allowed to act at its discretion in violation of humanity and all the rules.

We read in the media, probably as an attempt to reassure us, that civil servants of the AIG were on board. This general inspection of the police is under the direct leadership of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Security and Internal Affairs, and from the latter spring the undignified migration policies we know in Belgium. Have they ensured that everything was done according to the rules, like for Semira? or, as said regarding the treatment inflicted to MrsT, the use of force was necessary because madam was too ‘strong’? Were they only present to warrant anything that would have happened next?

We thank all the persons who opposed this ignominy and encourage each witness of such acts to do the same even though the criminalisation of solidarity might imply that you are in turn also violently expelled from the plane, as had also been the “6 heroes”.

Expulsions are always violent because they are part of a racist system that isolates and criminalises migrants. The so-called use of force in a situation of deportation is itself disproportionate, therefore it is high time to consider all these practices as illegal and to denounce this logic consisting in sorting human beings.

FREE MOVEMENT FOR ALL
STOP TO DEPORTATIONS AND NO TO CLOSED CENTRES

Publié dans External contributions, Migration policy, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Urgent: deportation to Somalia this 02/.12/2019: UPDATE

Update 26/02/2020

Mr. A was released from the centre and left Belgium to try his luck elsewhere, after several attempts at violent evictions and a hard struggle in the centre against these evictions.

He was released after a long and harrowing hunger strike, supported by his hosts and several of his co-detainees. Finding themselves in a legal void set to music by the Office, the only thing left for the detainees is their struggles inside the centres to obtain their release, sometimes endangering their lives!

LET’S SUPPORT THEIR STRUGGLES!

—————————————————————————————————-

The passengers resist again the deportation of A

here video

Geplaatst door Coralie Vantomme op Dinsdag 3 december 2019

Geplaatst door Coralie Vantomme op Dinsdag 3 december 2019

About A:

About the Foreigners’ Office obstinacy
Somalian, 19 years old, 9 months in a closed centre, 4 deportation attempts and still returnable

When he arrived in Belgium in 2015, A., born in 2000, was in a deep post-traumatic stress, attested by a psychiatrist.

Two asylum requests were refused in 2015 and 2017 respectively: the CGRA and the CCE (Aliens Litigation Council) doubting about the reliability of his story.

A. was arrested and retained in the 127bis closed centre on 16/02/2019

First deportation attempt on 01/04/2019, which he refuses

Second deportation attempt on 17/07/2019 Turkish Airlines TK 1944 to Istanbul http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/let-us-prevent-a-second-deportationattempt-to-somalia-on-17072019/

In Istanbul, the passengers of the flight to Djibouti refuse this forced deportation on that flight for 2 consecutive days. The escort spends two nights at the hotel in Istanbul, with A. kept tied to a radiator in the bathroom.

Mr A testified on 19/07/2019 upon his return to 127 bis :

He was in a room at Brussels’ airport, with 3 policemen and a social assistant. The social assistant asked him if he wanted to leave. “You will have to go with the police and stay calm.” They beat him. He said he did not want to go. He shouted and the policemen started to beat him. Since he did not calm down, they hold him, had him swallow a liquid tranquilizer by force. They brought him to the plane with his hands tied and started to beat him again. On the plane they also tied his feet. They hold him by the neck and beat his head. In the plane the social assistant told the passengers not to move, that the man had to return to Somalia.
It seems that the police in Istambul noted that his ‘travel documents’ were not in order. The escort would have answered “never mind, he will leave anyway”.
Still in Istanbul, while waiting for the flight to Djibouti, he managed to escape but the Belgian police caught him and brutalised him. Short of breath, he fainted in the airport.
It had been planned that he would take, always under escort, a connecting flight to Djibouti. The passengers refused that he went on the plane, the police took a new ticket for the day after. One night at the hotel and on the road again to the airport. The passengers of that new flight reacted and refused to leave with that plane if A. had to go through this forced return.
After this missed deportation, the 3 persons of the escort spent a second night at the hotel in Istanbul. A, spent these two nights sitting in the bathroom, his hands tied. He was again beaten in the hotel, far away from the cameras of the airport.

27/09/2019: New deportation attempt planned by the Foreigners Office cancelled because the Somalian embassy did not deliver a let pass.

07/10/2019: The Foreigners Office contact Somalia and share the information

17/10/2019 A. is transfered from the 127bis centre to the closed centre in Bruges

04/11/2019: New deportation planned with escort: cancelled because of ‘issues’ with the airline, according to the Foreigners Office

15/11/2019: New ticket valid until 18 December 2019 because “it is possible that the man is deported within a reasonable deadline”: Belgium would have delivered a European let pass.

Publié dans Migration policy, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Criminal deportations ongoing 15 November 2019

Criminal deportations ongoing 15 November 2019

As far as we know, several exiles are being threatened with new deportation attempts with an escort.

Besides the two exiles whom we know have been the subject of violence and were mentioned in a release by RTBF, here:

Testimony of T here

Testimony of S here

There is G., Ethiopian, retained for six months in a closed centre, placed in confinement in the closed centre of Bruges on 15 November 2019, in hunger strike for ten days or so, is very weak. A new deportation attempt would be planned for this Sunday 17 November 2019. G. who always strongly opposed these deportations, will not have the strength to resist anymore seen his state.

There is A., Somalian, in a closed centre for 9 months, for whom the Foreigners Office delivered a new arrest order because of the ‘possibility that the interested was deported within a reasonable deadline.’

About the Foreigners’ Office obstinacy
Somalian, 19 years old, 9 months in a closed centre, 4 deportation attempts and still returnable

 

When he arrived in Belgium in 2015, A., born in 2000, was in a deep post-traumatic stress, attested by a psychiatrist.

Two asylum requests were refused in 2015 and 2017 respectively: the CGRA and the CCE (Aliens Litigation Council) doubting about the reliability of his story.

A. was arrested and retained in the 127bis closed centre on 16/02/2019

First deportation attempt on 01/04/2019, which he refuses

 

Second deportation attempt on 17/07/2019 Turkish Airlines TK 1944 to Istanbul http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/let-us-prevent-a-second-deportationattempt-to-somalia-on-17072019/

In Istanbul, the passengers of the flight to Djibouti refuse this forced deportation on that flight for 2 consecutive days. The escort spends two nights at the hotel in Istanbul, with A. kept tied to a radiator in the bathroom.

 

Mr A testified on 19/07/2019 upon his return to 127 bis :

He was in a room at Brussels’ airport, with 3 policemen and a social assistant. The social assistant asked him if he wanted to leave. “You will have to go with the police and stay calm.” They beat him. He said he did not want to go. He shouted and the policemen started to beat him. Since he did not calm down, they hold him, had him swallow a liquid tranquilizer by force. They brought him to the plane with his hands tied and started to beat him again. On the plane they also tied his feet. They hold him by the neck and beat his head. In the plane the social assistant told the passengers not to move, that the man had to return to Somalia.
It seems that the police in Istambul noted that his ‘travel documents’ were not in order. The escort would have answered “never mind, he will leave anyway”.
Still in Istanbul, while waiting for the flight to Djibouti, he managed to escape but the Belgian police caught him and brutalised him. Short of breath, he fainted in the airport.
It had been planned that he would take, always under escort, a connecting flight to Djibouti. The passengers refused that he went on the plane, the police took a new ticket for the day after. One night at the hotel and on the road again to the airport. The passengers of that new flight reacted and refused to leave with that plane if A. had to go through this forced return.
After this missed deportation, the 3 persons of the escort spent a second night at the hotel in Istanbul. A, spent these two nights sitting in the bathroom, his hands tied. He was again beaten in the hotel, far away from the cameras of the airport.

27/09/2019: New deportation attempt planned by the Foreigners Office cancelled because the Somalian embassy did not deliver a let pass.

07/10/2019: The Foreigners Office contact Somalia and share the information

17/10/2019 A. is transfered from the 127bis centre to the closed centre in Bruges

04/11/2019: New deportation planned with escort: cancelled because of ‘issues’ with the airline, according to the Foreigners Office

 

 

15/11/2019: New ticket valid until 18 December 2019 because “it is possible that the man is deported within a reasonable deadline”: Belgium would have delivered a European let pass.

 

 

The Foreigners Office at the political service of the decision-lakers and their allies do not hesitate to use all the means including illegal means to deport, preferably on the quiet and with intimidation, similar here to hostage taking and torture, at the request of CGRA and CCE : they will tell us that they apply the rules and obey decisions taken by the ‘competent’ institutions. And the CGRA obeys the guidelines of HCR that tells us that the city of Modagiscio is “safe”… Everybody obeys, no matter the order, this can only lead to historical reminiscences of which we are currently all witnesses.
All this under the guise of ‘human rights’ and the ‘humane but strict’ policy of Maggy De Block.

A bunch of racist criminals for whom the “foreigner” is no longer part of the humans!

#Notinmyname

FREEDOM OF CIRCULATION AND SETTLEMENT FOR ALL

 

NOBORDER

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Migration policy, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Action at the closed centre for women VIDEO

STOP CLOSED CENTERS
STOP DEPORTATIONS

https://zintv.org/Holsbeek-prison-pour-innocentes

On Sunday, November 24, 2019, the national day of mobilization against
violence against women, women activists gather in front of the Holsbeek
detention centre to support detained women.

At the intersection of several struggles, this “surprise” rally
denounces violence against migrant women, border violence and, more
generally, violence in the prison system.

Inaugurated on May 7, the Holsbeek detention centre was set up to hold
58 women whose papers were not the right ones. This former low-cost
hotel located at the end of an industrial zone currently houses about
thirty women. Women snatched from their families, from their lives. Many
of these migrant women have fled their country as a result of
gender-based violence: forced marriage, sexual mutilation, lesbophobia,
biphobia, transphobia, modern slavery, sexual exploitation, etc.

Deprived of their freedom for sometimes several months, they resist
institutional violence and state racism day after day, in total
invisibility. In endless waiting and under threat of deportation, they
live to the rhythm of the prison world. Uncertainty is gnawing away, the
distance from friends and families undermines morale, news is lacking,
health is failing, nerves are failing, hopes are finally disappearing.

Faced with this context of oppression, women prisoners are in solidarity
and organize themselves. It is to support their resistance that we are
gathering today in front of the centre.

The memory of Semira Adamu, a 20-year-old Nigerian girl murdered in 1998
by police officers on a plane is in everyone’s mind this Sunday morning.
History repeats itself: in November 2019 a woman was subjected to three
violent eviction attempts and despite a complaint, she was evicted on
18/11/2019.

She testifies after one of her eviction attempts: “They want to inject
me. Because they told me I was very strong, they promised me that next
week they would put me on a flight and give me an injection to make me
weak and sleep. That’s what they do to everyone at the center. And
they’re taking you to the airport. The first time they bring you back.
They take you the second time and bring you back. The third time they
have to inject you. And I’m so scared. Since then, no news of this young
woman has been communicated.

Closed centres and deportations dehumanize and endanger every day.
Borders kill. Women, men and children are subjected to this multiple
violence on a daily basis.

This system of confinement reinforces the criminalization of migrants.
Women activists on the ground are calling for an end to evictions,
closed centres and all violence against migrant women.

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Solidarity with the womens in closed centre in Holsbeek

On Sunday, November 24, 2019, the national day of mobilization against
violence against women, women activists gather in front of the Holsbeek
detention centre to support detained women.

At the intersection of several struggles, this “surprise” rally
denounces violence against migrant women, border violence and, more
generally, violence in the prison system.

Inaugurated on May 7, the Holsbeek detention centre was set up to hold
58 women whose papers were not the right ones. This former low-cost
hotel located at the end of an industrial zone currently houses about
thirty women. Women snatched from their families, from their lives. Many
of these migrant women have fled their country as a result of
gender-based violence: forced marriage, sexual mutilation, lesbophobia,
biphobia, transphobia, modern slavery, sexual exploitation, etc.

Deprived of their freedom for sometimes several months, they resist
institutional violence and state racism day after day, in total
invisibility. In endless waiting and under threat of deportation, they
live to the rhythm of the prison world. Uncertainty is gnawing away, the
distance from friends and families undermines morale, news is lacking,
health is failing, nerves are failing, hopes are finally disappearing.

Faced with this context of oppression, women prisoners are in solidarity
and organize themselves. It is to support their resistance that we are
gathering today in front of the centre.

The memory of Semira Adamu, a 20-year-old Nigerian girl murdered in 1998
by police officers on a plane is in everyone’s mind this Sunday morning.
History repeats itself: in November 2019 a woman was subjected to three
violent eviction attempts and despite a complaint, she was evicted on
18/11/2019.

She testifies after one of her eviction attempts: “They want to inject
me. Because they told me I was very strong, they promised me that next
week they would put me on a flight and give me an injection to make me
weak and sleep. That’s what they do to everyone at the center. And
they’re taking you to the airport. The first time they bring you back.
They take you the second time and bring you back. The third time they
have to inject you. And I’m so scared. Since then, no news of this young
woman has been communicated.

Closed centres and deportations dehumanize and endanger every day.
Borders kill. Women, men and children are subjected to this multiple
violence on a daily basis.

This system of confinement reinforces the criminalization of migrants.
Women activists on the ground are calling for an end to evictions,
closed centres and all violence against migrant women.

 

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

October 25 2019 ALL THAT’S MISSING IS THE CUSHION ! NO MORE STATE MURDERS!

 

October 25 2019
ALL THAT’S MISSING IS THE CUSHION !

NO MORE STATE MURDERS!

Different sources told us about brutal and inhuman treatment inflicted on at least two women by airport police during attempted deportations.

We visited the Holsbeek detention centre for migrant women, opened in July 2019 in a former low-cost hotel within an industrial park. At present 28 women are detained in the centre, which is expected to hold up to 58.

In the centre, we met a woman detained since 1 October, who explained that she had been arrested by the police at home at 6.00 am. Unsettled, she gave the police her passport and her “orange card” which was still valid for 4 months. She was taken away without receiving an arrrest warrant or any explanation for her arrest, despite being the mother of a 6 year-old child. She was not given access to an interpreter or a lawyer. Since 1 october, she has not seen her son.

As she spoke to us, she often stopped and cried. She told us about the violence inflicted on her during the deportation attempt at Charleroi airport on 18 October 2019. She was taken to the airport police station in handcuffs. The police told her that “she had to go back” but she dif not want to be deported and crief. She felt weak and fell to the floor, “maroccan theatrics” say the police, and began to kick her. Crying, she explained that she had a child, but they continued to kick her and told her “you are a big baby”. Three policemen kept her handcuffed but left suddenly when they realised there was a camera in the room. She was left on the floor. Through the door they kept mocking and laughing at her. The detention centre driver witnessed the scene.

We saw marks on her body. She told us that she was also slapped and kicked in the face. Since this happened, she has not been able to eat. She kept breaking down in tears, especially when speaking about her son. She was afraid the police might arrest him at school. We think her psychological state is alarming.

Her story illustrates the way the police use extreme brutality against a vulnerable person, apparently without consequence. Physical violence is accompanied by verbal insults and humiliation. This can only be described as torture (1).

 

We met a second woman, an African, who testified about her own horrific experience.

Acts of violence were committed against her at the Brussels National Airport where she was held in a room without windows “like a prison”, with just a toilet and a camera. She was confronted by 5 policemen and one police woman, all in uniform. She was stripped so roughly that her clothes were torn and her necklace was ripped from her neck. They asked her why she was in Belgium and whenshe answerd that she was going to get married and did not want to be deported, they responded “you must go”. Handcuffed, seized firmly by the back of the neck, her feet were tied, and her hands strappeto her torso. She was carried to the plane like a human sausage, one policeman on each side carrying her by the arme, and one carrying her feet. She could see that they were worried somebody would see them. They were ready to hide what they were doing

She was seated right at the back of the plane in the last row with one policeman on her left, and one on her right, her body still completely tied. One of the policemen violently seized her neck and folded her body forwards, sticking her head between the legs of the policeman seated on the other side of her. He kept pushing down on her head. When she tried to call out for help a policeman put his hand over her mouth and squeezed her neck. Choking, panicking and coughing, she struggled for air. She was in considerable pain. The policemen kept the pressure on her and especially on her throat – for about anhour, she thinks. When she tried to scream “God help me” they hit her mouth and nose.

The three other police were standing close by in order to keep the passengers away from the scene but the stewardesses could see what was happening. They did not say anything “but they saw everything”, she told us. Finally, the pilot arrived and told the police to stop the deportation. They left the plane with her and she was untied.

Once again she found herself in the same room and still with the same 5 police officers. She asked “is it because I don’t have papers that you want to kill me?” The answer was “yes, go back to Africa” and they slapped her face and hit her all over.

By then, it was 12.00 midday. She was held in the same room until about 6.00 pm. She had left the centre at 7.00 am and had not received anything to eat or drink since the previous evening. We sawthe marks of her beating, marks left by the handcuffs. The back of her neck was veru sore and swolen.

We denounce all such violent, shameless, horrible acts, committed by officials, public employees, paid to exercise violence against vulnerable people, behind closed doors, without any control. Such acts cannot take place without the knowledge and approval of the institutions and authorities responsible for those who perpetrate them.
We denounce this institutional racism, violence and torture (1) and demand the end of these practices.

NO MORE STATE MURDERS! These are the same practices that killed Semira Adamu 21 years ago!
No deportation !

1”The term ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionnally inflicted on a person for such purpose as (…) punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person (…) or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind , when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity (…) “. Article 1 of the United Nations Convention against torture and other cruel inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

Signatories:

CRACPE
CRER
Migrants libres
Campagne Brussels Airlines Stop Deportations
SINAC (Solidarity is not a crime)
Agir pour la Paix
Bruxelles Panthères
SOS Migrants
Campagne stop Répression, Les JOC
(Jeunes organisé.e.s et Combatifs) et la Nouvelle Voie Anticoloniale
souhaitons co-signer
Campagne “Stop Répression”

Publié dans News from the centres, Ongoing deportations, Strijdverhalen | Laisser un commentaire

I was tortured yesterday by the Belgian police 22/10/2019

Testimony after a deportation attempt of a women: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/2nd-deportation-attempt-with-police-escort-this-monday-21102019-on-sn-airlines/

audio here (engl)

I was tortured yesterday by the Belgian police on a SN Brussels (Airlines) plane at 11. They kept my head on the seat. It was 4 policemen with one policelady. Whenever I shouted for help they squeezed my mouth and clapped on my mouth and gave more torture. I was really tortured, they hold my nose. I was treated like an animal, they beat me very well, they hold my neck and my throat. I could not shout. It was the pilot and the pilot team that came to me and rescue. I have too much pain in my body, I have too much pain I could not sleep last night.
They tore my underwear they tore my pants, I was tortured and I was beaten. And they told me that next week, they’re going to take me with a Maroccan flight and they will torture me. That’s the way it is. So I’m so afraid, I need help and I want you people to help me.

They want to inject me. Next week they promised because they told me I’m very strong next week they’ll put me in a flight and give me injection to get weak and sleep. That is what they do to everybody in the center. And they take you to the airport the first time they bring you back. They take you the second time and bring you back. The third time they have to inject you. And I’m so afraid. I have there my friend she’s from Morocco and maybe you can talk to her she speaks arabic.

What happened in the airport before they put you on the plane ?
The policeman came to me and he asked me : “Do you know why you are going back to Africa ? You don’t know ?” I said I was about to get married and the police took me from my house and brought me to the closed center. Then he told me “Oh I’m sending you back to Africa. If you don’t want to go we will beat you and put you in the plane for you to go by force”. That is what the police told me. And they really beat me, they handcuffed me and they tied my foot on my stomach, I couldn’t breath. I was tortured, I was really tortured.

They tied me, they were 3 police officers. One hold my right hand, one hold my left hand, one hold my foot and they told me they take me to the plane and they hold my mouth very tight. When I want to shout they squeezed my mouth, they squeezed my nose. They put claps in my mouth. That is how they treated me, just like an animal !

And so they were men who did that ?
Yes four men and one lady. The lady fought me on the plane.

Publié dans Audio testimonies, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Killed by borders: 39+1 more : 24/10/2018

List of the known exiles who passed through Belgium and were killed by borders since July 2017

 

TRIBUTE TO:

2017 :

-Omar, 18, Sudanese, died under a bus in Brussels on 23 July 2017

-Dejen, 16, Ethiopian, died in Aalter after falling from a truck on 4 November 2017

-M, Sudanese, found dead in the canal in Brussels on 17 November 2017

2018

-Mohammed, 39, Ethiopian, died in Jabbeke chased by the police on 29 January 2018

-M, 22, Algerian, died in Zeebruges on 22 March 2018

-Mawda, 2, Kurdish, killed in Mons during a police chase on 16 May 2018

-Amalou Ourez, 20, Guinean, crushed by a bus in Berchem-Ste-Agathe (Brussels) on 19 June 2018

-X,19, Vietnamese, run over by a car in Jabbeke on 17 August 2018

-Imran Ullah, Afghan, run over by a car in Ramskapelle on the E40 on 9 September 2018

-Kebede, 25, Erythrean, killed on a parking in Wetteren on the E40 on 12 September 2018

-Gebre, 36, Erythrean, committed suicide in the Vottem closed centre on 9 October 2018

2019

-Adam usman Kiyar, 20, Ethiopian, very well-known in Brussels, died in a truck in Calais on 8 March 2019

-Amaneal, born in 1986, Ethiopian, his body was found dead on the railway in Silly (Tournay) on 17 April 2019

-Mahammat Abdullah Moussa, 25, Chadian, most likely dead on 17 April 2019 hung under a bus at the North Station in Brussels and his torn body found at the arrival in FolkstoC

-Géri, 25, Erythrean, died after falling from a truck on the A29 near Rotterdam on 6 July 2019

– Nicknam Massoud fund in the Northsea in Zeebrugge on 25/08/2019, drowned at his crossing of the Channel to GB, Iraqi, 48 years….

– Nixon, suicide in the open centre in Lanaken on 23/10/2019, SriLankais, 34 years old

– 39 chineses, women and men found dead on 23/10/2019 in a truck in Essex /GB after a drive past Zeebrugge

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

2nd deportation attempt with police escort this Monday 21/10/2019 on SN AIRLINES

Update 22/10/2019: She was tied up, hit, and the captain was alerted by a passenger who gave the order to get her out of the plane. She came back to the centre, bruised and revolted.

Thank you to all those who wrote, phone the company and THANK YOU to those present at the airport

——————————————————————————————————————————–

T. asked for asylum in 2015 but it was rejected on the ground that there was no proof of what she said.

Tomorrow, on Monday Oktober21  Belgium with the help of Brussels Airlines, wants to deport T with “escort” . Her crime : to be in love and wanting to get married!!.

T has known her parter for 4 years and they have lived together for 2 years in Flanders. A declaration of marriage was on the go in the commune but, even if all the documents were not completed the police was sent to theirappartement to arrest her and detain her in the Holsbeek closed centre. In her country of origine, she has no family. They have all emigrated.  She will have to live in the street without resources. She does nt want to go and asks for help. She wants to get married with her boyfriend HERE.

Let’s go to the airport to speak to passengers at 9am !

Flight SN 245 for Monrovia /Liberia with a atopover in Freetown

and alert, demand explanations to the airline SN, collaborator in the deportations to Africa. 

Brussels Airlines

+32 2 723 23 45 Callcenter.nl@brusselsairlines.com

http://www.brusselsairlines.com

SN Brussels Airlines :

customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com

Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931

Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362

Demandez à ce que que votre message soit transmis au

Commandant de bord

https://www.brusselsairlines.com/en-be/contact-us/default.aspx

https://twitter.com/FlyingBrussels 

https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines

 

https://brusselsstopdeportations.net/

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Let’s continue to broadcast and sign the petition addressed to the embassy. Something is going on!

Let’s continue to broadcast and sign the petition addressed to the embassy. Something is going on!

Pétition here

They had reserved seats for an Ethiopian and his escort on the flight Ethiopian Airlines 19:25 this Monday 14/10/2019 for a deportation to Addis Ababa. According to a reliable source, we know that 3 Ethiopians were targeted.

T, at the Vottem closed center was unexpectedly placed in isolation the day before at 4 pm. He could not warn anyone but his fellow inmates alerted us. On Monday morning, a lawyer filed a motion in court and at 2 pm we learned that his deportation had been canceled. It would have been illegal under the procedure currently underway.

So, they went to search for G. the second of the list, at 127bis, almost at the time of boarding. He was handcuffed and strapped “as appropriate” and carried onto the plane. As soon as the passengers started boarding the plane, G shouted that he did not want to leave. He was immediately taken off the plane and brought back calmly to his 127bis closed center room.

It was too late to bring the third one. The plane took off without a deportee and the escort was deprived of its trip to Ethiopia.

Who is this third person slated for a return? He himself has no idea and neither does his defence.

We are very surprised by this very unusual lack of persistence on the part of the escort party.

Other Ethiopians are being targeted; this type of surprise deportations without any official passes (authorization) nor ticket, without warning to lawyers and families is illegal but may still occur.

By issuing passes, the Embassy provides support to the illegal practices of the Foreign Office.

Let’s continue to broadcast. Sign the petition addressed to the embassy.

Something is going on!

#STOPDEPORTATIONS

Pétition here

Publié dans Migrants in transit, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Testimony of a hunger strike : “I get checked every day. They know very well that I don’t eat, but it’s their way of saying “starve” to me.”

02/10/2019:
He has been in Belgium for several years, he served a sentence of 6 years in different prisons. At the end of these 6 years he was transferred to a closed centre in view of his deportation to his “country of origin” (double sentence). He was effectively deported but his country of origin refused him because he had no let pass, hence he was rejected to Belgium and retained again in a closed centre. He has been retained for 6 months and he currently is in the “secured wing” in Vottem, which he calls the ‘dungeon’. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/a-prison-in-the-prison-in-vottem-the-secured-wing-of-vottem/

He is on a hunger strike and is asking to testify.

Hier his audio

And Translation

Here I am in the centre of Vottem, I haven’t eaten for 17 days, I’m on a hunger strike.
The first day I started, I asked to see the director and I still haven’t seen him.
My reason for going on a hunger strike is just to ask for a job or a transfer because I have been detained in the centre for six months now. So six months without a job, we don’t know how to buy tobacco or a lot of things.
Living conditions in this centre are difficult. The way they wash clothes is incorrect. They put the clothes in very tight balls and they put all the balls in the machine and the clothes come back as dirty as before, and wet as well.

I’m in Belgium in a way that’s not very legal. I took a prison sentence because of injustice, because of my name and not because of my fact, it was clear in the file. And during the six years I did, I had some prison leaves. I have been out on leave more than fifty times, I have always respected the conditions. I was going back to prison and then I was sent back to Morocco.
In Morocco they didn’t accept my repatriation without a pass and they sent me back to Belgium directly.
It was in the centre of Bruges, I stayed there. There it’s a little better than here, but work is the same, there was no work.
So after four months of staying in Bruges, I went on a hunger strike and for ten days of a hunger strike, they transferred me to this centre.
When they arrived here, they told me “here we are fine, there is work here”.
So when I joined the section, I stopped and ate there, but they put me directly in solitary confinement in a cell as if it was a disciplinary transfer when I didn’t even have a disciplinary report. I ate and when I returned to the section I understood that living conditions are worse than in Bruges. There is no work, everything is badly done, everything is wrong. Just to see the social worker you have to wait 5 or 6 days. To see the director, you should never dream when in Bruges the director and the social workers ate in the same room as us. They could be seen overnight.

There are many factors now that make me lose my life, I want to kill myself and it lasts. If I want to die now, it’s for a good cause. So that everyone knows what’s going on in the centres. Because already, keeping someone for 6 or 8 months and without giving them the slightest job to earn a little money to buy everything they need is inhuman.
We say “yes we have human rights”, where are they? Where are my rights? If I’d have been kept here for 6 months and given 1 euro every three days, that’s okay because I can buy with 1 euro. I am a smoker, I have to wait 15 days to buy a pack of tobacco that I smoke in two days. I have a lot of things to buy.

Here, as I told you, the people who pass through here are not staying for long. Every day some are coming, every day some are going. There are some who stay a week, three days, four days, a month! They are people who don’t care even if they don’t work, they know they won’t stay long. That’s the problem for someone who stays a long time.

I asked to see the director and he didn’t even try to see me. I haven’t eaten in 17 days. I get checked every day. They know very well that I don’t eat, but it’s their way of saying “starve” to me.

 

Publié dans Audio testimonies, News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Belgium deports to Ethiopia. Let’s prevent the returns to death, misery : sign the petition.

Belgium deports to Ethiopia. Let’s prevent the returns to death, misery : sign the petition.

PETITION HERE in Fr, Nl

Let’s rapidly send a maximum of messages to the addresses below in order to help them.

#‎passagerduvoleth729
#‎eth729

Monsieur Grum Abay, Ambassadeur d’Éthiopie :
info@ethiopianembassy.be
in cc:
Maggie Deblock :
info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be
Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers :
bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be
ethiopien airline:
bruapt@ethiopianairlines.com
Title : No to the issuing of let passes to Ethiopia

Dear Ambassador,

We call on you to urgently stop repatriations which are contrary to the values and human rights usually in force in a democratic country such as ours.
Several young people are being threatened with a violent deportation to Ethiopia.
The situation in Ethiopia is explosive. The population is amongst the poorest of the world. Nothing to do with the population the current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is showing to Europe. Since his election in 2018, inter-communal violences have happened daily, making loads of victims and more than 2 millions displaced. In several regions, justice is being dealt with kinds of militias. For the moment, on top of ethnic conflicts there are religious conflicts; more than 50 churches have been burnt down this year. Our governments and the Foreigners Office must not ignore that!
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48803815

The Ethiopian embassy should not ignore it either. However, it continues delivering let passes to its nationals, let passes requested by the Foreigners Office, to enable deportations to death or misery.
https://www.amnesty.be/infos/actualites/article/ethiopie-la-commission-des-droits-humains-doit-etre-reformee-afin-de-reparer-le

On 17 September, Tesfay was beaten by the 6 policemen of his Belgian escort following the deportation he had refused. He was told they had another plan for him for the next time.
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/deportationtu-es-un-animal-tu-es-un-singe-pourquoi-fais-tu-comme-ca-espece-de-singe/

Tesfay’s father disappeared in circumstances linked to the political situation of the country. He himself was arrested and imprisoned for political divergences. He is not dangereous, however like many others, he spent several months in our closed centres where the stories of personal lives are not acknowledged beacause the asylum requests in closed centres can not be done under conditions that would guarantee the fair and necessary preparation of their files. Would have he been able to stand these seven months retention and beating if he did not fear his return?

Mister the ambassador, we call on you to stop delivering let passes to people whose protection request could not be properly heard or taken care of.
We ask you to cancel the let passes of those people for whom the deportation is upcoming in order to assess their case outside of the context of closed centres.
We therefore also ask you to refuse that your countrymen be beaten in the shadow of our airports.

Publié dans External contributions, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

What to do in case of imprisonment: Update 1 October 2019

For several weeks, the referents of the Citizens’ Platform and Gettingthevoiceout have received far less notifications of imprisonment.

However, we still hear about regular raids in ports, cities and train stations.

The situation in the centres:

Very few retainees still have a host family and they totally ignore their rights in case they are arrested/imprisoned. The only information they get comes from the staff of the centres recruited by the Foreigners Office o in order to organise their return (‘return officers’), who rarely mention their rights to defend themselves or, even worse, who dissuade them to use this right and exert pressure on them so that they sign their voluntary return at all costs (for e.g a retainee who had refused to sign the request of voluntary return was woken up by guards one morning with a pen and the document to be signed).

For the moment, the Dublin returns are the most common and one rarely see their release (even though a Dublin return is often felt as a release from the ignominious centres/prisons) following the change in law and the impossibility for the lawyers to file an emergency application (see below).

To be noted also, many other ‘non-Dublinisable’ retainees have been imprisoned for months, sometimes a year, while waiting to be deported to their country of origin, a country sometimes totally imaginary, since the agreements with that country are far from being clear.

Forced deportations are very frequent and extremely violent. Last testimony here http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/deportation-youre-an-animal-youre-a-monkey-why-do-you-make-like-this-you-monkey/

Why are there less notifications and support from the platform’s hosts?

The hosts used to be our very first source of notification for an arrest/retention.
The number of hosts has dramatically decreased over the last months and more and more transmigrants are left with no family and no contacts in Belgium, they are only transiting through Belgium and ignore everything of the legal possibilities and of their rights in closed centres.
It seems that not enough information is given to migrants  in case of arrest .

Change in the legislation:

In the past, the release after an emergency application towards the CCE within 5 to 10 days to contest the retention was relatively easy.

However, the law has been changed, and now the Foreigners Office are entitled to sign the retention arrest. A first “X1” decision is taken: it is the decision on the initial retention which requests the retention of the individual in order to determine which State is responsible. Then comes a decision “X2” which is the decision to transfer the individual to the country responsible and the decision to retain that person while waiting for the transfer (it is article 51/5/1 that transposes Dublin III (in effect since 19 July 2019).

As soon as decision X1 has been taken, the lawyers may act in front of the Court of Appeal attesting that:
1. the transmigrants were not informed, in a language they understand, of the reasons of their retention, in violation of article 5 § 2 of the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights), (most of the time they are being questioned by the police without any interpreter).
2. the Foreigners Office did not study the possibility to apply an alternative to the retention. Unfortunately there is a real systemic problem in the sense that no judge accepts to question the decisions of the Foreigners Office during the appeal towards the court.

Once X2 has been determined, other appeals towards the ECHR are possible for some nationalities to some Dublin countries.

What to do:

  • Before a retention: have medical evidence attesting an increased vulnerability, a failure of care by the so-called Dublin country. These elements significantly help the lawyers to obtain a release. Hence do not hesitate to ask for a medical follow-up and collect elements in that sense during the hosting, before the arrest.
  • Advise the persons who are arrested to say that they do not understand, simply that. Tell them not to sign the documents they are given and/or to write in their native language “I do not understand what is written” instead of the signature or next to it. It will enable the lawyers in front of the court to prove the lack of information given to the retainees during their arrest.
  • Advise the retainees to refuse the lawyer the closed centre want to assign them and contact the people who know competent lawyers. If a lawyer has already been assigned (which is often the case), they should ask for a change of lawyer.
  • Advise them not to listen to the social assistants and the staff of the centre and to speak to the lawyer (possibly via the hosts). According to the file, the lawyers will advise them to introduce appeals, to sign a voluntary return, to question the X2 in front of the CCE for some Dublin countries. Specifically for Germany for e.g. it is more interesting to sign a voluntary return than to introduce appeals that last and extend the retention.
  • If the deportation is effective, advise the retainee to sign the appeal towards the ECHR that will be introduced by the lawyer to attest the illegality of these arrests and in the long term oblige Belgium to modify this new law.
  • Spread this information widely.
  • Try to have contacts through friends in closed centres of the retainees who don’t have lawyers nor family, to try and inform them on their rights.

It is clear that the Office does its best to deport so as to continue improving their deportation figures (despite knowing that a deportation to a neighbour Dublin country will not stop the migrants in their quest for a ‘welcoming’ country), changing laws to avoid appeals, making life in the centres the most repressive possible so that their ‘residents’ sign and accept their return, criminalising the migrants, putting pressure on the States through their embassies to get the let-passes that are needed to enable a deportation to a third country, using extremely violent escorts to deport the rebellious at all costs.

Spread the word.

In case of retention or deportation/release, send all the information to the closed centres’ referents via gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net. We are collecting all the information available to understand these policies and find tricks to bypass retentions and deprtations, be it on the legal level or through actions.

Let’s resist by all means and on all levels to prevent deportations!
Let’s be solidary with the exiles’ revolts and their refusal to embark.
No to migrants’ containment of any kind.

 

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Migration policy, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Carte blanche against the banalisation of the FRONTEX military agency by the RTBF (Fr)

We were several to react about the publication of the RTBF which, without journalistic analysing nor scruple, made a propagandist portrait of Frontex, our European army which protects “our” borders against migrations! as such Frontex kills, locks up, deports.
(see RTBF art below)

The way this kind of article becomes common practice is just unacceptable and reactions were numerous!
A open letter (Carte blanche) written by a ” collective of Belgian citizens” has suffered refusals of publication by all Belgian media contacted! would it be sacrilege to attack the rtbf? Public service?

It is finally Médiapart who published the Carte blanche and the RTBF hastened to reproduce it under its initial article as if it had been sent to them …!

 

Frontex, rempart de l’Europe forteresse !

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/collectif-citoyen-belge/blog/270919/frontex-rempart-de-l-europe-forteresse?fbclid=IwAR3I1wWs1ALlGlYhr8HqTNLRsgmiLJRILAsyA_px_4bOpiHHvbrWX7sIGlQ

À la lecture de l’article paru sur le site de la RTBF du 21 septembre dernier[1], initialement titré “Ces héros du quotidien : les hommes et les femmes de Frontex” et rebaptisé quelques heures plus tard “Une journée avec les hommes et les femmes de Frontex”, nous aurions pu croire qu’il s’agissait d’une campagne de recrutement pour cet organisme européen. “Travailler pour Frontex, c’est agir pour la collectivité” ; “travailler pour Frontex, c’est se réaliser” ; “travailler pour Frontex, c’est faire partie de la grande Europe” semble affirmer ce papier. Mais sous des faux-semblants d’objectivité, cet article nous apparaît clairement partial étant donné l’omission de nombreuses informations.

 

Melting-pot nauséabond

Non, Frontex n’a pas un rôle émancipateur mais est un outil de répression et de blocage des arrivant.e.s et migrant.e.s avant qu’ils.elles ne touchent le sol de l’Union européenne ou de l’Espace Schengen.

Or, les raisons d’être de Frontex – en réalité, celles que l’autrice a choisi de présenter – s’égrènent tout au long de l’article sous un jour positif. Nous y apprenons que les employé.e.s se dévouent pour nous protéger de la drogue, de la criminalité, des trafics en tout genre… mais aussi de l’immigration “illégale”. Il s’agirait donc de nuisances multiples agrégeables en un tout homogène. Autrement dit, les Européen.ne.s, honnêtes citoyen.ne.s, seraient menacé.e.s et l’objet du malheur viendrait, forcément, de l’extérieur. Cette idée prend appui sur une sémantique très orientée : “sécurité”, “protection”, “affrontement”, “terrain de chasse” (l’Europe serait-elle un terrain de chasse ?!)…

Paresse intellectuelle et alimentation des peurs constituent donc le ton de cet article. À l’heure où l’extrême droite, véritable menace, gangrène toute l’Europe, nous ne pouvons nous y résoudre. Dès lors, nous formulons une série d’interrogations.

Quels sont les effets possibles de ce type d’article ? A titre d’illustration, de la perception de menaces à l’armement des agents[2], il n’y a qu’un pas… que la Commission européenne a déjà franchi… et que l’article de la RTBF ne mentionne pas.

Faut-il, une fois de plus, assimiler l’immigration à une menace ? Faut-il associer l’immigration au trafic de drogue ? À la criminalité ? Faut-il rappeler que les migrant.e.s sont en danger et que les politiques migratoires européennes tuent ? L’Europe, érigée en terre isolée, a déjà laissé périr 30 000 personnes depuis l’année 2000, rien qu’en Méditerranée (selon The Migrants files). Pourtant elles tentaient seulement de fuir des guerres, des traitements iniques et des conditions de vie indignes. Leurs espoirs se heurtent aux murs d’une Europe érigée en forteresse. Cela, l’article ne le mentionne pas non plus. Ne nous y trompons pas : ce ne sont pas “seulement” des personnes qui nous sont étrangères qui décèdent. Nous affirmons que chaque corps qui se noie, chaque vie arrachée s’accompagne de l’amenuisement de notre conscience et de nos valeurs. Voilà bien une menace réelle.

 

Angles-morts de l’article

Le fait que Frontex soit très fort critiqué par des associations ne figure pas non plus dans l’article. Les actions de ces “héros” (comme le titrait au départ la journaliste rédactrice) sont dénoncées par de nombreuses associations (Agir pour la Paix, CNCD, Migreurop, à titre d’illustrations). Beaucoup de critiques venant du monde journalistique ont été faites concernant le manque de transparence de l’agence de contrôle des frontières. Le Guardian, notamment, avait déclaré que Frontex se rendait coupable de violations des droits fondamentaux. Par ailleurs, le journaliste allemand Arne Semsrott et l’espagnole Luisa Izuzquiza, une militante du droit à l’information avaient déposé plainte contre Frontex pour manque de transparence. Nous aurions aimé a minima une solidarité journalistique de la part de la RTBF[3]

L’article omet également de mentionner ce que Frontex nous coûte. Cette agence, garante de l’Europe forteresse, a investi, depuis l’an 2000… 15 milliards d’euros pour barricader ses frontières qui n’ont pour effet que de garder les personnes migrantes prisonnières à l’intérieur de nos murs physiques et numériques (fichages et contrôles) en complément d’une politique de l’externalisation (Turquie, Maghreb, Libye, collaborant ainsi avec des régimes autoritaires sinon des dictatures) qui représentent un marché lucratif, impossible à mener sans des politiques sécuritaires (et corollaires, racistes).

 

Frontex et ses dérives

Ce sont bien les mesures de nos gouvernements démocratiques qui ont préféré investir des milliards d’euros dans des moyens issus de la haute technologie sécuritaire prônée par Frontex, distillant le principe de la libre circulation des capitaux, au détriment de la sécurité des personnes qui sont forcées de fuir la misère, les changements climatiques ou les dictatures.

Ainsi, durant la récente période des “vacances”, des centaines de personnes sont mortes en mer, contraintes de fuir dans des embarcations de fortune, faute d’obtenir des moyens légaux de quitter des terres hostiles. Les avions et bateaux de Frontex ont empêché les missions de sauvetage des ONG en criminalisant leurs actions, en les poursuivant pour délit de solidarité ou en les accusant de trafic d’êtres humains. Notons que cette épée de Damoclès poursuit également les hébergeur.se.s aujourd’hui.

 

Questionner la déontologie journalistique

Cet article s’avère donc problématique, et ce, à bien des égards. En plus des questions soulevées précédemment, nous questionnons l’aspect déontologique. La mission du journalisme est d’informer et non de faire du publi-reportage. Faut-il le rappeler ?

Certes, protéger un territoire des trafics en tout genre, comme la criminalité, est indispensable. Néanmoins, Frontex, comme nous l’avons démontré, c’est avant tout le rempart de l’Europe forteresse.

Ce reportage unilatéral, partiel et partial est-il digne de l’ambition de la RTBF qui est d’offrir à ses auditeur.trice.s une information de qualité et de référence ? On attend mieux du service public.

Aucun des médias principaux de la presse écrite de Belgique francophone n’a accepté positivement notre carte blanche selon nos conditions, à savoir qu’elle soit l’objet d’un article à part entière.

 

Conclusion

Le contrôle des murs aux frontières de l’Europe est le problème et non la solution. La hiérarchisation entre les personnes, la catégorisation entre celles et ceux qui ont le droit d’avoir des droits ou non sur le sol européen doit cesser. Les personnes qui risquent leur vie aux frontières doivent être sauvées et accueillies dignement. La solidarité est la seule solution pour faire face aux défis climatiques, démocratiques et économiques à venir.

 

Art RTBF  https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_ces-heros-du-quotidien-les-hommes-et-les-femmes-de-frontex?id=10313604

Publié dans External contributions, Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

>Deportation: “you’re an animal, you’re a monkey ! Why do you make like this you monkey!”

 

20/09/2018 Mr. T is in the closed center of Vottem for 7 months. He made several asylum requests that were rejected. He continues to shout that he does not want neither can return to Ethiopia. Here a first audio: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/audio-three-asylum-requests-refused-if-belgium-send-me-back-to-ethiopie-my-live-is-finished/

The Foreign Offive persists and tried to deport him again on September 17, 2019. He was tied up from head to toes at the Federal Police Station at the airport and was carried on the plane by six police officers. He shouted on the plane that he did not want to leave. Passengers, warned at the check by solidarity hosts, stood up in opposition to this expulsion and he was removed from the plane by his escort on the orders of the captain. On the way back, in the van, he was beaten by the unhappy policemen who assured him that they have another plan for him next time

Here the audio at his return to the closed center.

here audio from T

Transcription:

“Yesterday night they put me in the airport and I said I don’t want to go, “me no like go” because I have problems in my country. I Said “no like go” because I have political problems in my country.
They arrested me and handcuffed me. After in the plane I speaked too much to say I don’t want to go. After six of them beat me. I don’t know that could happen like this. All of them beat me (=Nobody no beat me). After in the plane so many voices and they said to me “quiet ! Quiet !” and I said “no quiet” because me I’m not a criminal. If you let me I’ll go by myself, leave me here and I’ll go to another country if it’s not possible for me to stay in belgium.

In the care those six guys beat me! No one of them did not beat me. My mouth also, they beat me here. I’m not dying now but it’s very difficult, now I’m in the closed center for almost seven months and I already had negative answers. Maybe this country is better than Africa or better than any country. If it’s a democratic country why do they make this to me ? Why do they make this to me ?
Because I made to much noise and said “no like go” like this, many people in the plane stood up. After that they beat me and put me in the car. In the car they took time.
They said “you’re an animal, you’re a monkey ! Why do you make like this you monkey!” This is not a problem, this is ok.

Now I don’t sleep during the night because I’ve a problem at my head and all my body have problem now. I’m happy I can to speak like this today.”

 

Publié dans Audio testimonies, Migrants in transit, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

The deportation machine is running and running…

18/09/2019: Whilst thousands of exiles are struggling to resist Fortress Europe and are being parked in camps, hotspots, ‘open’ or closed centres with the obvious aim to send them back to their country, whilst others are dying or are being killed at our borders, Belgium is chasing and deporting.

Several civil flights are taking off from Brussels and Charleroi airports every day to return exiles to European countries or their country of origin.

  • For the ‘Dublin’ ones: the Foreigners’ Office persist and thrive

According to our surveys, between 2 and 5 Dublin returns are registered per day and per flight towards the European country where they were forced to leave their fingerprints, only a few kilometers away from Belgium: Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, France, etc.

Several laws have changed and, during arrests, Orders to leave the territory, against which appeals to the CCE used to be possible are only rarely being delivered today.
Since July 2019, it is generally ‘retention decisions in order to determine which State is responsible for the asylum request’ that are delivered by the Office. Appeals to the criminal court are still possible, but emergency remedies no longer are. Consequently, the exiles are faced with judges, most of whom refuse to question these decisions, who are unaware of foreigners’ rights, for them they do not have rights and the request to be released from a closed centre is totally meaningless.

After having spent several weeks in prisons called ‘closed centres’, disgusted having to interrupt their journey and being treated like animals in the centres, they sign a voluntary return under the pressure from the staff of the centre , and if they refuse, are being forcibly deported.

  • For asylum seekers and unsuccessful undocumented, the Foreigners Office do everything possible to send them back to their country at all costs.

This day only (17 Setember 2019), we’ve heard about 2 forced deportations with escort:

A. from Senegal, in Belgium since 2015, who told us before his departure: “If they really want to deport me, it is my corpse that they will deport because I am really ready for anything.’
He fled his country, Senegal, in 2012 (he was 15) after rebels attacked his village and murdered his parents and sister. He migrated to Mauritania to then reach Morocco, Spain and Belgium where he arrived in 2015. He introduced an asylum request as soon as he got here, and a regularisation request in 2018.
He was deported under escort this 17 September 2019, with violentce, after being retained for 5 months in the closed centre of Merksplas.

T. who was subject to a deportation attempt to Ethiopia after 6 months retention in the closed centre of Vottem: “If they send me back to my country, my life is over. I am not a criminal and they lock me in, in this place where everybody gets mad.’ Audio http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/audio-three-asylum-requests-refused-if-belgium-send-me-back-to-ethiopie-my-live-is-finished/
They didn’t believe the evidence of T. The passengers of the flight informed by militants/hosts at the check-in at the airport refused to sit in the aircraft and demanded that T. and his escort be taken out of the plane. T. was badly treated by the policemen and imprisoned when back in the closed centre in Vottem .https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detail_des-passagers-au-depart-de-bruxelles-empechent-l-expulsion-d-un-ethiopien?id=10318640

  • Two years in the closed centre!

If after appeals or administrative difficulties the Foreigners Office are not able to put the exile on a plane, they do not hesitate to continue to put pressure on them, maintaining them imprisoned without any trial. We know of a man who has been retained in a closed centre for two years and of a woman for almost a year.

 

AND THE REPRESSIVE WHEEL CONTINUES TO TURN

The lawyers adopt their strategy against these villainous laws, the imprisoned fight and testify, the militants and hosts go to the airport to inform the passengers and encourage them to refuse these deportations, passengers refuse to travel with handcuffed and sometimes hooded people, pilots make retainees leave their plane, judging their presence in the aircraft dangerous, activists are rally, etc.

The Foreigners Office and the Federal police apply the needed means: special escorts of the federal police are formed to deport the naysayers with vicious impediments and illegal medicine to calm them down, ‘body guards’ are trained by some airlines, police officers are hired to ‘persuade’ the passengers of the merit of these deportations making them believe that they are criminals, public dangers.

Soon, at the back end of each plane leaving Brussels or Charleroi there will be an exile, accompanied or not by plainclothes policemen; exiles thrown away from our country like vulgar waste. Who are the criminals, the State or the exiles?

All this under the guise of ‘human rights’ and the ‘human but strong’ policy of the Foreigners Office, a State within the State, in the complete silence of NGOs, jugdes and courts, human rights fighters and civil society.

Let’s resist by all means and at all levels to prevent any deportation!
Let’s support the revolts of the exiles and their refusal to embark.

 

STOP DEPORTATIONS
NOBORDERS

 

 

Publié dans News from the centres, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Alert! Razzia’s on 09/09/2019 in West Flanders

ATTENTION, CAREFUL!!!!

Major raffle operation this 09/09/2019 in West Vlaanderen!

From a trustworthy source we learn that a raffle operation with drone, dogs, cavalry, and all the holy tremor, is being organized for this coming 09/09/2019 in the province West Vlaanderen with a focus on and around Zeebrugge with an aim to put an end to migrations ……

The press is invited to come to Zeebrugge to witness and testify this beautiful operation this 09/09 in Zeebrugge at 17 h 30

Warn everyone everywhere … News to be largely spread ……… ..

https://bxl.indymedia.org/spip.php?page=sommaire&lang=fr

This information is coming in addition to the information providing from Calais: “Massive expulsion planned in Calais on Monday. Ordinary cruelty in the “country of human rights”. CRS (police) reinforcements, placing posters on the migrants’ places of survival, places made free in detention centres: the prefect of Calais is preparing to make the exiles suffer the horror of a massive expulsion of the “Migrants’ Hostel”

Also soon coming up the expulsion of the Grande-Synthe camp where a thousand migrants are sheltered … .At Grande-Synthe: the justice orders the evacuation of the camp of a thousand migrants

We are at war …… .Resistance!

Publié dans Migrants in transit | Laisser un commentaire

Helping about arrestations 07/09/2019 FR, NL, ENGL, OROMO

07/09/2019

Engl, nl, oromo below

AU SECOURS

  • -Beaucoup d’arrestations ces jours lors de rafles
  • -Gros arrivage au centre fermé 127 bis
  • -Des assistants sociaux qui mettent la pression pour que les nouveaux arrivés ne préviennent pas et ne prennent pas d’avocats, pour qu’ils signent leurs  retours “volontaires”
  • -Menaces d’expulsion vers le pays d’origine

Avis à tou.te.s :

Essayez de savoir.

Si vous avez un contact avec un ami au centre,

  • demandez leur de faire passer le mot : prévenir leur hébergeur,
  • ne pas écoutez les conseils des assistants sociaux,
  • Ne rien singner sans l’accord d’un avocat,
  • prendre note des noms et num OE des nouveaux arrivés, nous l’envoyer sur gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net ou tel au 0465242430

Il en va de leur droit de défense et de leur liberté !!!!!!!!!

————————————————————————

Nederlands:

HELP*

  • -Veel arrestaties vandaag tijdens razzia’s….
  • -Grote aankomsten in het gesloten centrum 127 bis.
  • -Maatschappelijk werkers die druk uitoefenen op nieuwkomers om niemand te verwittigen en geen advokaat te nemen.
  • -Bedreigingen van uitzetting naar het land van herkomst

Bericht aan iedereen:

Als je een contact hebt met een vriend in het centrum, vraag hen dan om de boodschap te verspreiden:

  • informeer de gastheer,
  • luister niet naar het advies van maatschappelijk werkers om geen advokaat te nemen, om hun “vrijwillige” terugkeer te tekenen…. ,
  • neem nota van de namen en OV-nummers van nieuwkomers, stuur het ons op via gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net of bel 046524242430.

Hun rechten op verdediging en vrijheid staan op spel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

———————————————————————————————–

English

Helping about arrestations, information from Getting The Voice and Belgian Families

If you are in closed center (jail, prison) or if you have a friend in closed center, spread this information :

  • contact your family,
  • do not listen to advices of social assistant in jail who recommand to not taking lawyer and  to sign their “voluntary” returns
  • take names and OE Numbers and name of jail of new arrivals and sent to your family or to gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net or to +32465242430

Your Freedom and your right to be defended are concerned !

————————————————————————————————————–

Oromo

QARQARSA NAMAA HIDHAME JIRUF- INFORMESHINI KUNII BELJEM FAMILI AND GETTING THE VOICE IRRAYI
YOO MANAA HIDHAA JIRTAN, YOKAAN IMOO HIRIYAN KEE MANAA HIDHAA YOO JIRTAN, KENNAA FII : WALQUNAMANI FAMILI KESSAN KAA BELJEMIN JIRUN, HIN AMANINANI UMMATA MANAA HIDHAA KESSA DALGUUN, MAQAA KEE LAKKOFA MANAA HIDHATI SII KENAMU MAQAA MANAA HIDHAA FUDHATI FAMILI BELJEM ERGAA YOKAAN IMOO LAKKOFSA KANARTII ERGAA +32465242430 KUNII UMMARA HARWAA DHUFEEFI INFORMATION KUNNI
WAL QARQARA UMMATA BIYYA FEDHETU HAA TA’U
FRIIDAMII KETIIF YOKAAN MIRGAA KETTIF MORMUU HIN DANDETAA MIRGAA GUTTU QABDA

Publié dans Migrants in transit, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Prevent a third deportation attempt with escort to Romania 26/08/2019: Update

Update 27/08/2019: He again resisted  and was brought back and put in isolation in the secure wing of the closed center of Vottem. It is still his co-detainees in Bruges who informed us and the information has been confirmed. We are looking for a contact with him to know more but do not dare to imagine in what state he is. The CRACPE in Liège and his lawyer are warned.

————————————————————————————————————————

 

 

Prevent a third deportation attempt with escort to Romania

Mr. A is an Iraqi Kurdish. He is in the closed centre of Bruges since 4 months.
The Office wants to send him back to Romania
He has already suffered 2 deportation attempts , the second of which was very violent and of which he still has traces.
It’s the co-prisoners who warn us: “It’s not possible, it’s torture, ma’am”

He will undergo his third deprtationattempt on Monday 26/08/2019 to Romania, a country not very welcoming as we all know or he will probably find himself in a closed centre in an extremely precarious situation

He asks for our help to prevent his expulsion…

Airport meeting this Monday 26/08/2019 at 08h20 to talk to passengers about his situation…….

He will be put on Flight RO 372 10:20 to Bukarest (stopover)

ATTENTION the expulsion could be cancelled at the last minute due to legal proceedings… Before going to the airport check the website which will be updated!

Or wright, phone, fax, mail to the responsable:

Tarom

Adresse: Aéroport Bruxelles, Terminal Départs OP 44, 1930 Zaventem
Tél: (322)2186382
Fax: (322)2198046
Courriel: financial@tarom.be

et leur call cetre

021.9361

021.204.64.64

021.303.44.00

21.303.44.44

Courriel: rezervari@tarom.ro

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be
02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

 

Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers

Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Publié dans News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Repeated deportations ! 19/08/2019

Repeated deportations !

S arrives in Italy and is sent to Switzerland as part of the European resettlement plan.
His asylum application in Switzerland has been rejected. He continues his way to Belgium.

On his way to inquire about a possible asylum application in Belgium: he was arrested at Brussels-Midi station and brought to a closed centre. Fifteen days later he is sent back to Switzerland without being able to warn anyone and then deported to Italy.
He returns to Belgium, and goes to the Office des étrangers on 28/06/19 to register. He is told to come back in a month.

On the 22/07/19 he goes back to the Office des étrangers. rom the moment he set foot there, no more news … ..disappeared!
Appeal to find him has been made but unsuccessful in all centres.
On 27/07/2019, 5 days later, he tells us that he has been released from a prison in Rome!

 

An other S:
Application for asylum in Switzerland refused. Requests in Germany: expelled back to Switzerland; comes to Belgium.

He has been arrested on March 30, 2019 and imprisoned in the closed centre of Bruges.
S and his friends at the centre do not like injustice and express it in the centre.
Two of them, designated as “leaders”, are transferred to the closed centre of Vottem and placed in isolation. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/bruges-closed-centre-14-people-placed-in-confinement-cells-on-14-june-2019/

July 18th 19. S is again deported to Switzerland. He returns to Belgium and is preparing to apply for asylum here. However, in a stroke of madness, he embarks with 3 friends in a truck to Calais. He is arrested in Calais and finds himself at the CRA (administrative detention centre) of Coquelles.
We went to see him in Calais. He is sorry for his stupidity and wants to return to Belgium to live there. It was explained that the road to Belgium was opposite to that to the GB … we laughed!
France has asked for the application of the so-called “Dublin” law, that is to say a return, to Belgium, Germany or Switzerland.
To be continued…

 

Hundreds of people are like this living in Europe. In our closed detention centres the majority are currently threatened with expulsion to their Dublin country … They are many who accept to escape from life in a closed centre which is according to their testimony, completely unbearable. The majority is arrested on arrival in their country Dublin, sometimes maintained for a few hours or days, then released. Then they can resume their journey ….. to? …

 

STOP DUBLIN

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Solidarity in the closed centre 05/08/2019

To all of you who assist migrants or undocumented people:
Remind them that the risks of confinement exist, that the closed center is a step in a process towards deportation.
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/detention-centres/what-are-closed-centres/

There are procedures that allow for release but they require prompt interventions by lawyers specializing in immigration law.
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/information-for-the-hostsfriendsfamilies-in-case-a-migrant-friend-is-missing/

It happens that some of them are released without this intervention and the rumor runs, supported by the social workers of the closed centers, that release will be faster without the intervention of a lawyer.
It’s wrong!
In the vast majority of cases, this intervention must be carried out within 5 days of the decision of confinement.

  • In one year (May 2018-2019), Getting The Voice Out and Citizen’s Platform referents recorded more than 1,000 migrant people locked up. But they are certainly much more numerous and we know that there are
    more and more people ‘without family’ who have no help.
    Desperate and panicked calls come from people whose expulsion is imminent, against which we can do almost nothing.
    Insist on migrants who trust us to call very quickly in case of their detention but also THAT THEY SHOW SOLIDARITY with any person whose confinement they learn about.
  • That in the center, they announce VERY FAST newcomers through their family, Getting The voice Out or referents. Phone numbers are circulating.
  • That they tell you the name under which they are known and when they have, the number under which they are known in the base of the Eurodac. This number is composed of 7 digits, and can be found on all the official papers concerning them: request for asylum (whatever the country), OQT (Order To Leave The Territory), …
  • That they contact us before accepting the lawyers proposed by the centers, so they can trust the lawyers for telling them the truth

Lately we have seen an increase in evictions in a muscular or even violent mode.
Recent destinations: Somalia, Ethiopia, Vietnam.

Finally, when you are relieved to hear a person has been released, warn gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net and the lawyers, because they are not always informed.

NECESSARY INFORMATION FOR LEGAL AID: to send to gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net
– Name of the person under which he/she is registered in the center (most often the one on his/her OQTs, if he or she has already received these)
– 7-digit identification number (Foreigner’s Office / IBZ / SP), noted on their badge received at the arrival at the center
– Center: 127bis, Caricola, Vottem, Bruges, Merksplas, Holsbeek
– Block / room / bed number
– Nationality as registered by the Office
– Real nationality if known
– Date and place of birth
– Date of arrest
– Place of arrest (important)
– Number of OQT’s
– Fingerprints in which country? (Dublin, possible asylum application)
– Vulnerability (sick, psychological problems, pregnant woman, …)
– Family in Europe or UK, single / married
– His or her telephone number, or a telephone number of a co-detainee
– The telephone number and the e-mail address of the visiting person / host.

ADVICE OF A LAWYER:

1- Taking a lawyer CAN NOT in any way delay the process of releasing your friends. This is a false rumour circulating. Social workers sometimes promise release if a person doesn’t take a lawyer, but meanwhile the appeal period runs. In my opinion, this is a real obstacle to access the justice. I often introduce an appeal and shortly before the hearing the person is released. Now, I can fully understand the fear of your friends in view of the false information circulating.

2- Sometimes friends think that this is the first OQT they received (the deadline for appeal is 10 days in this case). But I often see after consulting the administrative file (to which I have access shortly before the hearing), that this is not the case. As you probably know, from a second OQT, the appeal period is 5 days. Which is extremely short.

3- Once we ask the center to send us a copy of the OQT, we must count more or less 1-2 day(s) in order to get it. In order to speed up the process, I also ask friends to apply for it with the social worker so that he / she sends us the decision as quickly as possible.

(*): Thank you to any competent person for giving me his remarks.
August 3, 2019
Michèle De Myttenaere

 

Publié dans Migranten in transit, Migrants in transit | Laisser un commentaire

ALERT: Frontex Deportation flight from Frankfurt to Lagos ( Nigeria) on 19/08/2019

ALERT: A Frontex deportation flight from Frankfurt to  Lagos ( Nigeria) on 19/08/2019

Nigerians from other European countries can be brought to Franfurt to place them on this flight;

Inform your Nigerian friends!

 

Frontex : « Unknown to most Europeans a deportation machine has grown up in Europe in the last decade. The EU coast and border agency, Frontex, is set to be supercharged with €11.3bn in the coming years to match the political appetite for forced returns. »

Video: Evolutie van het aantal geforceerde deportaties georganisserd door Frontex  : https://vimeo.com/351673775

Testimony 2016: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/frontex-deportation-to-nigeria-on-14102015-testimony/

Information: https://frontex.europa.eu/operations/return/

 

And Demo  Stop deportations in Gohta (Germany) op 10/08/2019

http://thevoiceforum.org/node/4626

« Next Saturday there will be a protest action and solidarity demonstration of Refugees in Gotha. The Nigerian Community there is threatened with deportations. The German and the Nigerian government have strengthened their cooperation since some years. One consequence of this are nightly deportations from the refugee camp in Gotha. Therefore, there will be an art installation from Refugee Black Box starting at 10 AM in Gotha and a rally plus demonstration in the afternoon. You can find the call here (English)

The organizers – Nigerians, Refugees from Gotha and activists from The VOICE Refugee Forum – call on all progressive activists, friends and sympathizers, refugees and non-refugees to join the campaign against deportation of Nigerians and to protest against the deportations and against isolation of refugees. They demand an end of the deportations and freedom of movement.

That’s why we want to come to Gotha with as many people as possible next Saturday to support the protest. Join us! Meeting point for the journey by train is 9:45 AM on platform 1 of train station Jena-West, where we will buy group tickets together and get on the train that leaves at 10:06. After changing in Weimar we will be in Gotha at 11:25. The joint way back will take place after the demonstration.

Spread the word! See you on Saturday at 9:45 at Jena-West.

Send your solidarity message. If you are not able to come to make your own Black Box you can send a photo of your Refugee Black Box to the Facebook page of the Refugee Black Box. »

 

Publié dans Collective deportations, Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

Audio : Three asylum requests refused: If Belgium send me back to Ethiopie, my live is finished

03/08/2019: Many migrants from Ethiopia and Erithrea, trapped in our detention centers, are threatened with deportation to Ethiopia;

T is one of them

T has been in a detention center since February 2019. He made 3 asylum requests from the various centres where he was confined, all refused by the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRA°)and the De Raad voor Vreemdelingenbetwistingen (CCE)

They didn’t believe his story…..

T is questioning these procedures: dubious translator, documents in Dutch and nobody to explain them, impossibility of gathering the arguments for his defence from a closed center, impossibility of having the originals of the documents from the center……..

Here the Audio ( Engl)

TRANSCRIPTION OF THE AUDIO

Can you give me your name and your nationality ?
My name is T. , nationality éthiopian

Wich languages do you speek ?
Amharique

And ?
Arabic also but I try trigrinia.

I hear that you speek english. Can you explain ?
Yes I speek english because I speek english in close center

Today is the 31th of july 2019, when, were and why you arrested in Belgium ?
Police arrested me on the 25 of february, in Ottignies train station, because I had no ticket.

You asked asylum in close center, why ?
I ask asylum in close center because I was afraid to go back Ethiopia

What do you fear if you go back to Ethiopia ?
I have political problems in Ethiopia. I fear that if I go back to Ethiopia, it will be very difficult for me. I had problem (as member) in the Welkait-Tegede asmelash-comity group. I came out of prison (prison escape).

And if you go back ?
If I go back in Ethiopia, I go all my life in prison.

The immigration office rejected almost everything about your case. Because of three main reasons : 1st the story, 2d the situation in your countryside, 3de about the evidences.
We will begin with the story : The story of the first and big interviews were rejected. Do you know why ? How could you prepare it ?
I dont’n understand by what it was rejected. I don’t know, … translator … Nobody explain to me my rejects also. I cannot read, I cannot write. I don’t know, but I have political problem in Ethiopia. Maybe there is problem with the translator. I don’t know

Why do you suspect that there is problems with the translation ?
I said everything right, but I don’t know. I don’t read , I don’t write. Nobody explained me why I was rejected, by this or by this ….

Could read your story after interview ?
No I cannot read, I cannot write, but I could see a wrong number. Police arrested me in Ethiopia in 25/11/2008, but police wrote 28/11/2008. But I see only this. If this is wrong maybe many other things are wrong like this.

About the decisions, did you get them on paper ? If you recieved them witch is the language used.
The decisions that I recieved are in flamish. I don’t know flamish. But nobody explain to me.

About the situation in you region. As I can read on the decision, most of the actual problem are related in the Gondar-Welkait district. But you come from the Tigray region and you are amhara. Can you explain, in two words, very short ?
Ok, I am part ot the Welkait-Tegede asmelash-comity group. Because Welkaid region was for a very long time an amharique ethnical region. Now, from the arrival of this new government, by force, the Welkaid region is intergrate in the tigray ethnical region. Now amhara are for to live in tigray ethnical region. Now because of that government ahmara people have big problem in that welkaid region. .

The third point : Most of the evidences were refused because they seemed to be sollicited and because they are not original papers. What can you say about that ?
Yes, I have evidence from the Welkaid Tegede group, and I also have proof from the region where I had problem.

Ok, and specicaly about the fact that you don’t have original papers and that you don’t have a lot of evidences. What can you say abourt that ?
I am in close in center. In close I no acccess to facebook, no Internet. In close center , it is very difficult to get papers for evidence. Before I had nobody to help me here.

What is your feeling now ?
I feel, that if the Belgian governement send me back in Ethiopia, my life is finished.

Do you want to add something else ?
If possible, I want to be released from this close center.

 

 

Publié dans Audio testimonies, Migrants in transit, Ongoing deportations, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

AcTion 22/07/2019: Brussels Airlines : Stop deportations

[ACTION] Starting tonight, help us denounce racist and killing deportations organised by Brussels Airlines. Share #BrusselsAirlinesStopDeportations messages on the company’s social networks!

Action: https://brusselsstopdeportations.net/fr/agir/

#BrusselsAirlinesStopDeportations #BrusselsAirlines #NoBorder

 

[ACTION] À partir de ce soir, dénoncez les expulsions racistes et meurtrières organisées par Brussels Airlines en relayant les messages de la campagne #BrusselsAirlinesStopDeportations sur les réseaux sociaux de la compagnie aérienne!

[ACTIE] Vanaf vanavond, zeg neen tegen de racistische en moorddadige uitzettingen georganiseerd door Brussels Airlines. Verspreid de boodschappen van de #BrusselsAirlinesStopDeportations op de sociale netwerken van de luchtvaartmaatschappij !

 

 

Publié dans External contributions, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Let us prevent a second deportationattempt to Somalia on 17/07/2019 . deportation avoideded

Update 21/07/2019: A has returned on 19/07/2019 and is currently isolated (cachot) in the closed centre 127 bis. He was mistreated by his escort and the passengers in Istambul of the Turkish Airlines flight to Djibouti have resisted his deportation. He was flown back to Brussels with his escort. Further information will follow….They promise a new flight…

STAY ALERT!—————————————————————————————————————————

Mobilisation on 17/07/2019 at 3.20 pm to talk to passengers at the airport and ask them to contact the flight commander to order the police to suspend this deportation.Flight 17/07/2019 Turkish Airlines TK 1944 to Istambul 3.20 pm…..

Mr. A is from Somalia. He arrived in Belgium in 2015. He was 17 years old, lived on the street and already had severe post-traumatic stress, certified by a psychiatrist. He submitted an asylum application in 2015 and 2017, which was rejected.CGRS and the RVV (Council for Foreigners’ Disputes) had questioned the credibility of his story;

He was arrested and placed in a detention centre on 16/02/2019.
He made two new asylum applications from the detention centre, one for medical reasons. Mogadishu is considered a safe city by the CGRS and the RVV Conseil du contentieux (Council for Foreigners’ Disputes).
During the past five months, he has suffered all the setbacks to which everyone in the detention centres are subjected. The Immigration Department continued to harass him, despite his very worrying physical and psychological condition. His requests for release, made by his successive lawyers, were rejected by the judge.

Mr. A has no one more in Somalia. His father was murdered in Somalia in 2013, his brother is a recognized refugee in Germany and his mother lives in a refugee camp outside Somalia.

He underwent a first deportation attempt on 01/04/2019, which he refused. A second deportation attempt was planned for 25/06/2019, which was cancelled at the last minute because, according to the Immigration Office, a member of his escort was ill.

On 12/07/2019, a detention order was extended to enable a new deportation.

The Office has planed to forcibly deport him with a European pass on 17/07/2019. Mr A will not have the physical strenght (“He is as fat as a shrimp” says his host) to resist this expulsion. He will be handcuffed by federal police officers restreined by links and kept by an escort.

He urged us to inform the passengers about his presence on the plane and to address the staff and the flight commander, who is the only authority whp can finally decide whether or not to deport him on his flight. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/how-to-stop-a-deportation/

Mobilisation on 17/07/2019 at 1.20 pm to talk to passengers at the airport and ask them to contact the flight commander to order the police to suspend this deportation.Flight 17/07/2019 Turkish Airlines TK 1944 to Istambul 15h20…..

Or wright, phone, fax, mail to the responsable:
Turkish Airlines
+32 2 620 08 49
+32 2 720 34 68
+32 2 753 26 75
bru.airport@thy.com
bru.sales@thy.com
Page Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/turkishairlines/?brand_redir=405541409459785
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurkishAirlines

 

Maggie Deblock
info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be
02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

STOP ALL DEPORTATIONS!

Publié dans News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Cry for help from a closed centre- July 2019…No to the double penalty : Update 28/07/2019

Update 28/07 2019:”They want to break me and my family in pieces”, “My children will suffer the consequences”. M. is at his wit’s end, certain that the Immigration Office is persecuting him while his 2 children and his young partner are waiting for him at home. Last Friday evening he snapped again and was taken to the hospital, wounded (by whom?), having ingested batteries. He had told the director of the detention centre that 8 months of administrative detention (4 in 2018 and 4 in 2019) was enough, especially as the Immigration Office is not able to deport him since his country refuses to give him a consular pass.

Stop detention! Stop harassment! Stop breaking lives!

————————————————————————————————————————–

Mr X. is exhausted, he spent a few months in different closed centres in 2018 after a long stay in prison and he has been retained again for more than 4 months now. He went nuts this morning.

“I can not stand it anymore, I have enough of this retention… Everybody knows. The system is made to break down people. I served an 8 years sentence, I accepted because of stupid things I did. But after 4 months of closed centre last year and more than 4 months this year, my children are going to wonder where their dad is! Why are they after me all the time? I saw people with a huge criminal record who have children and who were released. Me, I don’t have blood on my hands. My country has refused to give a let pass for more than a year.

Here at the centre you keep waiting that they open a first door, you close that door and you have to wait in front of another door, just to go and eat. We always stand between two doors, it is a real piggery,… 40 people, it smells feet, ass… all those smells! I am the slave of the Belgian State… I am isolated from my children who are going to grow up far away from me. They will grow with hate…they will be the ones with blood on their hands.

Here it is supposedly a ‘democratic society’ but where the hell is democracy? If I stay here it is because I have a family…

I will put an end to my life by myself, they will not decide for me”.

No to the double penalty… X served his sentence, he started a new life and has now 2 children… Why this second sentence, which entails retention, deportation and the break-up of a family?

STOP CLOSED CENTRES

Publié dans News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Death at the border of an exile based in Belgium- 8 July 2019

Death at the border of an exile based in Belgium- 8 July 2019

They were eight people, 4 women and 4 men, of Erythrean origin, in a truck driving through Bruges to go to Rotterdam this Saturday 6 July 2019.

They wanted to try their luck. As soon as they realised that the truck was taking the direction of Rotterdam, on the A29, a route that was not originally planned, they took out their tissues and scarves to wave at the driver to make him stop.
They knew the driver could see them in his rear-view mirror.
In spite of that, he continued driving and according to them he was switching between acceleration and braking to try and make them fall.
Many drivers around were honking their horns to warn the truck driver, apparently in vain!
Finally, still according to the testimonies of the exiles, it is the police who blocked the truck and arrested the driver after a speed chase.

According to some, Géri jumped out of the truck when he saw the police. According to others, he would have fallen because of the truck braking. He died instantly.

The 7 people were taken to the police station and then released. They are now staying at their hosts and are extremely traumatised. Some are crying, others are shouting, praying or are prostrated. The girls are all minor and are particularly traumatised.

Each and everyone of them are trying, as usual, to identify the party responsible for this tragedy.

To us, the only responsible are the States and their borders.

Géri was Erythrean, he was around 25. He had arrived to Belgium several weeks ago from Israel. One dead more, One dead too much

Words by a host: ‘We all are very sad. He was one of my hosts. On Friday I told him to be extremely careful. He laughed…’.

For his road companions: ‘For some he was very discreet, for others very present. Anyway, for his great friends it is absolutely awful’.

BORDERS KILL

 

 

List of the known exiles who passed through Belgium and were killed by borders since July 2017

 

TRIBUTE TO:

2017 :

-Omar, 18, Sudanese, died under a bus in Brussels on 23 July 2017

-Dejen, 16, Ethiopian, died in Aalter after falling from a truck on 4 November 2017

-M, Sudanese, found dead in the canal in Brussels on 17 November 2017

2018

-Mohammed, 39, Ethiopian, died in Jabbeke chased by the police on 29 January 2018

-M, 22, Algerian, died in Zeebruges on 22 March 2018

-Mawda, 2, Kurdish, killed in Mons during a police chase on 16 May 2018

-Amalou Ourez, 20, Guinean, crushed by a bus in Berchem-Ste-Agathe (Brussels) on 19 June 2018

-X,19, Vietnamese, run over by a car in Jabbeke on 17 August 2018

-Imran Ullah, Afghan, run over by a car in Ramskapelle on the E40 on 9 September 2018

-Kebede, 25, Erythrean, killed on a parking in Wetteren on the E40 on 12 September 2018

-Gebre, 36, Erythrean, committed suicide in the Vottem closed centre on 9 October 2018

2019

-Adam usman Kiyar, 20, Ethiopian, very well-known in Brussels, died in a truck in Calais on 8 March 2019

-Amaneal, born in 1986, Ethiopian, his body was found dead on the railway in Silly (Tournay) on 17 April 2019

-Mahammat Abdullah Moussa, 25, Chadian, most likely dead on 17 April 2019 hung under a bus at the North Station in Brussels and his torn body found at the arrival in FolkstoC

-Géri, 25, Erythrean, died after falling from a truck on the A29 near Rotterdam on 6 July 2019

BORDERS KILL

 

 

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

CHILDREN ARE NOT TO BE LOCKED THAT’S ALL. REALLY??

03/07/2019 CHILDREN ARE NOT TO BE LOCKED THAT’S ALL. REALLY???

For several weeks, young people, sometimes very young, are being arrested on their migratory road in Belgium and retained in closed centres.

‘He has no hair on his chin, Madam’, says one co-retainee.

They have to go through a bone test in the week following their retention. Some are diagnosed as being major and reamin in closed centres (even though bone tests have an error margin of 18 months), others are diagnosed as minors, released and left on the loose or transferred to a MENA centre, sometimes after one month of retention.

As an example:
-Two young people of 17 were diagnosed majors and retained in closed centres for 48 days to then be deported to their Dublin country.

-One young man was retained for 15 days and released without explanation, without document, not even the result of his bone test.

-Another one, 16, has been retained in the 127bis centre since 21 June 2019.

Other similar situations of young people are communicated to us by hosts of the citizens’ platform.

How many others are being retained in closed centres despite their minority, in total secrecy?

What are these young people experiencing in these prisons (let’s call them that way), confined with adults who are as traumatised as they are, and with guardians who are rarely friendly and sometimes even deeply racist?

The campaign “On n’enferme pas un enfant. Point” (http://www.onnenfermepasunenfant.be/ ) and #NotInMyName supported by a lot of associations and citizens enabled the closing of the family units in the 127bis closed centre.

Overview of some of the actions of “On n’enferme pas un enfant. Point” in 2018

– Manneken pis gathering 15/08/2018: https://bx1.be/news/centaines-de-personnes-rassemblees-pres-manneken-pis-protester-contre-lenfermement-denfants/
#NotInMyName
-Occupations of the site of family units 20/06/2018 http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/tentative-dinvisibilisation-des-resistances-soutenons-les-luttes-en-centre-ferme/ video https://vimeo.com/276328192

Let’s also recall that the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989 includes an article specifically devoted to migrant and refugee children (art. 22). It says: States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicable international or domestic law and procedures shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance …
The medical test includes a triple radiography of the teeth, clavicle and wrist. The test result generally indicates an average age, with a range of one to two years. The law foresees that it is the lowest age that should be taken into consideration.
Article 28 of the Code of international private law, the certificates establishing the birth date have a conclusive force unless consistent evidence enable to reverse them. To question the age of a person on the basis of their sole physical appearance therefore clearly raises the issue of the legality of expressing such a doubt.

The Foreigners Office seems to be totally outside of the norms and recommendations with the only will to retain as many children as possible! Is someone checking their deeds? In the meantime, they do not hesitate to continue retaining other children in total secrecy, at least they believe it!

Call to migrants and undocumented, to hosts and staff of the different centres: warn us about these horrific retentions!

Call to the associations and collectives: protest against these intentional abuses on children! Direction générale – M. F. Roosemont, T 02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 793 80 30 (FR)
F 02 274 66 40 Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be

ONLY ONE SOLUTION: stop imprisonments just because they do not have the right document and it will avoid any mistake, manipulation, lie, doubt, mistreatment, suicide, trauma, fear, etc.

Let them live!

STOP CLOSED CENTRES

Publié dans Migrants in transit, Migration policy, News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Bruges closed centre: 14 people placed in confinement cells on 14 June 2019

Bruges closed centre: 14 people placed in confinement cells on 14 June 2019

Last Friday, 14 June 2019, around 11 p.m., a wind of disobedience led a group of retained to organise a small but heroic riot in the wings B and C of the closed centre in Bruges.

That night, around 20 retained were watching a football match and had been allowed to watch it until the end by the director. However, the guards of that day decided to prevent them from doing so. The detained found it unfair and said it. There were arguments… The director decided to call the police and 20 police officers arrived. First, 4 retained were indicated as ‘leaders’ by the director and they were placed into confinement cells.

Two of those ‘leaders’ were transferred into the secured wing of the closed centre in Vottem this Sunday, after 36 hours of confinement already.

Other sources speak of 14 people being placed in confinement cells that night. The co-retained seem not to be willing or able to tell us what happened over the phone and are most probably under pressure by the management.

Once again censorship rules and makes it impossible to know what is happening in these no-go areas.

We are worried for the retained who are still being kept into confinement and we haven’t heard from them since then. Indeed, it is frequent that some are kept illegally in confinement for more than 24 hours. Confinement for ‘disciplinary reasons’ is a measure often used by the managers of the centres during riots. They are not obliged to motivate the decision up to 24 hours of confinement. Passed that deadline, the management is obliged to transfer the motivation to the General Director of the Foreigners Office for approval.

Because the State organises raids on foreigners so as to imprison them, and because any attempt to revolt in order to protest against the dehumanising conditions they suffer is automatically repressed:

Let’s support the fight of retained people in the centres.

Down with closed centres, down with borders, and solidarity will all the prisoners!

Long live the struggles of all the retained persons who suffer repression by the State and their guardians!

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

In exile: An overview and news 28/05/2019

In exile: An overview and news 28/05/2019

It has been one year since we have been collecting the phone calls from hosts about the arrest and imprisonment of their/our guests in closed centres.

An annual overview: (partial) numbers based on data collected through host families and lawyers

During one year, more than 1000 migrants were detained in transit. Their retention period varies from 5 days to sometimes 5-6 months. Some have already been retained several times (up to 6 times).

The vast majority of them are covered by the Dublin Convention. After 2 months of retention, between 150 and 200 of the 1000 persons were deported to their ‘Dublin country’.

Seven persons were voluntarily returned (2) or forced (5) to their country of origin: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt.

Three persons were granted asylum or subsidiary protection at the centre

About ten persons were transferred to an open centre for the further processing of their asylum applications.

More than 700 were released with an order to leave the territory (OQT), mainly thanks to the intervention of lawyers.

These figures do not include data on arrested undocumented people arrested at home or in the public space, asylum seekers arrested on arrival at the airport, people who want to stay here for a while, but who were arrested at the airport and rejected because their visas were “non-regulated” (here is a recent testimony http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/about-the-abomination-of-closed-centres-audiotestimony-from-the-caricole-closed-centre-03052019/ , retainees who are subject to a double sentence and who, after serving their sentence, are taken from prison to a detention centre to prepare for their deportation.

Trapped victims, a substantial budget, an enormous psychological damage…. . A policy aimed at criminalising those who are primary victims. In short, a policy that is costly both from a human and a financial point of view, a policy that does not solve problems and does not offer effective or humane solutions!

News 28/05/2019 :

– The hunt for people on the run in stations, camps and car parks continues, followed by arrests and imprisonment for some of them.

– We regularly hear testimonies of serious violence in closed centres: ill-treatment, imprisonment, racist verbal disputes, transfer from centre to centre, etc. Retained victims, who want to remain anonymous, tell us about real torture.

– We also receive regular reports of attempted suicides.

-Some of them are often in a very bad physical or psychological condition and are sometimes retained in the centres for weeks and even months. They are often prosecuted in an incomprehensible way (isolation, transfer, etc.) as if they were being punished for their vulnerability.

-The criminalisation of refugees has also taken a new direction: under the name “Detection of criminal networks of trafficking in human beings”, targeted raids have taken place in recent months, and several dozen refugees suspected of being traffickers in human beings have been imprisoned in our prisons for months while awaiting trial. Last conviction: 10 months imprisonment for 4 illegal burglaries in the port of Zeebrugge. After the prison, he was transferred to a detention centre and opted for a voluntary return to Italy.

Against closed centres
For Freedom of movement and establishment for all!

Gettingthevoiceout and the references of the closed centres of the citizens’ platform

Publié dans Getuigenissen, Migrants in transit | Laisser un commentaire

Refugees detention 10/05/2019

10/05/2019: Many arrests this week: Willebroek, Zeebrugge, Tournai, Kortrijk, Gare du Nord in Brussels …
Some are released after identification and issuance of an « order to leave the territory » (OQT), others are maintained in closed centers.

The undisclosed aim of these arrests and short-detentions is :
· to track and identify migrants on our territory,
· to prepare their files for a future expulsion by finding in the Eurodac file the country where they have their fingerprints, the country responsible for a possible asylum application,
· to apply the Dublin procedure in further arrests.

Before, Maggie De Block has already strictly applied the Dublin procedure and is playing the same part now. The only significant difference being an increasing number of Dublin returns in the last 2 months.

Social workers in some centers are now increasingly telling refugees that if they do not take a lawyer, they will be freed sooner. This is obviously not true.
Indeed if some may be freed without the help of a lawyer, others are maintained because their file is ready to organize their deportation.

We strongly recommend that arrested people ask for the intervention of a lawyer who will appeal to their arrest and confinement. The intervention of a lawyer will not change the duration of their detention and may for the most of them allow their release.

Encourage your friend to seek the assistance of a lawyer, while ultimately respecting their choice.

We also remind you the necessary information that we need in case of arrest of one of your guests : http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/liberty-for-all-to-the-hosts-or-persons-whose-friendsguests-have-been-arrested/

The information (to be sent to gettinthevoiceout@riseup.net) will allow us to refer you to a lawyer and update our files to cross the information and finally help the hosts.

Finally do not forget to tell us if your friend is free!

STOP DUBLIN

Our MARCH and APRIL figures based on information from hosts and lawyers

MARCH 2019
Arrested and released after a few days of confinement: Without lawyers 4, after recourse to the CCE by lawyers 38

APRIL 2019
Arrested and released after a few days of imprisonment: Without lawyers: 12, after recourse to the CCE by lawyers 70

Return DUBLIN MARCH and APRIL: 24: Italy, France, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France

Still in detention this 12/05/2019:
Arrested in January 2019: 2
Arrested in February 2019: 4
Arrested in March 2019: 2
Arrested in April 2019: 20

The referents of the Citizen Platform and gettinthevoiceout@riseup.net

 

 

Publié dans Migranten in transit, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Action against Brussels Airlines 13/05/2019

 

https://brusselsstopdeportations.net/en/

As an operator of forced expulsions of migrants, Brussels Airlines collaborates with migration policies that violate the fundamental rights of the affected people, without any law requiring it to do so.

Deported persons are sent back to countries where they do not want to go. Physical and psychological violence is used against them. Expelling them is tantamount to acting in complete contradiction with the values stated by the company, which also claims to be an “specialist of Africa”.

The ” Brussels Airlines, stop deportations” campaign denounces these inhuman practices and calls on the company to take a stand and stop deporting now.

We will not stop until Brussels Airlines stops.

First action (Fr) 13/05/2019

Occupation du siège de Brussels Airlines et lancement de la campagne « Brussels Airlines Stop deportations »

Ce matin, 50 personnes ont occupé le siège de Brussels Airlines pour appeler la compagnie à cesser les expulsions.

Cette action dénonce la complicité de l’entreprise dans les politiques violentes et inhumaines du gouvernement belge à l’encontre des personnes migrantes, et marque le lancement d’une campagne visant la compagnie.

Les militant.es ont occupé les lieux, produit une émission radio et échangé avec les employé.es de la firme sur les agissements de leur direction. « Brussels Airlines Stop deportations. » peut-on lire sur une grande banderole suspendue sur la façade du bâtiment, et sur une autre : « La Belgique déporte, Brussels Airlines transporte ». Le logo de la compagnie a d’ailleurs été détourné pour l’occasion.

« Nous sommes là pour soutenir toutes les personnes victimes des politiques migratoires européennes et pour rendre leur témoignage visible. A la radio, on entend des personnes témoignant de leur passage par les centres fermés et de leur expulsion. Les personnes déportées sont régulièrement violentées avant d’être déportées. A titre d’exemple, un  homme avait avalé des lames de rasoir pour s’opposer à son expulsion et un des policier lui avait alors dit « qu’il n’avait qu’à mourir en chemin ». Les passages à tabac et nombreuses pressions paraissent surréalistes mais c’est pourtant la réalité des expulsions » explique une membre de l’action.

Cette action a pour objectif d’interpeller Brussels Airlines sur son implication et de la pousser à prendre position comme l’ont déjà fait plusieurs compagnies aériennes dont Virgin Atlantic qui annonçait en juin 2018 « mettre fin aux expulsions au sein de [son] réseau ». Participer aux expulsions de la sorte revient à se rendre complice de traitements inhumains et à prendre part à la violation des droits humains.

Parfois attachées, parfois bâillonnées, les victimes luttant pour leur liberté sont emmenées de force dans les avions par des escortes policières. La police et les compagnies aériennes collaborent volontairement à ces politiques dont le coût financier mais surtout humain est désastreux.

Le souvenir de Semira Adamu, jeune nigériane assassinée il y a 20 par des policiers à bord d’un avion de la Sabena (ancêtre de Brussels Airlines), est dans tous les esprits ce lundi matin. Les gouvernements se succèdent mais les expulsions persistent, et la filiale de la Lufthansa se rend complice de ces pratiques.

Le message de « Brussels Airlines Stop deportations » est clair : « Cette campagne cessera lorsque Brussels Airlines cessera les expulsions ».

Publié dans Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

About the abomination of closed centres: Audiotestimony from the Caricole closed centre 03/05/2019

Testimony from the Caricole closed centre: about the abomination of closed centres 03/05/2019

audio here(FR°)

I’m in Belgium since 18 April 2019, I came here with a short-term visa, 20 days, which was deliverd to me by the Belgian embassy.

About the closed centres, I would like to say that it is an absolute abomination, it is the place where they took me, the Caricole centre in Zaventem, an absolute abomination as I said, where human rights are being violated. It is a machine, a monster that has to be destroyed because here, men are transformed into animals who lost their freedom of expression because here this right is completely denied. From the police station at the airport, you are not given the possibility to express yourself, instead you are being traumatised and violently treated.

Not only men are losing their freedom of expression but they also lose their right to freedom, which is a fundamental right for all human beings. Men are imprisoned because they requested asylum or because they were on a visit with a visa, a visit into the Kindgdom of Belgium.
This is unacceptable. We are not criminals, there are even children here, they are with their parents, we are not criminals. These people are not bandits or terrorists but are caught at the airport and remain imprisoned.

And they treat these people like prisoners. They do everything… they take away your phone, you are given a stupid small phone. Even though we are living in the computer age, the age of high technology etc, you can not be on WhatsApp, you can not communicate with your family. You are in prison, it is a prison. Caricole is not a closed centre, it is a prison.

Concerning the immigration policy, I am convinced -and I truly believe what I say- that it should be revised. We, foreigners, are not welcomed properly, we are mistreated when we arrive. But the foreigners, the Belgian people coming to our country, they don’t receive the same bad treatment/ Human beings should be respected, human beings should be allowed to express themselves.

You are given a visa in our countries and when you reach the airport, the same country denies you the right to enter that country. This means there is a problem between the ambassador who is in that country and who delivers the visa and the immigration office that welcomes you when you enter the country. This is all I have to say.

 

Publié dans Audio testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

No Border weekend 25 & 26 May 2019

No Border weekend 25 & 26 May 2019

What is the No Border movement? How do we plan the fight against borders and in favour of the freedom of movement?
On Saturday 25 May we organise meetings, exchanges and debates with Belgian and international activists and supporters.
If you just want to get informed, or if you would like to do something for a better migratory justice but don’t know what nor how, this is the place to be!

Saturday 25 May 2019

Allée du Kaai (avenue du port, 53, 1000 Brussels)

10 a.m-10.30 a.m : Welcome of the Belgian participants and of the activists of Calais, Paris, Germany, Great Britain, Greece.
10.30 a.m – 12 a.m : Global and local actions, various experiences of activists present around the theme ‘How to organise the fight against borders and for the freedom of movement’.

12 a.m-01.30 p.m : Break

01.30 p.m- 03.30 p.m : How to organise ourselves and what tactics to use? Self-directed places, direct actions, campaigns, etc. How is the No Border movement framed in our struggle? What repression against the activist movements?

03.30 p.m-04.p.m : Break

04.p.m-05.30 p.m : How to create links between the different forms of struggle? What is a No Border Camp?

05.30 p.m-06.30 p.m : conclusions , exchange of opinions, common projects, programme of Sunday 26 May

07 p.m – Food against borders by collectactif

08 p.m –  No Border Concerts in support to gettingthevoiceout, CRER and all the No Border groups
Programme https://bxl.indymedia.org/spip.php?article24672
 Rue Jan Blockx 1030 Brussel

Sunday 26 May 2019

0.30 p.m – Workshop “How to fight against deportations”
At “L’Agitée” (114 rue Gaucheret, Schaerbeek)
Bring your picnic

06.30 p.m – Screening evening against borders
At “La Poissonnerie” (214 rue du Progrès, Schaerbeek)

WELCOME TO ALL DOCUMENTED AND UNDOCUMENTED, to all with or without hoods

A imprimer , distribuer par tou.te.s et partout en recto verso

tract_WENoBorder2019-3tract_WENoBorder2019-3

Publié dans External contributions, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Deportation to Ivory Coast on 02/05/2019: Mobilisation! Update

UPDATE: flight via CASABLANCA and  Abidjan , thirsday 2 May 6.30 pm : AT833 et SN 4055 Royal Air Maroc et Brussels Airlines)

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Deportation to Ivory Coast on 02/05/2019: Mobilisation!
Mr O.C, from the Ivory Coast, is currently being retained in the closed centre for foreigners in Vottem. He has been living in Belgium for 12 years and even had a work contract. He had just introduced a regularisation request when he was arrested after being convened at the police station with no specific reason!
His life, ties and friends are all here.
They will deport him this Thursday 2 May on a flight to Abidjan via Ouagadougou at 11.10 a.m – flight SN255/ LH5548/ AC 6334/UA 9979.

To help prevent this deportation, you may be present at the airport this Thursday 2 May at 9.10 a.m at the registration desk and make the passengers aware of the situation.

You can also fax, email, ring, tweet the people in charge of these deportations.

Mais aussi fax, mail, appel, twitter aux responsables de ces déportations

SN Brussels Airlines :
customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362
Demandez à ce que que votre message soit transmis au
Commandant de bord

https://www.brusselsairlines.com/en-be/contact-us/default.aspx
https://twitter.com/FlyingBrussels
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be

02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

3rd deportation attempt to Sri Lanka on 25 April 2019

Mr S, Tamil from Sri Lanka, came to Belgium to request asylum. He was arrested at the airport several months ago. His asylum request was refused and he’ll be subject to a third deportation attempt to Ghana (!) this 25th April 2019. We presume Ghana is a stopover but he did not get any information on the continuation of his trip. He is wondering what will happen to him in Ghana and is extremely distressed. He is asking for our help to resist this deportation.

Flight SN 277 at 10.40 a.m to Lomé with a stopover in Accra (Ghana)
Let’s meet at the airport at 08.40 a.m to explain his situation to the passengers.

and fax, email, calls, twitter to the people in charge of these deportations

SN Brussels Airlines :

customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362

https://www.brusselsairlines.com/en-be/contact-us/default.aspx
https://twitter.com/FlyingBrussels
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines

And to

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be

02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

M. Roosemont, Foreign Office
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Action: No to the deportation of Reda to Sudan, no to deportations in general!

Update 10/04/2019: The deportation of Reda planned this Tuesday 9 April has been postponed! But we keep fighting! Reda Dhawelbeit, a Darfouri Sudanese, is still under threat from being sent back to Karthoum where he will most probably be arrested and tortured, not to say killed. Others risk the same fate!

Engl below

Sign the pétition  http://chng.it/pYnYdncYGh

and write to

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be

02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

No to the deportation of Reda to Sudan, no to deportations in general!

Tomorrow, Tuesday 9 April 2019, Reda Dhawelbeit, a Darfuri Sudanese, will be sent back to Karthoum where he will most probably be arrested and tortured, not to say killed.

Reda is 40, he left everthing and everyone; his pregnant woman, his son whom he never could hold into his arms, a work he really liked, his parents, his friends. Why? To escape a dictatorship that wanted to destroy him. He requested asylum in Belgium but it was refused. Tomorrow 9 April, after retaining him in a closed centre for more than 2 months, Belgium is planning to send him back to his country where he runs the risk to be tortured and killed. This risk is even bigger since Reda is part of the Sudanese people who were identified by the Sudanese delegation that had been invited to Belgium by Theo Francken in September 2017. Following that visit, the Sudanese security had even paid a visit to his wife to threaten her.

Two rulings by the European Court of Human Rights, from 15 January 2015 – A.A. vs. France (n o 18039/11), A.F. vs. France (n o 80086/13) – deemed that the deportation of Sudanese applicants was a violation of article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights regarding the proven risks of inhumane or degrading treatments in case of return to Sudan. The European Court of Human Rights deemed that the dismissal measures taken against Sudanese applicants were contrary to that article.

I also wish to draw your attention to the current deterioration of the security situation in Sudan, as documented by reports and articles by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch over the last months. Indeed, these organisations point the human rights abuses committed in the context of the violent repression against the population and demonstrators since December 2018. This repression caused over sixty deaths, more than a thousand arrests and around 2,000 wounded. Kidnappings and torture are widely used by the Security Services (NISS). The deported Sudanese are arrested and questioned by them when landing in Sudan; loads of testimonies confirm that the families of several deported nationals have remained without news from them since their deportation. They were arrested, disappeared, and have probably been killed by now.

We call on every action possible to prevent Reda Dhawelbeit’s deportation as well as any other deportation to Sudan where the current situation doesn’t guarantee at all the security of the people who live there. 

Publié dans News from the centres, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

HELP! Palestinian in hungerstrike for 27 days is threatend of deportation with police escort on 09/04/2019! Update

Update 10 April 2019: Hicham was deported despite the presence of people at the airport to warn the passengers. In Madrid, since he refused to introduce an asylum request in Spain, he got an Order to leave the territory within 3 days..

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Update:

Brussels to Madrid

Flight SN3721 is departing on Tuesday April 9 at 09:25

meeting at the airport to speak with the passangers on  07:30

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HELP! Palestinian in hungerstrike for 27 days is threatend of deportation with police escort on 09/04/2019!

A true Palestinians hunt has been set up by Belgian authorities since the beginning of 2019. Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested and detained in closed centres since January.
Most of them had introduced an asylum request and were staying in open centres for refugees. The Office des Etrangers (OE), the Belgian Immigration Office, sent them an interview notice and once there, gave them a “26quater annexe” (decision against a residence permit with an order to leave the territory (OQT). Then the OE immediately arrested and detained them in closed centers in order to deport them. Many of the Palestiniane refuse this decision and started a hunger strike. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/palestinians-hunt-and-group-deportation-to-spain-on-19-march-2019/

One of them is Hicham. The OE wants to send him back by force to Spain on Tuesday 9 April.

Hicham, Palestinian, arrived in Belgium seeking asylum, which means he had to travel through various European countries, including Spain where his finger prints were taken. Because of the Dublin regulation, Spain is supposedly reponsible for his asylum request, but Hicham does not want to return to Spain where he says that refugees’ reception is not good. He wants to stay in Belgium where he has ties.

With his Palestinian compatriots, HIcham started a hunger strike on 17 March 2019, since the hunger strike is almost the only means of expression in closed centres. But the closed centre is trying to silence him. They took his phone and put him in isolation, without any human contact, no visit is allowed. The OE has decided to organise a deportation with police escort this coming Tuesday 9 April 2019, on his 27th day of hungerstrike. Hicham is very weak.

Belgium is not obliged to apply the Dublin regulation and can decide to process the asylum request.

Let’s support Hicham and all those who are subject to this procedure.

We do not know yet the flight number in order to go to the airport and speak with passengers, explain Hicham’s situation et inform them that they can oppose this deportation on the flight. We will give you more information on the web www.gettingthevoiceout.be as soon as we have more information.

In the meantime your can write and email to the people responsible for this decision:

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be

02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

#FREEHISHAM
#NONAUXCENTRESFERMÉS

Publié dans News from the centres, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Status of the badly named ‘transmigrants’ in closed centres [05/04/2019]

Status of the badly named ‘transmigrants’ in closed centres [05/04/2019]

We were again informed that several social assistants in closed centres use their influence to dissuade retainees to sign the handling by lawyers, promising them a rapid release if they do not get a lawyer’.
This prevents an ’emergency application’ which in most cases enables their release.
Remark by a lawyer: ‘the fact of getting a lawyer may in no way delay the release process of your friends. It is a wrong rumour that is being spread. The social assistants sometimes promise a release to avoid retainees getting a lawyer, but the appeal is running in the meantime. To me, it is a real obstacle to the access to justice.’

The aim of this step by the Foreigners office is to keep them in retention in order to deport them. After this period of 5 or 10 days when an emergency application is possible, the lawyers and retainees find themselves in hopeless situations where very few things are still possible on the juridical level, and it then becomes a real obstacle course to release them! The retainees risk staying in the closed centre for weeks, even for months, before being in most of the cases sent back to their Dublin country or to their country of origin.

The last months, particular pressure with threats of deportation has been put on certain nationalities:
– Around 20 Palestinians were arrested at the Foreigners office or in their open centre, and threatened with a deportation to their Dublin country, in that case Spain.
– Several Sudanese have been retained in closed centres for several weeks, with a threat to be deported to Sudan.

And the Foreigners Office dared: one Erythrean went through a first deportation attempt to Asmara in Erythrea following a negative answer to his asylum request! He followed the advice of his host and refused the deportation once at the airport (see also our advice here: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/how-to-stop-a-deportation/ ). He was very badly defended by a ghost lawyer. A new lawyer is now in charge of his record.

The situation as of 5 April 2019 based on the information received by lawyers and hosts:

February : 82 arrests
11 were released without the assistance of a lawyer in the days following their arrest
47 were released following the introduction of an emergency application by a lawyer
17 are still being retained in centres, a majority of which had refused the emergency application
7 were deported to their Dublin country during March
A woman was arrested in December and deported to Ghana in February

March : 85 arrests
7 were released without the intervention of a lawyer in the days following their arrest
47 were released following the introduction of an emergency application by a lawyer
31 arrested in March are still being retained, among whom 11 refused the assistance of a lawyer for an emergency application

Considering these figures, we may only advise our retained friends to very quickly get (within 5 or 10 days according to their record) a GOOD lawyer (!! several social assistants sometimes try to impose ‘ghost lawyers’!!). We may advise you some(gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net).

Publié dans External contributions, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Stop the third attempt to deport a Sri Lankan!

Stop the third attempt to deport a Sri Lankan!

Mr. P. is a young man who just turned 26 two weeks ago. He is from Sri Lanka, a country he doesn’t want to go to anymore.
“In Sri Lanka, my life is in danger. I don’t want to go back, big risks. ”
He received a ticket announcing that he will undergo his third attempt of expulsion this Monday at Zaventem airport. We could hear his fear when he said : “Please sir help me. Going to my country is big problem. Sir please help. ”
He will be expelled tomorrow morning aboard a Brussels Airlines plane to Accra in Ghana, before being deported to Sril Lanka.

His flight from Zaventem airport : Brussels Airlines SN277.
Time of take-off : 10:40
We can go to the airport to alert passengers who will be in the same plane and who can oppose this expulsion only by refusing to attach and getting up.
You must be at the airport at 9:40 am, if you can be present, thank you to communicate it on www.gettingthevoiceout.org and to testify thereafter.

To say our opposition, let’s all write to Brussels Airlines !

https://www.brusselsairlines.com/en-be/contact-us/default.aspx
https://twitter.com/FlyingBrussels
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines

And to

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be

02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Grouped deportation flight to Guinea, DRC and Senegal this Tuesday 26 March 2019

Grouped deportation flight to Guinea, DRC and Senegal this Tuesday 26 March 2019 

Several people retained in the different closed centres are warning us that they will be put on a ‘special flight’ to be deported to their countries of origin, for some the Democratic Republic of Congo, for others Guinea and others Senegal. 

It might be a FRONTEX flight  (http://frontex.europa.eu/operations/return/), and other people coming from Schengen countries will be on that flight too and will be driven to 127bis or directly to the airport. 

According to the information we got, they will be transferred this Monday evening from their closed centres in Vottem, Bruges and Merksplas to the 127bis centre near the airport. The visits to the 127 bis have been cancelled this Sunday and Monday to prepare the plan.

The plane would fly from the military airport of Melsbroek, Chaussée de Haecht 138, Steenokkerzeel, this Tuesday at 10.30.

Spread the news !!!!!!

More info on grouped deportations here http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/mode-demploi-vol-collectif/

Action!

and telecopies to

15 Wing Transport Aérien

Quartier Groenveld

Chaussée de Haecht 138

1820 Steenokkerzeel

Tél : 02/752 42 11 (Centrale)

02/752 42 50 (PR)

Fax : 02/752 44 00

Centre fermé 127bis

Tervuursesteenweg 300, 1820 Steenokkerzeel Tel. +32 2 7550000 Fax. +32 2 7598168

and decision-makers:

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be

02 528 69 00

https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock

https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

Monsieur M. F. Roosemont,Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers

T 02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 793 80 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40 ,   Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be

Let’s disrupt this deportation machine, let’s impede deportations! 

Publié dans Collective deportations, Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

Let’s prevent a second deportation attempt to Congo-Brazzaville

21/03/2019

Call from the CRACPE in Vottem:

Mr B, from Congo Brazza has been retained in the closed centre of Vottem for several months. He will be subject to a second deportation attempt this Friday 22 March.
Mr had been condemned and imprisoned and then transferred to the closed centre in view of his deportation. The lawyer introduced all the possible appeals. He himself introduced a second asylum request from the centre.
Mr B is 33 years old and his family lives here (father, brothers and sisters), all his family bounds are here.

Let’s go to the airport to warn the passengers and the airline.
Vol : ET729 Friday 22 at 10.30 p.m. Ethipian airlines to Adis Abeba, and transfer to Brazzaville.

Be at the airport at 8.30 p.m. If you can be there please warn us.

NO TO DOUBLE PENALTY
STOP DEPORTATION

fax, tel, mail TO

Ethiopian airlines : bruapt@ethiopianairlines.com
+ 32 476930274

Maggie Deblock

info.maggiedeblock@minsoc.fed.be

02 528 69 00
https://twitter.com/Maggie_DeBlock
https://www.instagram.com/maggiedeblock/

Monsieur Roosemont, Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Palestinians’ hunt and group deportation to Spain on 19 March 2019

15/03/2019: Since the end of January,  Palestinian asylum-seekers and residents in open centre have been arrested in the Foreigners office (during an appointment) and they are bein retained in a closed centre in view of their deportation.
The received the annex 26 quater attesting that they have to return to their Dublin country, where they gave their fingerprints or introduced an asylum request. For most of them, that country is Spain.

The Office arranged a group deportation to Spain on 19 March 2019 that concerns most of these Palestinans arrested end of January/beginning of February.

To my knowledge, it is the first time that a group flight is being organised to a Dublin country. Generally, these group deportations take place through military flights from the military airport in Haren. The deported are escorted by police officers (2 per deported).

An article not very recent but still topical on collective flights: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/collective-flights/

New series of arrestations at the Office are currently taking place, always of ‘Dublinised’ Palestinians. According to some information, the Office do not hesitate to go and fetch some of them in their open centre if they did not show up to their appointment.

Please warn your Palestinian friends!

No to « Dublinisation »
Freedom of movement and settlement for all !

—————————————————————————————————

Urgent information for Palestinan asylum-seekers in Dublin process

We heard that several dozens of Palestinians have been arrested since January 2019 at their appointment with the Foreigners Office because they were in the Dublin process.
A collective flight to Spain is planned for 19 March 2019 with those who were arrested in January or February, and that could be returned to Spain because of the Dublin process. They should urgently warn their lawyers.

For those who were arrested recently, the Foreigners Office should wait 6 weeks before getting the answer from Spain. They should not be deported on that collective flight. It is nevertheless important to also warn their lawyers!

For those who are still free and/or in open centres and who are under the Dublin regime, ask your lawyer or the HUB/North station before going to an appointment with the Foreigners Office.

Those who are not going to their appointment with the Office: be aware that they may send the police to arrest you in open centre or at home.

Publié dans Collective deportations, Migration policy, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Two Testimonies by deported people 11/03/2019

Two Testimonies by deported people:

February 2019: B., sent to Caricole, directly from the airport in October 2018, stayed 3 months in the centre.
He tells us about the inaction of the social services, “the people” here, they stay 4, 5, 6 months but nothing changes, “if you want to see the director for something, you have to write to her, and she accepts or not…”.
Inside, no solidarity, no humanity is allowed by the agents:
« they brought a blind man, it was the retainees of the centre who helped him move, eat, and then they didn’t even left him the time to ask for a lawyer, they sent him back…”

“We could hear the man shout “help me!!” but the agents prevented us from helping him and 5 men took him away…”

He also underlines the fact that the retainees do not understand the decisions, “after some time they extend your stay, you’ll stay longer at the centre” or they deport you with the “federal police” and nobody knows what happens to the deported people…”
« There was a women, from E., she was deported and we learnt that she was arrested upon her return…” “then you stress out and it brings problems…”.

« We are deported with a very bad image of Belgium, because when I chose to go to Belgium, I thought they would really protect me and defend my rights…” “It is worse than a prison here, this is not normal…”

 

March 2019: Hello, I’m a young African man, I testify to try and explain what we are living in closed centres, particularly in Belgium. I prefer to stay anonymous for the sake of security.
This testimony also is a call to all the wholehearted people who want to help us, we the retainees who are imprisoned only because we wanted to request asylum or protection.
Deprived of liberty for more than 70 days.
It is sad to realise that everything is fake, people seem to try and help us but it is not the case. Let me explain. Everything has been planned. They give us lawyers but we ignore if they want to help us or not. Those amongst us who have the means to take private lawyers are luckier. It is difficult when you don’t have money.
It is sad to know that in two months, only two Africans got a positive answer (i.e the refugee status) and a few were released. Only 20% are released, the rest are deported.
A girl who had spent seven months here was deported and imprisoned when she arrived to her final destination. Some are exiled in other African countries.

I never committed any crime but they handcuff me at the court, just like a criminal, only because I ask them to release me to be able to go on with the procedure. Handcuffed, locked in a cell.
We are six in our room, we do not speak the same language. There are times assigned to shave, to comb your hair, eat and go to the courtyard, always with guards to watch us, to prevent us from escaping.
Why would we escape? We fled our countries to try and find help here but they refuse to help us. I think that if they really helped us, nobody would think of escaping.

When I arrived to the airport, the police officer who arrested me swore he would make me go back to where I came from.
The Foreigners Office make everthing possible to make us return to our countries. I don’t have a place to say there anymore, my parents died etc. but they want me to return. However, my life there is threatened. I am only asking for one thing, assistance, protection.

So many things happen in the centres. A lot of injustice, I swear! They only thing they respect is the human rights to hide and cover their injustice.
Because when they show to the world that our human rights are respected, people outside will never know what really happens here. How, in the middle of the procedure, they give you a ticket to return home. No liberty at all. They check us before we eat, before we sleep, when we wake up, we are constantly controlled. To tell you the truth, if they were doing everything they could to help us nobody would consider escaping because we would feel in safety. But we are always stressed, always. Each hour, each second, each minute. They can make us return any time. If they don’t want us, they’d better send us to other countries like France, Italy, etc. so that we might continue our quest.
Forgive me for the spelling mistakes, I didn’t study long, but please, don’t ignore this testimony. We really need help. I thank you.

Anonymous.

 

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Audio testimony from the Vottem closed centre and call from the Voix des Sans-Papiers (VSP) in Brussels

06/03/2019: Call from the Voix des Sans-Papiers (VSP) in Brussels:

One of our friends, Diallo Ahmad Bilo, was arrested on 25 December close to the North Station and transferred to Vottem. Since 11 February he had stomach pains and asked to see a doctor. The only solution they proposed was to place him in confinement, saying he was simulating it (although he had had a surgery in November).

In this loneliness, this lack of justice, this individual and structural ill treatment, despite the alerts launched to his lawyer, nothing has changed. Therefore he decided to fight another battle: He started a hunger strike on 15 February to draw the attention on this robotised prison administration (Vottem has been existing for 20 years) as a response to the Belgian governement. A governement who doesn’t care at all for his person, this tireless fighter, always there to defend social justice, equality, dignity, liberty.

We don’t have the right anymore to claim our rights and to be considered as human beings. Will we undergo and accept this injustice which is the modernised continuation of slave trade? We have seen enough, it is time to change that.

The audio testimony by Diallo Ahmad Bailo (FR°

Témoignage Bailo

Transcription here below:

“My name is Diallo Ahmad Bailo. I have been in a closed centre since 25 December 2018, in the Vottem closed centre in Liège. I have been in Belgium since January 2014, I have been undocumented since January 2014. Since I am undocumented, they called me ‘illegal’.

I was born in Mauritania but my parents are from Guinea Conakry. I had information from my lawyer yesterday, the Foreigners Office wanted to contact the embassy of Guinea to deport me there, but I don’t know anything, almost nothing of Guinea. I wanted them to deport me to Mauritania. And concerning my health too, I have been sick for a very long time. I did everything not to be deported but I can see there are no other solutions. I stopped the hunger strike because of my health, I have liver problems so I can not do a hunger strike for a long time. Since they didn’t release me I decided to stop doing it.
Here in the closed centre it is not like outside. The medical services only give you paracetamol when you have a headache. It’s only that, there is no proper medical service here, unlike outside when you are free.
Inside, I have been in confinement for 2 weeks. I am alone in my room. I can go outside during 30-40 minutes per day and I have one shower per day. There are 3 meals per day, there is television but I have been in confinement for 2 weeks.
I haven’t slept for two weeks, I am really stressed and I have a lot of nightmares.
Only the guards come to see me, I don’t see anyone else. I do not communicate with anyone else. And the other workers, they are not really open, they only say ‘hello’, ‘hello’ and that’s it. To me it’s like if they were racists. They don’t speak to anyone, not even a ‘hello’, some of them say hello but others pass you by as if they couldn’t see you.

Publié dans Audio testimonies, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Release from initiative of solidarity of Sudanese asylum seekers in close centers in Belgium 09/03/2019 Fr, Engl, Arabic

Saturday 9 march 2019 14:00

Ambassady of Soudan

134 avenue Franklin Roosevelt 1050 Brussels

[plus d’infos sur FB]

 

Manifestation de solidarité aux Soudanais(es) détenu(e)s en centres fermés et de soutien aux manifestations au Soudan contre le régime en place organisée par des Soudanais en Belgique.

Pour exprimer notre solidarité avec les manifestation actuelles au Soudan et de dénoncer la crise et la situation des migrant(e)s soudanais(es) en Belgique, les organisateurs et organisatrices vous invitent à manifester devant l’ambassade du Soudan le samedi 09/03/2019 à Bruxelles à 14h00 (134 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Ixelles).

Ces dernières semaines, de nombreux Soudanais(es) ont été arrêté(e)s puis détenu(e)s dans des centres fermés en Belgique. Certain(e)s ont entamé une grève de la faim, notamment pour protester contre la violence utilisée pour les forcer à donner leurs empreintes digitales. Comme toujours dans cet espace carcéral, s’en est suivi une importante répression (isolement, transfert vers d’autres centres,…).

Tant en Belgique qu’au Soudan, les Soudanais(es) résistent et luttent pour leurs droits, contre la dictature de plus en plus violente là-bas, contre la répression des migrant(e)s et leur détention arbitraire en centres fermés ici…

Allons leur témoigner notre solidarité, les supporter dans leur lutte !
Liberté de circulation pour toutes et tous !

Non aux centres fermés! Non à la répression des migrants! Non à la
dictature!
Soutien à la résistance organisée au Soudan et en Belgique!

 

****************************************************************************
Release from initiative of solidarity of Sudanese asylum seekers in close centers in Belgium

We invite you for demonstration in front of Sudanese embassy Saturday 09 / 03 / 2019 in Brussels at 14h00 o’clock in order to express your solidarity with the current Sudanese uprising and shed light of Sudanese refugees crisis in Belgium and also shed light for the worst situation of Sudanese refugees in close center in Belgium.

In fact, these past weeks, many Sudanese have been arrested and detained in closed centers in Belgium. They went on hunger strike to protest against violence used to force some of them to give their fingerprints. This strike was then highly repressed (deportation to other center, isolation,…).

Both in Belgium and in Sudan, Sudanese resist and fight for their rights, against the increasingly violent dictatorship, against the repression of migrants.

No to closed centres! No to repression of migrants! No to dictatorship!
Support for the resistance that is organised in Sudan and in Belgium!
****************************************************************************
بيان من مبادرة دعم طالبي اللجوء السودانيين المحتجزين بالمراكز المغلقة ببلجيكا

في الأسابيع الأخيرة تم اعتقال العديد من السودانيين ووضعهم في مراكز مغلقة في بلجيكا. وهم الان ينفذون إضراب عن الطعام مع معتقلين آخرين للاحتجاج على العنف الذي تعرضوا له ووضعهم في مراكز مغلقة بدون مراعاة حقوقهم الأساسية بوضعهم في ظروف صعبه دون الاتصال بالمحامين ودون معرفة الرأي العام عن أوضاعهم العامة والصحية سواء في السودان أو بلجيكا.
لذا فهم يواجهون وضعاً مشابها للقمع والديكتاتورية ببلجيكا كما في السودان ، كما أن قمع طالبي اللجوء السودانيين داخل المراكز المغلقة ببلجيكا يعتبر أقوى لذلك
يدعوكم عدد من نشطاء حقوق الإنسان البلجيك والسودانيين لدعم المبادرة بالحضور والتضامن مع الشعب السوداني وقضية طالبي اللجوء السودانيين ببلجيكا والمشاركة في المظاهرة المقرر لها أمام السفارة السودانية ببروكسل يوم السبت الموافق 9 مارس 2019 في تمام الساعة الثانية بعد الظهر ولنقلها معا
لا للمراكز المغلقة لا لقمع المهاجرين وطالبين اللجؤ والمواطنين السودانيين ببلجيكا أو السودان. هذا بالإضافة لدعم المقاومة والانتفاضة السلمية القائمة حاليا بالسودان التي ترفع شعار حرية سلام وعدالة والثورة خيار الشعب التي من أجلها حتى الآن قتل عشرات المحتجين السلميين في الخرطوم وبقية المدن السودانية من بين هولاء القتلى عدد من الأطفال ويقدر عدد المعتقلين حتى الآن بالمئات في كل أنحاء السودان .

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

AUDIO: call for help from the CRA Coquelles in Calais and video from inside the centre

February 2019:

 

“Good evening Sir,

We are calling you from the Coquelles centre in Calais. We are being retained here in Coquelles.
An Erythrean committed suicide, we ignore if he is dead or not. It is the third time someone has committed suicide within a week.

Thank you sir,
From the Coquelles centre in Calais. Please, this is an SOS, please!”

And video from inside the centre

RESISTANCE
SOLIDARITY WITH THE RETAINEES

Publié dans Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Second deportation attempt to Ghana on Mrs T, this Freiday 15 February 2019

Second deportation attempt to Ghana on Mrs T, this Freiday 15 February 2019

Flight SN277 Zaventem 15/02/2019 11:10 to Accra 15/02/2019 16:55

Mrs T. has been retained in the Bruges closed centre since 30 December 2018. She wanted to catch a Eurostar train to spend the end of the year at friends in Great-Britain and was arrested at the station. She had been living in the Netherlands for more than a year without regularising her situation. She doesn’t want to go back to Ghana where she was living in precariousness.

Let’s meet at Zaventem airport on 15 February at 9.10 a.m to speak to the passengers of that flight and help Mrs T resist her deportation.

Flight information : flight SN277 Zaventem 15/02/2019 11:10 to Accra 15/02/2019 16:55

and mail, fax, email to SN airlines, the huge deportations’ airline to African countries.

Brussels Airlines )Email :customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines
en naar de

Directeur Vreemdelingendienst
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL ¨C EN) ¨C 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Violence in closed centres: doctor and guards: testimonies

07/02/2019:’I was waiting to see a doctor. The latter and two nurses were busy examining a Sudanese man for a strong pain in one arm (probably broken). The man in pain was with another Sudanese who was translating from Arabic to English. I was waiting for my turn.I was in the room next door and the door was open. When the doctor asked him to move his arm, the Sudanese answered that he couldn’t and I heard the sound of a slap in the face. That’s when 4 or 5 guards came running, thinking that the doctor had been kicked. When noticing that the doctor was not the victim but the perpetrator, the guards burst into laughters before getting back to their occupations.’

The facts:

Thursday 31 January: while they were trying to oblige A. to leave his fingerprints and he refused, he was violently shaken by 5 guards who wanted to carry him away by force; One of them broke/sprained his arm and he could not move his hand after that. He was placed in confinement cell until the end of the following day. The altercation happened in front of everybody in wing B. Two other Sudanese were taken by force to leave their fingerprints, threatened with being beaten like the first one if they refused.

Following that event, a few dozens of retainees started a hunger strike which was very rapidly repressed.
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/action-by-sudanese-in-the-bruges-closed-centreupdate/

 

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Action by Sudanese in the Bruges closed centre:Update

Sleeping in closed centre

Testimony shared by a visitor

– About the situation in Bruges, they told me the following :
The hunger strike started on 5 February 2019. It is a general one, not only followed by the Sudanese.
They protest against:
– arbitrary releases (one was released immediately after he arrived although he already had been arrested 5 times – the other imprisoned for months)

– the racism by the private security staff: no respect for black people, they speak to them with aggressivity (shouting)

– the living conditions (for e.g only one shower per week)
One man was retained in confinement for 5 days after he had asked medicine to the management…

— M: In Bruges he refused to go upstairs to sleep. He was arrested with violence, by lots of guards (he says they were around 20 of them), his faced squeezed on the floor, one guard put a foot on his head (his left eye was still a bit swollen), his hands tied behind his back and his feet tied too. Confinement cell for 2 days.

Action by Sudanese in the Bruges closed centre:Update

Friday 1 February, several Sudanese were called by the social assistant who informed them that they should give their fingerprints and request asylum. Some refused and were beaten and placed in confinement cells. A few coretainees who witnessed the facts are in a state of shock!

In the weekend of 2 February, new Sudanese arrived at the centre. They are more and more.
On Tuesday 5 February we heard that they refused to eat in order to protest against their arbitrary retention and the violence perpetrated against one of their coretainee. Following that, they all were placed in confinement cells.

This Wednesday 6 February, they are not reachable (still in confinement cells or phones confiscated). We heard from lawyers that some were transferred to the Merksplas closed centre. It seems to be the usual procedure when this kind of ‘movements’ happens in the centres.

Others seem to be out of confinement but the information is really hard to get.
The Director of the centre would have told them that a list of names was or will be sent to the Office and that ‘if some on the list do not remain quiet, they will get into trouble’!

Movements by the exiles/undocumented in the closed centres/retention centres/hotspots are frequent all over Europe and at its borders. Cornered exiles protest against these retentions, against the living conditions in the centres, against the European migration policies, against the borders, etc…

Here too, they very often protest, often after violent actions by the guards on one of them or after massive arrests of a specific nationality.

The Office’s answer to any movement that disturbs ‘their public order’ (hosts, unemployed, activists) is repression, hoping to silence the protesters. It is the criminalisation of any opposition movement.

When acts of rebellion happen in closed centres, everything is done to mute the protests, they prevent them to communicate among themselves or with the outside world: blackmail, confinement, transfers, deportations, etc.

Like for all other protesters taken to courts, acts of resistance in the centres should be supported, helped, encouraged, advertised etc. so that they can be heard one day.

SOLIDARITY!!!!!

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Retentions in closed centres: are Sudanese back?

03/02/2019

Currently, we very (too) often get messages from hosts who warn us that their guests in closed cenres are not doing well: they are exhausted, depressed, desperate, ill, they do not feed themselves anymore etc. Some complain about the racism shown by the staff and about different pressures.
With no real direct testimonies from the persons concerned, we can not really say much more (we encourage the hosts to send us small articles with the stories of the retainees), but it is not difficult to imagine what it is like for the retainees to be waiting for the fate the Foreigners Office reserve for them.

We also heard that many Sudanese people are currently selected for retention and it seems that some are forced to give their fingerprints and to request asylum against their will; a procedure we already could observe last year when ‘lord’ Francken tried to launch deportations to Sudan. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/illegal-massive-deportation-attempts-to-sudan/

 

Besides, the carousel of entries and exists goes on:

Here is an overview of the retentions for January 2019 :
131 arrests notified by hosts
84 arrested and released several days later among whom 11 declare themselves minors and 3 who are legally recognised as refugees in a European country
48 still are being retained on 2 February 2019

To be noted too:

*15 are being retained for the second time, 3 for the third time, one for the 5th time!
* the Dublin returns have been very rare this month (3 as far as we know);
* 2 women were deported to Ethiopia by force, tied and gagged by their escort (an old woman and another woman of Erythrean nationality) after being retained for several months in a closed centre.
* a lot of Afghans have been retained in closed centres for several months, and some were deported lastly to Afghanistan.

Let’s continue fighting against closed centres and deportations

Planet Earth belongs to all.

Let’s break borders down!

 

As a reminder: Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 13. DEveryone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.https://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng.pdf

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Liberty for all: To the hosts or persons whose friends/guests have been arrested

17/01/2019: Procedure to follow to compile the information needed by the lawyer.

A lot of arrests have taken place the last 2 weeks. Much too often, hosts ring a lawyer after their guest has been arrested without knowing all the elements that the lawyer will need.http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/at-least-100-arrests-on-our-migratory-roads-within-8-days-and-50-retentions-in-our-closed-centres/

As a reminder, we are a very small group of volunteers, therefore your contribution is more than welcome.

Besides, you are many people to frequently resort to different lawyers for the same person; which complicates even more the situation of the retainee and the lawyers.
Lawyers who are already overloaded need clear and precise information on the retained person in order to be able to access their record.

Suggestion of steps to follow:

  • If your guest has been arrested and you are without news, try to locate him/her by calling the different closed centres. Start with the 127bis closed centre where most migrants firstly transit. Although they are federal centres, the use of Dutch (except for the Vottem centre located in Wallonia) makes it easier to obtain information. It might be that the centre doesn’t want to answer your questions or that they can not find the name of your guest on their lists. Very often, your guest will have given another name or the centre will have written their name the wrong way or registered them under another name. Even worse sometimes, their names might not even have been registered (yes, it happens!). Don’t be disheartened: with our lists of retained persons and the phone numbers of co-retainees, we might be able to find them back. Contact gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net who will check all the information they have and answer you back very rapidly.
  • If your guest warns you of their retention, try to know under which exact name they were registered and in which centre they are being retained. Even better, try to get the number on their badge (“OV nummer” in Dutch); a 7 digits number, their room number or their wing and place of arrest. Remember the phone number we may use to get in contact with them.
  • Send all the information you could obtain to gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net , even if incomplete. If other hosts already notified their retention, we will be able to put you in contact with them in order to complete the information and ensure the best management of the record by one lawyer. If necessary, we can ring another retainee of the wing where your guest is in order to complete the information.
  • Once all the information has been compiled, you will be able to communicate it to a lawyer who will then be able to introduce an emergency appeal within 5 to 10 days as of the day following the retention. Gettingthevoiceout will be able to give you the names of pro deo lawyers who are experts in this type of defense. For emergency appeals, the judgement takes place at the Foreigners Litigation Council (Conseil du Contentieux des Etrangers ( CCE)) in Brussels, and all the lawyers are available for this procedure. On the contrary, if your guests are not released after 5 days, it is preferable to find a lawyer of the region where your guest has been arrested, since the procedures take place in front of the Chambre du Conseil of that region.
    You may have understood that one thing to absolutely avoid is to communicate incomplete information to lawyers and that you should ensure that other hosts are not doing the same steps for the same guest/friend.

All this is to ease our lives!
Also worth knowing in case of release: warn the lawyer and also gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net

Thank you!
The referents of the platform’s closed centres: Michèle (Bruges), Gaële and Franck (127bis and Caricole), Valérie (Merksplas), Sophie (Vottem).
gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net

PS : As a reminder, also check the article that explains what you may already agree with your guest BEFORE an arrest and what information lawyers need! http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/information-for-the-hostsfriendsfamilies-in-case-a-migrant-friend-is-missing/

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

At least 100 arrests on our migratory roads, Within 8 days and 50 retentions in our closed centres

Between 4 and 11 January 2019 (8 days), at least 100 migrants were arrested in Zeebruges, Antwerp, on parking places or in trucks, on trains (even though they had train tickets), mainly on the way to the coast.
Fifty of them are being retained in closed centres. Eighteen have been released thanks to urgent appeals to the CCE (Litigation Council) against their retention and/or order to leave the territory. Other releases will follow.

The staff of the centres continue to do the dirty job at the request of their boss, the Foreigners Office.
Social assistants continue threatening them wih deportation as soon as they arrive to the centre and make them believe that if they resort to a lawyer they might not be released.
Unfortunately, some of them believe what social assistants say. As a result, they remain in the centre with no lawyers and after a few weeks they are deported to their Dublin country, or worse, to their country of origin after several months of retention.

For example, after 8 moinths of retention, a woman and a man already had to go through a forced deportation with escort to Ethiopia. One was deported by force this Monday 7 January 2019. We are 13 January and so far we haven’t got any news from her arrival in Addis-Abeba.

Several others have been threatened with deportation to Ethiopia, a country with which the Foreigners Office seems to have found a secret agreement to ease these deportations. One of them already had to go through two deportation attempts and is in a poor state, the third attempt will happen very soon. Be ready! http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/how-to-stop-a-deportation/
It seems that Ethiopian airlines is the airline that collaborates with these deportations.

Let’s prevent deportations by all means
Let’s free them all!

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

The Foreigners Office want to deport at all costs

17/12/2018: The merry-go-round of retentions/releases of the exiles caught in train stations and parkings all over the country goes on.

In November only, 73 arrests have been reported by hosts. Sixty were released in the following days, generally thanks to the rapid intervention by lawyers who introduced emergency appeals to the CCE.(Conseil du Contentieux des Etrangers)

Among the exiles in transit in Belgium, we count, basing our figures on the reports by the platform’s hosts:
127bis closed centre: 35 transit exiles retained
Caricole closed centre : 3
Bruges closed centre : 51
Merkplas closed centre: 7
Vottem closed centre : 8
and as far as we know, 12 exiles have been imprisoned

The Foreigners Office at work

-In order to avoid these appeals, one of the Office’s strategies is to have their workers in the centre say that the fact of resorting to a lawyer will prevent their release.
Remark by a lawyer: ‘it is important to warn that some social assistants claim that a release will be possible as long as they do not take any lawyer, which is obviously totally false.’
Words by a host: ‘there are rumours in closed centres that you have less chances to be released if you take a lawyer, hence retainees do not sign the famous discharding paper.’
Practically, the absence of a lawyer will prevent an appeal to their arrest in front of the CCE. The exile will remain retained in view of a deportation in the following weeks.’

– another manoeuvre by the OFfice is to withhold information on the presence of the people retained in the centres. For example, 8 Syrians were retained in the 127bis. The reception of the centre repeatedly confirmed that they were not there. Thanks to the perseverance of hosts and lawyers, we could trace them (and they effectively were being retained in the centre!) and an appeal was introduced on time for most of them.

Testimonies:

A few testimonies from closed centres on the violence ussed during retentions and deportations on undocumented or asylum seekers:

Testimony 1 : a man retained in the Vottem closed centre tells us: ‘they came to fetch him to isolate him for a first deportation attempt. He had not been warned and could therefore warn nobody. He was rather confident since he had been released already three times by the tribunal. The morning after, a dozen policemen came to pick him up in his confinement cell, they tied him and drove him to the airport. He was deported under coercion to his country of origin.’
Testimony 2 :
« I was driven to my embassy to get a let pass in view of my deportation. The embassy refused. After this, the Office made an appointment in three other embassies: Cameroon, Central African Republic and Burkina Faso. They really want to get rid of me!

Testimony 3 :
We received several testimonies by coretainees in the Caricole closed centre regarding the deportation of a woman:
« The social assistant came to tell her she had to take her stuff and leave to the airport’
« It was the first deportation attempt on her and they had not warned her.’
« They isolated her during the night and had her breathe gas during her sleep so that she would not protest during her deportation.’

The lawyer was outraged that they dared deporting her that way. She will introduce an appeal to the ECHR (European Court on Human Rights).

In front of the repression and the deporting machine, let’s organise against the State and the borders!
In front of a State doing raids, deporting and repressing: let’s organise!

 

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

GB: The Stansted15 have been convicted under terror-related legislation

Today the #Stansted15 were found guilty in Chelmsford Crown Court.

In a statement they said:

“We are guilty of nothing more than intervening to prevent harm. The real crime is the government’s cowardly, inhumane and barely legal deportation flights and the unprecedented use of terror law to crack down on peaceful protest. We must challenge this shocking use of draconian legislation, and continue to demand an immediate end to these secretive deportation charter flights and a full independent public inquiry into the government’s ‘hostile environment’.”

“Justice will not be done until we are exonerated and the Home Office is held to account for the danger it puts people in every single day. It endangers people in dawn raids on their homes, at detention centres and on these brutal flights. The system is out of control. It is unfair, unjust and unlawful and it must be stopped.”

Stay tuned for solidarity and support actions.

http://www.lgsmigrants.com/?fbclid=IwAR358cgDulnMmiVR5sz9xWP3_P0i4G6qsS4562bXvJyQf9MF3VxvV04J6-8

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/10/activists-convicted-of-terror-offence-for-blocking-stansted-deportation-flight?fbclid=IwAR0nzoWCckBpcw0dlIMd5apTE8pXfagvpmGiZjIHRk-ZbVKu45uPOloMjIY

Publié dans News from elsewhere | Laisser un commentaire

Brussels Foreigners’ Office: Here we sort human beings: Video/Action

Novembre 2018: Activists denounced the abject practices of the Foreigners’ Office and expressed their support for all migrants.

“The Foreigners’ Office has the power to arbitrarily decide on the detention, release or deportation of migrant persons”.

Let’s stop the eviction machine!

NOBORDERS

Publié dans Migration policy, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Story of a raid in Arlon on 14 November 2018

Picture of a retainee once released and remark by his host: “They released him giving him the direction of the train station, without documents’.
He arrived like this, with two numbers around his wrist (one from the police, the other from the centre).

 

19 people were brought to the federal police in Steenokkerzeel in order to be identified. Almost all of them were released, with or without a lawyer, after 4 days of retention. A last one was released on 21 November 2018 and an ‘unlucky one’ is still being retained. He refuses to be assisted by a lawyer: ‘

 

M – story of the arrests in Arlon in the night of 13 till 14 November 2018

That night, we got on a truck. Around 6 a.m., the driver woke up. He must have felt our presence because he opened the door and found us. We got down and he called the police.
We are four. We walked deep into the forest, where one can sleep. Two remained a bit aside. Those who were already asleep did not hear us coming. When the other two joined us, they warned us that the police was coming.

Someone said it was useless to run away and try to escape, that the problem would remain the same. Two policemen arrived, then two more, and two more again, etc.The police asked everyone to wear their shoes. They divided us into four vans and three cars and drove us to the police station in Arlon.

There, we were searched and locked by three during three hours. We all got a bracelet with a number to put around our wrist.

When a policeman came, we heard someone banging on their cell’s door. The policeman was told that this person was asking for water because they had kidneys’ problems. The policeman answered that they could go out and drink after 10 minutes.
They drove us till the centre of the airport in a big bus escorted by two police cars. We got a bottle of water and a cheese sandwhich.

At the centre, they searched us again (in knickers), and placed us in cells by four. Someone in plainclothes spoke Arabic. He asked for my name and nationality and made me sign a paper. I ignore if it was written in French or Dutch. I signed without asking what it was. The man speaking Arabic told me it was a mere formality to enter the centre. There again, I got a bracelet with a number to put around my wrist.

After an hour or so, a policeman came for me. In a room, he took my fingerprints and a picture of me. He then did the same with all the others.

The day after, around 11-12 a.m a policeman called us myself and another man. He told us that we were free. He opened the door of the centre and he said: ‘At the end ofthe street, on the left, after 30 minutes walk, you will find the train station…’. We walked and took the train to go back to Brussels. Others were released laterand dropped in front of the Foreigners Office.

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND SETTLEMENT FOR ALL

 

Publié dans Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Action against a deportationattempt to Afghanistan on 26/11/1018

Update 27/11/2018: M was deported. We don’t have news from him.
Two of the persons present at the airport were arrested by the police as soon as they arrived and kept at the police station for an hour, while the passengers got on board.
We will have to be more discreet from now on.
At least, we may conclude that authorities are scared of our intervention impact on the passengers!

—————————————————————————————–

M, 21, a Hazara, repressed people in Afghanistan arrived in Belgium in 2015. His father, mother and brother died in Afghanistan. He applied for
asylum at his arrival in Belgium but it was refused by Belgian authorities. The Office des étrangers (office for foreigners) is on its
way to try and deport him on Monday 26/11/2018 to Kabul via Istanbul by
the Turkish company Airline.

Even though this is his first deportation attempt it is very likely that this deportation will be done with an escort. M has done suicide attempt
at the closed center in Merksplas (near Antwerpen) and it seems the Office des étrangers wishes to get rid of him. His lawyer has reintroduced an asylum application this Friday, 23/11/2018, it will probably only at the ariport that he will be informed whether it is
admitted or not.

M does not want and cannot return to Afghanistan where he has no one left.

His social network is in Belgium and he already speaks perfectly Dutch
He is asking for help to prevent this deportation.

Meeting at the airport on Monday 26/11/2018 at 13:35 to explain to
passengers the situation of M and explain to them that they can refuse
this deportation on their flight!
Turkish Airlines flight TK1939 Istanbul 3 pm

Other Afghans are in the same situation as M in our closed centres and
risk deportation.

 

Open letter to Charles Michel, Prime Minister, and Theo Francken, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration: Stop the deportation of the Afghan asylum seekers to Afghanistan

Like so many Belgian mothers, mentors and accompanying people of Afghan asylum seekers in Belgium, I am very concerned about planned deportation of 2 young Afghans in the next few days.

I hereby wish to share my concerns with you considering the dangers these vulnerable boys face upon their return.

Mr Michel, Mr Francken, I know you have been given information about the security situation in Afghanistan and, frequently, a that a return to Afghanistan would be safe.

The reality unfortunately is different. The Afghan government is not able to ensure the safety of the millions of its people, and it is not possible for it to guarantee the safety of those who are returned to that country. Indeed, this government is losing ground every day to the Talibans and ISIS, see the recent report of the “Special Inspector General for Reconstruction of Afghanistan (SIGAR) “” The Afghan government currently controls or influences only 55.5% of the country’s districts, this is the lowest level since SIGAR began monitoring districts in November. 2015 “.

A recent example of the deteriorating security situation was the Taliban attack in Ghazni district, in a region inhabited by Hazaras, that was safe since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

West of Kabul, part of the capital where the Hazaras live, is now the first target of attacks, usually claimed by ISIS. Given the recent number of deadly attacks, it is unrealistic to imagine Kabul as a safe return destination.

Mr Abdul Ghafoor of the Afghanistan Migrants Advice & Support Organization (A.M.A.S.O) has followed the last 5 years hundreds of asylum seekers who have been forced back.
He found that the fear in the Afghan population is greater than ever before. The one who is sent back encounters a impossible mountain. Besides the fear of becoming a victim of one of the many attacks there is also the fact of the inaccessibility of a satisfactory social situation and the lack of economic network in a state on which they cannot rely.
Whatever their desire to integrate, the situation in the country is such that they do not see any chance of survival. Their only option is to re-emigrate, re-undertake this dangerous journey. Whoever does not have the chance to do it ends, drug addict, forced to join the militias or give up life. The boys who are currently contemplating their deportation are Hazaras, without any social or economic network. (Hazaras are a 9% minority ethnic group in Afghanistan that are suffering a great deal because they are Shiites unlike the rest of the people who are Sunni)

Our country is a country respectful of values ​​and rules in which many give high values ​​of solidarity, human rights and the assistance to others. Afghans are the most marginalized refugees in the world, their leaders fail, to protect them and do not defend their rights. It is time for our government, and for Europe, to recognize the reality and declare that Afghanistan is not a safe country.

It is now time for Belgium to stop sending Afghans back to danger. The future will not forget what we have done to a group of young people who had come only hoping to find security and protection.

Send this open lettre to the responsable persons

Eerste minister
Charles Michel
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be
Jan Jambon
Vice Premier  en Minister van Binnenlandse zaken
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be
Staatsssecretaris van Asiel en Migratie
Theo Francken
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be
Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be
232345 /027232362

And Email to the airline that collaborates with these deportations

Turkish Airlines
+32 2 620 08 49
+32 2 720 34 68
+32 2 753 26 75
bru.airport@thy.com
bru.sales@thy.com
Page Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/turkishairlines/?brand_redir=405541409459785
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurkishAirlines

Publié dans Uitzetting aan de gang | Laisser un commentaire

Closed centres: two testimonies written by hosts

Friday 2 November 2018.

H calls me … He has been retained in Vottem since 23 August « I am not well…; they gave me another room, I am with another man; we are only allowed one hour outside, we don’t see anybody. We even have to eat in our room.”

Through the talking drum I hear that H supposedly tried to commit suicide and that is the reason why he was placed in confinement; a ‘luxury confinement cell’. I went to visit him the week after, after the All Saints break, and tried to know what happened. “Tell me H…” He is ashamed, he doesn’t dare looking at me in the eyes because he knows I am deeply sad about it.

Then he starts talking, with his head hidden in my shoulder…
« I was told: you will be driven to the Ethiopian embassy to check whether they accept to give you a let pass for your deportation.” I said “All right, I am going to the embassy.” There it took 3 minutes! No one talked to me, no one asked me questions, nobody listened to what I had to say. The woman accompanying me signed the papers and we left. Then I was told “You  should request asylum, if not you will go back to Ethiopia”, hence I said “all right, I am requesting asylum”.

The other retainees in the centre told me that if the request was refused I would still be deported. I didn’t want to believe them… Then, an Albanian man who had been there for 6 months, and whose request and appeal were refused was sent back to his country. That’s when I started to believe them… so I found a string which I hid in my bed, for the day when they would also want to deport me. On that day, my life will end in the centre… The educator found the string. They placed me in confinement, with T. We stay the whole day in that room, even to eat, even to go to the bathroom. We are only allowed to go out one hour a day and go take a shower at 7 p.m. They took everything from me, they even took the bracelet you offered me…”

October 2018
Visiting 2 hosts retained in Bruges… “You know, we are not allowed to do anything here, the guards follow us everywhere. The bathroom is the only place they allow us to go alone. If we do not eat, they lock us in a black room in the basement area; the same happens where there are fights, they lock them there too.”
We are all together in the refectory, 3 guards are watching us; I walked through the detector before entering”. However…

One guard enters the room; N’s face freezes, he retreats, with an expression of disgust. « You know, when you leave, he will bring me to my room and I will have to undress totally. They will search me to see if I didn’t hide anything…”
S : « Yes, it is true, they search everything, even our hair, even our anus … ». « The guards are insane here, they are racist; my social assistant too; she never answers my questions, never gives me updated information. I feel very bad when I have to go and see her. We are really super stressed.”

NO CLOSED CENTRES

 

Publié dans Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

October 2018 : Exiles are being harassed

One may witness a real harassment of the exiles who are arrested in public spaces, transports, stations, and parkings. They are driven to the police station or the identification centre in Steenokkerzeel, most of them are retained for a few days and then released.
In October (see the figures below), the hosts indicated 111 arrests, 73 were released a few days or 2 weeks later.
These retentions are accompanied with threats of return to their Dublin or origin coutries, with the obligation to introduce an asylum request, etc. Several people were arrested several times within a month, brought to closed centres or to the federal police,threatened and then released.

To this harassment, one may add serious administrative dysfunctions, either by the police or the Foreigners Office.

Testimonies by hosts:
02/10/2018 :
« Listen, it is such a mess! The documents they gave him after his release have another name, another country and they relate to other facts… He did not understand anything but didn’t ask a thing and returned to his chances, however the person concerned by this document might still be in the 127bis.
27/10/2018 :
« Quite a lot of aberrations on his order to leave the territory after his release.
The birth date indicated, 01/01/1900, is wrong, the way his name is spelled is wrong, he was not even asked to spell it or check it.
He was given an alias on his order to leave the territory: he doesn’t know this name, they even gave him the Eritrean nationality although he is Sudanese.”

October 2018′ figures from gettingthevoiceout and the closed centres’referents of the hosting platform

Number of imprisonments of exiles in closed centres reported for October 2018: 111

Releases from the closed centres in 2018 = 107
73 arrested in October
32 after a retention of more than one month (six months for some) among whom 19 Dublin deported to the country where they recorded their fingerprints, 5 to Switzerland, 6 to Italy, 4 to France, 3 to Germany and a very lucky one to Great-Britain.
Two were brought to open centres following their asylum request.

Still in retention
39 arrested in October 2018 and 54 arrested during the months before, some being retained for more than 6 months.

13 exiles recently imprisoned, suspected of ‘traffic’.

One Ethiopian went through a forced deportation (with escort) to his country of origin after 6 months of retention http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/deported-with-escort-to-ethiopia-as-of-the-first-attempt-on-23-october-2018/
Other Ethiopians received let passes from the Ethiopian embassy in view of their deportation.

Not forgetting the undocumented, the asylum seekers, the people considered as ‘threats to public order’ retained in these camps for foreigners.
« Mr D has been living in Belgium for 20 years and he got married here. He was convicted three times for public drunkenness. The Foreigners Office heard of these convictions, they withdrew his orange card because they consider him as “a threat to public order’, they gave him an order to leave the territory for 8 years and placed him in closed centre in view of his deportation to his country of origin.”

NOT IN MY NAME
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND ESTABLISHMENT FOR ALL

 

Figures for September 2018
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/september-2018-francken-and-his-carrousel/

Call to Hosts October 2018
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/some-scheming-by-the-immigration-office-21102018-and-testimony/

Background information
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/information-for-the-hostsfriendsfamilies-in-case-a-migrant-friend-is-missing/

Publié dans News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Urgent: third forced deportation attempt after an abuse of the Foreigners Office irregularities

Mrs K, Rwandese, retained in the Caricole closed centre for more than 3 months, is in great danger in her country because she is accused of complicity in the conflict between Rwanda and Burundi. Why? Because her comapnion, the father of her child, is Burundian and acknowledged as a refugee in Belgium where he is working.

Her lawyer introduced an appeal for her release. Indeed, when someone requests asylum, the Belgian law says that they can not be deprived of liberty if another residence possibility exists. In her case, this possibility would come from her companion. A record for their wedding is almost complete to be introduced at the commune.

After the contestation of several decisions on her deprivation of liberty that were taken illegally, and the two successive actions by the Foreigners Office, the lawyer seems optimistic about the result of the release request that will be judged next Wednesday 31 October.

However, instead of waiting for the result of the request, the Foreigners Office are in a hurry to deport the woman so as to avoid the release which could be pronounced. This way of acting, going beyond all the elementary principles of regularity, has her receiving a ticket for a deportation the day before the judgement, i.e on Tuesday 30 October.

Her deportation is planned on Egyptair flight MS726 at 3 p.m. to Cairo, and then to Nairobi.

Let’s meet at the airport at 1 p.m to warn the passengers of the presence of this woman accompanied by an escort and of their right to refuse this forced deportation on their flight.

and/or send a protest email to :

customeraff@egyptair.com
callcenter@egyptair.com
+32 (0) 2 219 16 14
+32 2 753 2270
+32 2 725 42 68
Fax: +32 2 219 36 81
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EGYPTAIR
Twitter @EGYPTAIR

et mail, fax  :

Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL ¨C EN) ¨C 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre de l’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile et la Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21¨C theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

 

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Deported with escort to Ethiopia as of the first attempt on 23 October 2018

Deported with escort to Ethiopia as of the first attempt on 23 October 2018

M., Ethiopian, was arrested on 23 April 2018 and retained in Merksplas closed centre. He had introduced an asylum request but it was refused.
After having been retained for 6 months, they wanted to deport him to Ethiopia for the first time on 23 October. He had no intention to accept it, as foreseen by the usual procedures.
Generally, during the first deportation attempt, the retainees are driven to the airport and allowed to refuse to leave. Practically, the police insist on them leaving, announcing them that the next time it would be with escort and “much less fun”. In case they refuse they are driven back to a centre (not always the one they were coming from, so as to take them away from their friends or acquaintances). (See also http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/how-to-stop-a-deportation/)

Here, the Foreigners Office decided to override the rule: at the airport, as of the first attempt, M. was brought to an isolated room, his arms tied, blindfolded and his mouth gagged until he got into the plane (Ethiopian airlines), with four policemen (3 men and 1 woman). Impossible for him to shout.
After 4-5 hours of flight, the police untied him. Once at Addibs Abeba airport, he fled because he was fearing for his life.
He is asking for help on the spot.
His friends in the centres all know about his story. They are also frightened.

Several other Ethiopians in closed centres got a let pass by the Ethiopian embassy in view of their deportation.

To multiply deportations, impede the lawyers’ work and undermine the morale of retainees, the Foreigners Office doesn’t even respect its own rules any longer.
Let’s act against this new shocking procedure!

– Let’s go to the airport as of the first deportation attempt to explain their rights and duties to the passengers.
– Let’s demand an end to these deportations.
– Let’s put pressure on the airlines so that they refuse to continue these deadly collaborations.
– Let’s put pressure on the Ethiopian embassy to ask them to stop delivering let passes.

Ehtiopian Embassy in Brussels
Avenue de Tervuren 64
1040 Bruxelles – Belgique
Tél. +32 2 771 32 94
Fax +32 2 771 49 14
info@ethiopianembassy.be

Stopdeportations

Publié dans News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

QantasDontDeport – Brussels 21/10/2018

On the 21th of October 2018, about twenty people staged a die-in in front of
the building of the Australian Embassy in Brussels.
This action targeted the airline Qantas that participates and benefts from the
expulsions of migrants in Australia.
This symbolic action is part of a day of global action as part of a campaign
targeting the company Qantas so that it ceases to participate in deportations.
Qantas says it promotes diversity and inclusion.
Thus, its CEO, Alan Joyce, has taken a stand against the Australian
government to say “Yes” to marriage for all and has said marriage equality is
about “the fundamental Australian value of justice”.
In a new campaign Qantas recently launched promoting the importance of
diversity and inclusion Qantas calls on Australian to “stand up for a fair go”.
Now it is our turn to ask Qantas to “stand up for a fair go” and to refuse to
participate in deportations of human beings.
Through its ongoing human rights abuses including the unbridled
confnement of adults and children in detention camps, Australia’s migration
policy is extremely violent and unjust.
These abuses of the Australian government are well known and condemned
worldwide, and by its action Qantas condones them and acquire a beneft
from them.
The collective QantasDontDeport-Brussels joins this day of global action to
afrm its opposition to such practices, as lucrative as they are for the airlines.
Campaigns targeting airlines involved in evictions have already been
successful. United, Frontier, Virgin Altantic, today refuse to participate in
deportations.
The group also recalls that in Belgium, companies such as Brussels Airlines
or Ryanair beneft from the lucrative business of deportations.
Other actions are expected …

#Disrupt2018
#QantasTakeAStand
#DontDeportoDanger
#HomeToBilo
#BrusselsAirlinesKills
#RyanairKills

QantasDontDeport – Brussels

Publié dans Struggle stories | Marqué avec , | Laisser un commentaire

Some scheming by the Immigration Office: 21/10/2018 and testimony

A reminder to hosts and visitors of the closed centre:

When peopole who are undocumented or in exile disappear or are arrested during one of several raids, it takes 24 to 48 hours to know whether the Immigration office has decided to free them or send them into a closed center.
These days, most of the exiles currently under arrest are brought to the screening center of the federal police in Steenokkerzeel, within the “127bis” closed center. It is legal for the immigration office to keep them there for 24hrs and sometimes up to 48hrs in order to determine their fates: either freeing them or transferring them to one of the closed centers.

We have noticed that this time limit is often exceeded, and that the continued retention is done under disastrous conditions. It is difficult for us to know whether they are placed in detention or continue to wait for a decision.

Filing an appeal is possible within 5 days, starting on the day after they are officially detained, but very few of them are able to warn their hosts, or even learn whether they are actually held in detention. In addition, some social workers have been telling them that they can’t have access to a lawyer before 4 work days have elapsed (sic).
This illegal procedure makes it all but impossible to file an appeal on time, which is precisely the Office’s aim.

We ask that hosts be vigilant and try to understand the exact situation of their guest(s). If they are in a closed center, they should have been given a document confirming that they are detained or a “OQT” (ordre de quitter le territoire, in French; Bevel het Grondgebied te verlaten in Dutch) if ordered to leave the territory. The type of document they are handed is very important for the next steps in the procedure. Try to call the social worker and get him/her to send you the document by email or fax. (Even better, tell your friend to ask the social worker to send it to you). Visitors to the center could also take the document

This has to be completed within 5 days !!!

Send all information available to the following address: gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net , which will forward it to the forum’s referents and to the lawyers.
Here are the elements that we would need at the “Requests” starting point.avocat listedes demandes
Chin up!
And do ask your friends to let you know if a guy or a girl with no family members is detained, so nobody’s forgotten!

The Referents of closed centers for the platform and gettingthevoiceout/CRER.

Testimony by a host
“I hereby confirm that the person we were looking for has been released today.

His story (his and a friend’s) in a few words:

– caught with 9 other people in Zeebrugges on Wednesday 17 October
– retained in a cell in Zeebruges for 2 days (with 19 people and only 9 beds)
– brought to a centre (which one, it is not clear) on Friday 19 October
– It is from there that he could rapidly ring his hosts before having to hand in his personal effects
– at the centre: threatened with having to request asylum, if not he would be sent back to Italy (where his fingerprints were taken)

– released on Monday 22 October mid-day (i.e almost 5 days later) with a bag with his personal effects, an order to leave the territory, and the following oral information: ‘you are being released because it was the first time, but next time, if we get you, you will have to chose between requesting aslyum or 8 months of retention…’

Notes : quite of lot of aberrations on its order to leave the territory

The birth date indicated is 01/01/1900: wrong
his name is not spelled correctly, he was not even asked to spell it or to check it
an alias is given to him on his order to leave the territory: this name is unknown to him, with an Erytrean nationality although he is Sudanese”

http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/information-for-the-hostsfriendsfamilies-in-case-a-migrant-friend-is-missing/

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Suicide in closed centre in Vottem: : Gathering on 13/10 2018 : Update

Update 10/10/2018

Mr Gebre Mariam, who committed suicide at the Vottem closed centre on 9 October 2018 had obtained asylum in Bulgaria. He had been threatened with an axe there and absolutely didn’t want to go back to that country. He had been through a first deportation attempt to Bulgaria, which he had refused. The Chamber had ordered his release but the Foreigners office had introduced an appeal against that order and he stayed in retention. He feared a new deportation attempt with escort. One of his friends told us that he had said he would kill himself rather than being deported. The lawyer had also contacted the Foreigners Office to notify them of the racist violence in Bulgaria https://www.amnesty.org/fr/countries/europe-and-central-asia/bulgaria/report-bulgaria/
The Foreigners Office are acting without mercy for the future of the individual; they do not consider the physical and psychological state of the individual nor the dangers of returning to a country where he wouldn’t not be in security.

One solution only : No to closed centres, Stopdeportation

————————————————————————————————————————-

Suicide in closed centre in Vottem: : Gathering on 13/10 2018 At Closed centre in Vottem

09/10/2018

This morning we were informed of the suicide of an Eritrean refugee in the closed centre of Vottem. According to our sources, he committed suicide around 1 a.m. He had been retained in Vottem for almost 4 months. He suffered a lot from his retentin; testimonies describe him as someone very depressive, barely feeding himself. A few hours before his suicide by hanging, he had been transferred from one wing to another for an unknown reason. After that, he had been given a room alone. That’s where he was found hanging by his bed sheet. The other Eritreans are annihilated, they do not understand why he was isolated, deprived of the company he used to enjoy, and left unattended, in such a bad state!

All Vottem retainees are in shock. Many refused to eat today. They tell us how unbearable it is to live in nothing else than a prison, with daily bullying.

We are outraged. Indeed, one may imagine how four months of retention destroyed a man who, like many other ‘transmigrants’, had fled war to try and join his family and friends in Great Britain. That is the result of the manhunt policy led by the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Théo Francken, and by Michel’s government. After little Mawda, after this young man hit by a car while crossing a highway to escape the police, after this suicide, who will be the next victim of this policy?

Closed centres are deportation machines. They implement practices aimed at destroying people psychologically and physically, day after day, also during deportation attempts. Nothing is spared; isolation cell, prison within the prison, the secured isolation cell in Vottem, the disciplinary transfers, insults, blows, handcuffs during each travel to the court or the hospital… Here is what the ‘retainees’ tell us about every day, not understanding why they are being treated as ‘criminals’, many of them had never experienced prison nor handcuffs before… and they don’t want that anymore!

It has been the fifth death in Vottem since 2008 : 3 suicides and 2 dead because of inappropriate care.

Citizen resistance must go on to protest again this deadly asylum and migration policy, which replaces welcome by rejection, deportation; which retains children despite the heavy psychological damage it will bring, in disregard of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

NO, not in our name!

We invite you to join our weekly gathering at CRACPE this Saturday 13 October around the Vottem closed centre, as of 3 p.m.

Contact: France Arets 0497 54 24 24 24 33, cracpe@skynet.be
9/10/2018

Signed:
CRER, CRACPE, LDH, CRER, CRACPE, MDM, het CIRE-vzw, CNCD
11.11.11., BxlRefugees

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

September 2018: Francken and his carrousel

05/10/2018 Following the decision that Francken would deal with ‘serious transmigration phenomena’, a lot of people retained in centres for sometimes a year have been released to leave space to new people arrested.

Those releases were followed by raids in the whole country and by imprisonments.

It seems clear that the authorities and the Foreigners Office want to show the population that important means of repression are being mobilised, with daily raids on all the territory, ‘for our safety’, so they say.

Francken shows us the extent of his power by deploying his watchdogs (the federal police) in all the train stations of the country. Currently, it is mainly in train stations that raids are being operated so as to make them very visible to the population. These busy public places make the operations much more sensational than when they take place in parkings at night. It is a communication message he is trying to spread through this repressive strategy.

 

Here are the figures collected by the referents of the closed centres for the platform.

99 imprisonments notified to Getting the Voice Out for September 2018, among which 34 were rapidly released.
65 exiles, arrested through raids at the beginning of September are still being retained in closed centres.

Releases and/or deportations

68 exiles released: 34 who had sometimes been retained for several months in closed centres, 34 released very rapidly. We were also informed that 5 were deported in the context of the Dublin rule, that 1 got the asylum, and another one the subsidiary protection.

And last call by coretainees on 3 October 2018 from Merksplas closed centre: two days ago, an Afghan man, 22, arrested at the Belgian coast several months ago, was driven to the airport by the police… The retainees haven’t heard from him since then!

Last minute O5/10/2018; Razzia’s releasing of people arrested end september ….To make place for others?

This repression also heavily affects families, persons with ongoing asylum requests or undocumented in closed centres.

Here are a few ‘anecdotes’ of these criminal deportations!

H., Rwandaise, subit sa 3ème tentative d’expulsion ce samedi 29/09/2018! Expulsion annulée!!!

http://regularisation.canalblog.com/archives/2018/09/24/36730370.html

Illegal Deportation of a man from guinee to Marocco; Update:Deportated and in jail d in prison!

NOT IN MY NAME

Publié dans Migration policy, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Third Deportation to Ruanda on 29/09/2018 : Annulation of the deportation!

Update 28/09/2018: The court annulate the deportation and she is free!

—————————————————————————————————————

H., Rwandan, will be deported for the third time this Saturday 29/09. She is waiting for decisions by three different courts but the Foreigners Office absolutely want to deport her.

The Rwandan government accuse H., 36, of complicity in the conflict between Rwanda and Burundi. She has been retained in the Caricole closed centre for more than two months and they already tried to deport her twice but she resisted. The third attempt to deport her will happen tomorrow, Saturday 29 September, on the flight Egypt Air MS 726 to Nairobi at 15h55 (with a stop in Cairo).

H. is expecting the end of the process at the Council of State where she complains about problems of procedure. She is also waiting for the answer that will be given to her second asylum request currently reviewed by the Aliens Litigation Council. On the other hand we heard that her two lawyers introduced a request to release her at the Council Chamber of Brussels for family reasons since H has a child with her boyfriend who is a legal Belgian resident as acknowledged refugee.

 

The third deportation is planned for this Saturday whereas H is waiting for the decisions of three different courts, which is a perfect example of the Foreigners Office contempt for people seeking protection in Belgium. Their only priority is deportation.

 

We demand that the effectiveness of the appeals introduced by the lawyers is respected.

Freedom for all retainees!

To help Hadija

1) let’s gather at Zaventem airport this Saturday 29/09/2018 at 13H45 to explain the situation to the passengers of flight Egypt Air MS 726 of 15h55.

The passengers have the right to refuse this deportation and address the aircraft captain.

2) Contact Egyptair Airlines Brussels National Airport PO Box 115 1930 Zaventem

customeraff@egyptair.com

+32 (0) 2 219 16 14
+32 2 753 2270
+32 2 725 42 68

Fax: +32 2 219 36 81

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EGYPTAIR

Twitter @EGYPTAIR

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Update 27/09/2018 / worth reading if one of your friendshas been arrested

Update 27/09/2018 / WORTH READING IF ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS HAS BEEN ARRESTED

Arrests have been happening at a fast pace lately. They are being arrested by dozens, night and day. We count a lot of releases too.
It is the new strategy implemented by the Foreigners Office. They chose to operate loads of raids through the country, to arrest all the migrants present, to bring them to the new sorting centre in Steenokkerzeel, to file them, and after 24 sometimes 48 hours, to retain them in one of our closed centres or release them.
Some of the retainees will be released after 5 days in average for no apparent reason. This strategy allows to file all the exiles present on the territory according to a process used in ecology, i.e in order to know how many they are, it is called the CMR system (capture – mark- recapture) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_and_recapture

A climate of terror settles among the exiles. Loads of exiles are being retained without judgement and with no appeal possible against this retention lasting several days sometimes.
It will enable the Foreigners Office to cheat on the figures, citing the number of arrests (knowing that some exiles are arrested several times) and therefore exaggerate the migration phenomenon. The end in itself: show a certain efficiency to the electorate and exaggerate the number of exiles on the territory.

Practically, all these reforms generate waves of panic among the hosts and the exiles; which is one of the aims looked for. Lawyers are overloaded and it is almost impossible to introduce legal appeals against these arrests and retentions within the 5 or 10 legal days.
Gettingthevoiceout and the referents of the platform try to answer all the requests but they are also overloaded.

In all this chaos, the process to report your host remains the same and for the teams of Getting and the referent volunteers who manage the groups of each centre as well. We therefore thank you to hold on to your determination to get news of your friends and to offer them the necessary support, gentleness and patience ?. To deal with 10 or 50 calls a day is not the same, however it is the same persons who are dealing with it. Lawyers are also overloaded. It is therefore very frequent for us not to be able to find one who is available.

And from a host
To sum up
heads up, hearts down and raised fist! Yallah!

General informations here: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/information-for-the-hostsfriendsfamilies-in-case-a-migrant-friend-is-missing/

Publié dans Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

Illegal Deportation of a man from guinee to Marocco; Update:Deportated and in jail d in prison!

Update 23/09/2018:

Mr S was deported with escort on 22 September 2018. He was arrested in Morocco for illegal migration. He is in jail.

We dare not imagine how he was deported and how are his imprisonment conditions in Morocco!

The Foreigners Office knew that Mr S would have serious problems once in Morocco but they insisted in deporting him!

STOP DEPORTATION

________________________________________

Let’s all meet at Charleroi airport!

Mr S, from Guinea, came to request asylum in Belgium and was arrested at the airport on 28 July. He was brought to the Caricole closed centre.

His asylum request was refused. He went through a first deportation attempt to Morocco on 30 August.

He introduced a second asylum request on 19 September and went through a second deportation attempt with escort from Charleroi airport on 20 September. He was placed on a Ryanair flight, tied. He shouted and struggled. In the end, the captain asked the escort to leave the plane with S. 

The lawyer made an appeal against the rejection of the asylum request, and they should go to court this Tuesday 25 August 2018.

However, on 21 September Mr S got a new ticket for a deportation to Agadir with Ryanair on 22 September! This deportation is a refoulement; which is contrary to all the international laws and regularly condemned by international courts.

Mr S does not want to go back to an unknown country where he ignores how he will be welcomed, and he is asking for help to prevent this deportation.

Let’s meet at Charleroi airport on 22 September 2018 at 12.10 a.m to explain the situation to the passengers. They have the right to refuse this deportation by adressing the aircraft captain. 

Ryanair vol FR 8172 22/09/2018 14h10

Contact Ryanair pour protester :

belgium@ryanair.com
https://www.facebook.com/ryanair
https://twitter.com/ryanairflights

et mail, fax de protestation à nos responsables :

Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL ¨C EN) ¨C 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre de l’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile et la Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21¨C theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Solidarity with the Stansted defendants from Belgium !?

[EN] In May 2018, we were hundreds of people gathered in front of two detention centres near Brussels airport during the Steenrock festival. We all raised our hands in solidarity with the Stansted defendants. It’s time to show our solidarity again ! More info : End Deportations & https://enddeportations.wordpress.com
—–
[FR] Lors du dernier Steenrock en Mai 2018, nous étions rassemblé.es en face des centres fermés 127 bis et Caricole. Nous avons notamment entendu les témoignages d’activistes anglais et levé nos mains en solidarité avec les « accusé.es de Stansted ». Rappel des faits :
En 2017, 15 personnes ont bloqué un vol charter pendant dix heures pour empêcher l’expulsion de personnes migrantes à l’aéroport de Stansted. Cette action directe non violente est considérée comme un acte terroriste et ils risquent des peines pouvant aller jusqu’à l’emprisonnement à vie. Le procès aura lieu le 1er octobre à Chelmsford Crown Court.

✊ What can we do? Que peut-on faire ?
Participez à l’action de soutien en envoyant des courriers ou courriels à l’ambassade du Royaume-Uni (voir lettre type ci-dessous).

Avec End Deportations Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants Queers Support the Refugees BXL Je Ne La Boucle Pas
#StopCharterFlights
#EndDeportations
#Stansted15

#gettingthevoiceout

➡️ LETTRE-TYPE / MODEL LETTER :

Subject: Trial of 15 activists at Chelmsford Crown Court

To the attention of Alison Rose, Ambassador

Dear Ambassador,

In March 2016 at Stansted airport, 15 people grounded a deportation charter flight for ten hours to prevent it taking off.
On the 1st of October 2018, they will be standing trial, charged with a terrorism-related offence that could result in life imprisonment.

I hereby would like to remind the fact that these people acted legitimately by humanity and compassion and shouldn’t be charged for this, especially with such a disproportionate and mismatching charge.
I’m therefore asking you to take action and question the United Kingdom’s competent authorities in order to express your support for the defendants, and demand the charges to be dropped.
I also demand to put an end to deportation charter flights.

Thanking for your attention to my request I nourish the hope you will give it an appropriate reaction as soon as possible.
Best regards

➡️Email : public.brussels@fco.gov.uk
➡️Phone : +32.2.287.6211
➡️Facebook : UK in Belgium – British Embassy Brussels
➡️Twitter : alisonrosefco
➡️Contact form : https://www.contact-embassy.service.gov.uk/…
➡️Adress : Ambassade du Royaume-Uni à Bruxelles – Avenue d’Auderghem 10, 1040 Brussels

Publié dans External contributions, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

23 September 2018 – Closed centere 127bis – 20 years of resistance against deportation and closed centeres

Because Europe kills every day.

Because seas, mountains and deserts became mass graves right in front of us.

Because safety, militarisation of the borders and confinement are the only answers states give to women, men and children who are trying to guarantee or improve their existence.

Because razzias, confinement and expulsion of migrants has developed industrially.

Because closed centres are part of this inhuman mechanism.

Because humiliation, isolation, insults and beatings are ordinary, confinement itself is untenable.

Because no one is illegal and dehumanization always leads to horror.

Because the state criminalises humanitary help to immigrants.

Because the Belgian governement, unrestrained, every day exceeds all our fears in this area

We will never accept these crimes and want to let it know!

 

Train and bike: Arrive at the train station of Nossegem and gather at the parking of the train station before departing in a cortege to the closed centre 127bis at 13h45. Departure is possible at 13h00 (Brussels-South), 13h04 (Brussels-Central), 13h10 (Brussels-North).
Car and touringcar: Park at the end of the Namenstraat, then join the cortege which will pass around 13h50.
Touringcars will leave from Liège, Ghent, Antwerp.
This gathering is authorised.

And more actions here: https://www.semiraadamu2018.be/appel-oproep/appel-version-courte/#dutch

Publié dans Migration policy, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

In Belgium too people die on migratory routes 14/09/2018

Repression, arrests, mistreatments, racketeering, deportations: these are part of the current messages on FB and elsewhere

Forgetting the dead.

Migrants’ hunting, be it by the police forces or by smugglers, the desperate acts of migrants to flee this repression and the harassment they suffer very often lead to ‘accidents’; very seriously wounded but also dead!

This week, already two persons have died in Belgium on their migratory road. The first one was crossing the A40 to get in a truck and was run over by a car, the other was caught in a fight between migrants and supposedly smugglers, the first ones fighting to find a place to travel, the latter to have the monopoly on a parking… The investigations are ongoing according to the prosecutors, but we will never have clarifications… we will never get to know…

We already know of 7 killed for the year 2018, 2 this week.

TRIBUTE TO

2017 :

– Omar, 18, Sudanese, who died under a bus in Brussels on 23rd July 2017

– Dejen, 16, Eritrean, who died in Aalter after falling from a truck on 4th November 2017

– M, Sudanese, found dead in the channel in Brussels on 17th November 2017

2018 :

– Mohammed, 39, Ethiopian, who died in Jabbeke while being chased after by the police on 29th January 2018

– M., 22, Algerian, who died in Zeebruges on 22nd March 2018

– Mawda, 2, Kurdish, who was killed in Mons during a chase on 16th May 2018

– Amalou Ourez,20, Guinean, crushed by a bus in Berchem ste Agathe ( Brussels) on 19th June 2018

– X, 19, Vietnamese, run over by a car on 17th August 2018

– Imran Ullah, Afghan, run over by a car on the E40 in Ramskapelle on 9th September 2018

– SEMERE, 25, Eritrean, killed on a parking of the E40 in Wetteren on 12th September 2018

BORDERS KILL

Map of the dead at the doors of Europe
https://neocarto.hypotheses.org/1370

Publié dans Migration policy, News from elsewhere | Laisser un commentaire

No women, men or children in the closed centre: testimony and action

No women, men or children in closed centres: testimonies and gathering

04/09/201: A mother and her 5 children, arrested the day of the start of school have just been placed in retetntion while another family with 4 children has already been retained for more than 20 days! 9 children are now being retained although we already know the devastating impact of retention on adults. How could we reach that point?!

Testimonies by these families’ relatives

Family 1
30/08/2018: “The youngest of the girls seems ill. She does not eat or drink. She was being breastfed until their arrival at the 127bis and needs to get used to different food. The doctor came and prescribed one cream … and the mother doesn’t understand. She can neither read nor write. The familly has been installed in two rooms but they live in the same one, the children stay near their mother. There is a small backyard, the only possibility for them to get out.
Children are not sleeping until 3 a.m sometimes. The mother is up all nights, struggling with loads of questions and worries about the family’s future. The oldest kids want to go to school.
It is not enough to answer the most basic needs such as sleep, eat and drink. This mother would need a psycho-medical follow-up. She speaks and thinks negatively. It is dehumanizing to live in that place, and she is reaching the verge of despair.
She lost her appetite and the fact of getting pork twice a day, although she clearly said she was a muslim, will not help her recover, she is full of mistrust.

Family 2 :
04/08/2018: ” The oldest kid is 14. They have been in Belgium for 8 years. They’ve all always gone to school here. They have their friends here, their life and future is here. Their schoolbags were ready for the start of school. Seven policemen went to fetch them at their place at 6 a.m. The mother got in the door to see what it was about. The police forced the door to enter… It is disgusting, it is just disgusting to treat people like that…’

Gathering on 14/09/2018

#NotInMyName: One mother and her five children who were arrested on the day of the start of school have just been retained, whereas another family with four children has already been retained for more than 20 days!  9 children are being retained although everybody already knows the devastating impact of retention on adults? How could we reach that point?! 

Despite the heavy citizen and associative mobilisation and the positions by the legal world and international authorities, the Belgian government persists in its criminalisation policy of migrants and does not hesitate to retain children. NOTHING CAN JUSTIFY THIS INHUMANE POLICY! 

?They do not want to listen to us ✊! Let’s meet for sit-ins and critical masses of pushchairs in one or several places of Brussels and in other cities of the country (we need you!) that will be announced as of next week. Bring pushchairs, prams, signs, dirty nappies or any other mean to express you’ve had enough of all this! 

Let’s continue to increase the pressure and assert loud and clear that the discriminatory, repressive and degrading measures taken by the Belgian governement against migrants, refugees and undocumented people or the people supporting them are not taken in our name. #NotInMyName #NoOneIsIllegal #StopCentresFermés

?Let’s meet to invade the public space with peaceful demonstrations to let our message go through and say STOP! 

WHEN?

On 14th September. It will be one month (maximum length) that the first family has been retained, and 10 days for the second one. The time will depend on the location. We will inform you in the coming days about the time and the location. 

WHERE?

✅ IN BRUSSELS:  the location (still secret) will be communicated in a few days. 

☑️ ELSEWHERE: we are calling you to organise decentralised sit-ins in front of your communes’ town halls or other symbolic places. Add us (solidary Manneken Pis) as co-organiser or send us the links of your events, we will share them! 

A small toolkit to help you organise them will soon be available. 

 

To follow the event:https://www.facebook.com/events/296524317599828/

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

When the hell are we going to act? Tortures, deportations, repression.

Tortures at the 127bis closed centre

On 23/08/2018 H had an argument with a guardian concerning the food they get at the 127bis closed centre. He was placed in confinement. The day after, several guardians came to his cell. He says they handcuffed him, hands behind the back. They put him a black hood, then a policeman put his knee against his back and beat him for long. Then they took his feet (also tied) to his head and twisted his back . He also says he had the impression to get electrical shocks in his handcuffs. His torturers blamed him for having too many contacts with the outside, notably with the media. H came out of confinement on 26th August to be placed in medical confinement. He could hardly move, he was not able to stand and had burn marks on the wrists. He was confused and panicked. He feared that they would come to pick him up at night to throw him on a plane ‘like a bag’. He was finally transferred to the closed centre of Vottem on 29th August.

Deported because major in Belgium, recognised as minor in Italy

Elsa was deported to Rome with an escort. When she arrived there the Italian authorities declared that they considered her as a minor. Belgium was giving her the age of 21, based on bones tests of which the reliability is denied by many scientists. Many European countries do not practice these unreliable bones tests anymore. In Belgium, the Foreigners Office continues to use these tests systematically, on the principle that all lie about their age, and very proud to be able to declare them major and deport them thanks to these tests of which the margin of error is of 2 years.
Phone reporting by Elsa from Rome :
Her deportation:
– She was searched and then tied (hands to the body)
– Escort of 7 policemen
– She was on the plane well before the passengers, they placed her at the back of the plane and she could not see the other passengers (behind a curtain probably)
– She was crying. The police told her to stay quiet. Passengers asked why she was crying but then the police laughed very hard (to hide the cries and make others believe it was laughters)
– The police told her that she was obliged to go to Italy because there she had the right to asylum.

Her story here : http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/second-deportaion-of-a-16-years-old-eritran/

Hunger strike in closed centre Brugge

20/08 : the retainees of 2 wings of the closed centre of Bruges had consulted each other to start a hunger strike in order to protest, some against the retention conditions, others against the existence of these centres and against their deportations.
They had decided to start this protest movement on 21st August. In the morning of that day, at least two of them who were considered as ‘leaders’ were placed in confinement and then transferred to another centre. The protest movement faded away…

23/08 : the retainees in the women’s wing in Bruges refused to have lunch. Three women were placed in confinement during 2 days then transferred to other centres. They were claiming for their release!

Resistance to deportations in the centres

01/08 : call from the 127bis: the retainees didn’t sleep well last night. They heard loud cries by retainees who were resisting their deportation. They were 2 who cried for 2 hours. Finally, the police came and took them away. The other retainees could not see anything, they had been locked in their rooms.

Arrests at the airport

In this time of holidays, many people come to Europe to visit their families.
The airport police take advantage of that to select those who have the right to access the Schengen area and those who don’t.
A few examples among others:

On 9th August, a couple, the man from Morocco and the woman from Poland, go to Poland with a valid visa for Poland. They have a stop in Charleroi. He was arrested and taken to the Caricole closed centre in view of his deportation to Morocco. She continued her journey to Poland.

22/08 : Call at 12 a.m. An Armenian couple and their two children living with valid residence permits in France go to Armenia for holidays. On their return, on 22nd August, they have a stop in Brussels airport at 5 a.m. The woman is arrested and brought to the Caricole closed centre because she has a ‘non-compliant Russian passport’ although she has been travelling with that same passeport for years! Today (3rd September), she is still being retained in the Caricole. She got a ticket for a repatriation to Armenia which her lawyer managed to cancel. She was supposed to resume work in France. Her boss can wait for 1 more week, not longer.

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Second deportationAttempt of a 16 years old Eritran: Deported

UPDATE 02/09: Phone reporting by Elsa from Rome :
Her deportation:
– She was searched and then tied (hands to the body)
– Escort of 7 policemen
– She was on the plane well before the passengers, they placed her at the back of the plane and she could not see the other passengers (behind a curtain probably)
– She was crying. The police told her to stay quiet. Passengers asked why she was crying but then the police laughed very hard (to hide the cries and make others believe it was laughters)
– The police told her that she was obliged to go to Italy because there she had the right to asylum.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

UPDATE Elsa was deported on 23th of August 2018

Elsa, a 16 years old Eritrean, was deported to Rome this morning. She was escorted against her will and despite an awareness-raising action for the passengers at the airport.
The child protection, which prevents their deportation (including those covered by Dublin II), has been denied for her, on the basis of a bone test considering Elsa older.

However, she was considered as a minor by Italy. She called in tears from the Rome police station, fearing that she might be taken to a centre for minors. Thanks to the efforts of everybody, she managed to escape from the centre and is sleeping tonight in a safe home, where she feels quiet and where she will have a little bit of rest.

It’s only a temporary solution. On one hand, we must find here a secure place where to sleep for the next days (we have some possible solutions already, thanks to all of you), and on the other hand, her wish is still to go back to Belgium and become a “Belgian woman”.

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Children at the closed center Caricole, again and again

18/08/2018 Since its opening, the Caricole includes several rooms called “family rooms” what others call cells. These rooms have a slightly separate space for sleeping children. Those rooms are separated from the rest of the spaces by locked doors and have a small observation window. The detention of families with children has unfortunately been common for a long time, but the authorities were committed to consider detentions only very short periods. It is said that these detentions are limited to 24 or 48 hours, waiting for a deportation flight already scheduled. However, we are regularly informed that the duration of some of these detentions may nevertheless exceed 48 hours.
The imprisonment of families with children, which undermines their psychological integrity and sometimes traumatizes them seriously is developing, as new testimonies of persons detained in the Caricole for some time confirm us today :

” Since I arrived at the Caricole, I have seen many children come out with their mothers, which disgusts me, including a woman today with a child who is learning to walk. In general, they stay a night or two then are sent elsewhere. I saw a Palestinian girl, a Georgian grandmother, two African ladies, … ”
And another testimony:
“The previous weeks I saw:
– an elderly woman, Russian, I think, with her little girl who was about 5 years old. They stayed on Saturday and Sunday and left on Monday.
– a Moroccan woman with her 11-year-old son who stayed 24 hours (about 10 days ago) before being deported to Morocco.
And this week:
– a woman from Eastern Europe or Russia, about thirty-year-old with her daughter of two and a half or three-year-old. They spent 4 hours there today and
then left.
– a woman from the Middle East, with her 14/15-year-old daughter, they stayed 24 hours.
– an African woman in her thirties, with her 5-year-old daughter. They spent last night at Caricole and then left. ”

This practice may be one day, after another drama or shock report, described as “fading of the norm”. This is not the case, it is simply the will of our government to expel men, women and children regardless of the (Human) price to pay. A renunciation of all ethics, a dehumanization, a Kafkaesque world for its victims that only aim to obtain some beautiful figures to shake proudly in front of the most reactionary electorate. A curtain of smoke for the government Michel and his lieutenant Francken.

In the new 127bis family detention facilities, the difference is in the length of detention, which may be long, or possibly extra-long. “Specially landscaped” these spaces will circumvent the law, form prevailing over substance, the spirit of the law to protect all children going to oblivion. This is what those who govern us do and, in the process, dirty us all. Sad Belgium.
This is why we remember once again that no administrative detention in closed centers will ever be legitimate.

STOP CLOSED CENTRE

Publié dans Getuigenissen, Migratiepolitiek, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

In Charleroi Airport, passengers stopped a deportation. UPDATE: Deported!

Update 18/08/2018:On Sunday Aug 12, 2018 at 10 am, Mr. A was locked up before undergoing a fourth –and this time effective – attempt at expulsion to Algiers on a TUI flight from Charleroi. This was carried out by the Office of shame. We were warned by his co-detainees.

Here is what he told us from Algiers:
“Once again they used 6 belts to tie my feet, legs, hands, arms and torso. I couldn’t move. On the plane, I saw that two plainclothes cops spoke to each passenger individually; I don’t know what they said. I tried to resist, but they hit me to prevent me from speaking. Not one of the passengers reacted. They were certainly under pressure. I’m hurting, I’m sore all over. I cry constantly. I had a life in Belgium ; I used to work hard on worksites.

This confirms anew that the Foreigners Office uses every means available to expell people, using intimidation or lying to passengers. Such methods are more than worrisome. Even though we do not know precisely what the authorities claimed and we would appreciate hearing from these passengers what they were told.

———————————————————————————————————————————-

 

A man detained in the Caricole closed centre called us under stress. On 5th August at 10 AM he was told that he would be deported on the same
day at 4 PM on a TUI flight from Charleroi to Algiers. He was put immediately in isolation.

It is his third deportation attempt and he was promised a police escort,since he has refused to go on 2 previous deportation attempts. He has
been living in Europe for the past 13 years and does not wish to return to Algeria.

As a member of the “criminals” family as Minister Francken likes to call them, he must, at all costs, be deported from Belgium. Indeed, after a 6
months jail sentence for a minor offence, he was directly transferred to a closed centre by the Immigration Service

A call was made for activists to go to the Charleroi Airport in order to inform passengers travelling on the same flight about his situation.

We have chosen not to mention those calls on our website, since it is watched by the Immigration Service and the State which could mean more
security reactions and block the citizens mobilization.

Several people were present at the airport to inform passengers and we received several messages.

One person wrote: “On board, the plane to Algiers has not yet taken off.Passengers are quite irritated. No way to fly with the man from
Caricole!”

“He was brought back to Caricole. They beat him very hard. Some of the passengers refused to travel with him. A woman screamed very loud and
said that you cannot treat people as animals. The captain demanded that he would leave the plane.”

Back at the centre, another detainee tells us: “the police escort beat him very hard. He is black and blue all over. They insulted his religion
and this is what hurts him the most.”

 

Extracts from the medical report which describes the police violence:

“On Sunday 5 August 2018, Mr A was transferred from the Caricole Centre to the federal police station and then to the Charleroi airport
police station. During this last transfer, he was attached with belts.His description is reminiscent of a straight jacket for aggressive
patients.

He describes his pains because of the belts which were too tightened. In the police station in Charleroi they also attached his legs. He was
transferred on the plane by 6 federal policemen and his hands attached to his waist and then to the armrests.

He tried to scream to alert passengers about his deportation against his will but policemen then compressed his neck and his ribcage to prevent
him from screaming. They also stuck and squeezed his head between 2 seats.

One of the policemen insulted him: “motherfucker” and said his coran should be thrown to the bin. Another policeman with blue eyes and an
orange T-shirt, which he identifies as the head of the group, treated him of “maggot” and of “shitface”.

The activists work gives results! On this flight, about 10 passengers were able to stop this deportation. This was possible because they knew
about the presence of this man BEFORE getting on board.

Indeed, to avoid any rebellion or compassion on part of passengers, the “deported person” is forced to get on board before everyone else. The
police escort is dressed in civilian clothes to avoid attracting attention. They sit at the rear of the plane, sometimes behind a curtain. The boarding of passengers is done only through the front door,so that they do not see the “deportee” on baord. At arrival, the police escort is the last one to leave the plane with the detainee. Nobody knows. It’s in the bag… or almost!

Almost… since this time, it was without counting on the work by activists before boarding.

We must go on, to inform passengers so that they can react and refuse to sit or put their luggage in the right place, for instance. To go on to
denounce and bypass police plans to keep secrecy.

To go on to stop other deportations.

Publié dans Migration policy, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Testimony received from hosts : 05/08/2018

Over the past few days, we have received accounts of arrests or of calls for help,
Please keep on sending your testimonies on gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net
We won’t be able to say that we didn’t know!

6 minors in danger in Antwerp

August 3: a migrant’s call to a host:
There were 6 of them, locked up inside a truck. One of them called us in a panic. We could hear them banging on the vehicle’s doors and calling for help. Assuming they were in danger, we thought we were about to try to locate them.Finally they had the reflex to phone 101. The port police managed to locate them and released them from the truck / container (whose detination was Egypt!). A police officer told the host that they would be released as they were minors.

 

Arrests testimonys

Friday, Aug 3, in the morning I was present when 4 or 5 young African migrants were arrested. They had probably tried to climb into a truck. It was in the industrial zone of Wauthier-Braine. They were very calm, but surrounded by a totally disproportionate number of policemen (at least 3 vans and more than a dozen armed persons)I don’t know where they were taken to.

Yesterday, around 10pm, at Liège’s Guillemins station. Two undocumented persons from the Sudan were being questioned by 2 conductors –a man and a woman- because their tickets read ‘under-26’, but they had no I.D. to prove how old they were. This was on the IC519 train Ostende-Welkenraedt that had left from Brussels-North. The conductors called Securail: 3 agents that were outside the train searched their belongings and found nothing dangerous. The local police were then called and the 2 migrants were taken to Liège’s central police station.

He was arrested in the area of Bruges. He told me he’d been locked up for 20 hours without food nor anything to drink. This was during an extremely hot week. He was beaten and mistreated by the police; his shoulder still hurts.

Yesterday, around 10pm, A and a friend were arrested by Securail agents. They were taken to a police station. His friend was later released but he’s been taken to a closed center.

Five Afghans were arrested in Blankenberg on 02/08. This 04/08 we no longer have any news. Their télephoons don’t answer anymore. We send a search message to the platforms

The route to Great Britain

These days again many passages to Britain at the risk of their lives

 

BORDERS KILL

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Communicating vessels. Overview 15/07/2018

For 10 who go to Great Britain, for 10 who get arrested and retained by the Foreigners Office, 20 others arrive to the North Station. They are communicating vessels! It is the law of supply and demand in this capitalist world we are living in.

North station became the obligatory passage on their migratory road, to find their community, take part in this migratory adventure, find a means of passage, a small job, eat enough, find a shelter for the night etc.

From December 2017 to May 2018 (5 months), we received 80 reportings of retained people: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/the-hosts-their-guests-and-the-decision-makers-10052018/

From 15 May till 15 July (2 months) we did better: total retentions reported: 98
This increase is certainly linked to the collaboration of the hosts and gettingthevoiceout, but also to the migrants’ hunting that goes crescendo. Retainees report raids in all the country, mainly on parking places, harbours and train stations.

Non exhaustive list of the different raids:

26/04 Waremme , 03/05 North station , 03/05 Gent , 10/05 North station , 16/05 North station, 16/05 Wetteren, 22/05 Thieu, 22/05 St Ghislain , 23/05 Asse, 27/05 North station , 31/05 Zeebruges 17 arrests , 31/05 Thieu, 04/06 North station, 13/06 North station

The nationalities chosen by the office for the retentions are Sudanese, Erythrean, Ethiopian, Iraqi, Lybian, Syrian, Egyptian…

At least 49 in 98 of these retained people were released in Belgium or in a European country.

23 were released after several weeks of retention (up to 12 weeks).
26 others were deported to their Dublin country. The big majority joined Belgium and their host families or the Maximilien parc in the following days.
Dublin returns : Denmark 1, Romania 1, Switzerland 6, the Netherlands 2, France 4, Germany 7, Italy 4, Norway 1

35 are still being retained, some for more than 3 months, and their hosts are still maintaining the visits.
14 families stopped giving news from their guests, probably because they have been released or deported to a Dublin country.

Not forgetting the undocumented arrested at their home, in public transports, at the Foreigners Office, the travellers arrested in airports for administrative reasons and considered as ‘inadmissible’, and the asylum seekers who are more and more frequently retained in the Caricole closed centre.

Words by a retainee at the 127 bis on 14 July 2018
« Wings reserved to men are overcrowded. A lot of arrivals for the last 2 weeks and many persons arrested during a convocation at the Foreigners Office.
Some were in open centres and did not get any notification on the reasons of their arrest. »

There have been migrations since the world has been turning. The more the obstacles, the barriers and the military forces, the more attractive Europe will be.

LET’S OPEN FRONTIERS

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Extremely turbulent week at the closed centre in Vottem

25/06/2018 : « On Thursday, in the yellow wing, 4 Albanians broke the tiles to escape. It made a lot of noise and we all rushed to see, we were quite excited, a dozen of Arabs.

One Albanian managed to escape; the other three have been placed in confinement cells. One of them was hurt and was placed in the secured wing. Another one was deported the day after.

« It was heavy: we all wanted to leave.

Then the day after (if I understood well), twelve were placed in confinement cells ‘for having taken part to the escape…’.

Today, our interlocutor ignores how many still are in confinement, since he has no contact with them.

He was told that he would go to the secured wing as soon as there was a place available. He was also told that it was a very good thing that he didn’t have any lawyer, so they could do whatever they wanted with him.

He is calling for help and is on his knees.

27/06/2018 : The friend of a retainee warns us: her friend has been in confinement for 22 days. “This is not normal, he only has the right to one hour backyard in a cage. Where are the human rights in all this?”

28/06/2018 : This morning, one man who ‘was residing’ in Vottem managed to escape during his transfer to court. He is still running…

FREEDOM FOR ALL

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Information for the hosts/friends/families in case a migrant friend is missing.Update

———————————————————————————————————————————–

27/06/2018: Information for the hosts/friends/families in case a migrant friend is missing.

Many foreigners in irregular situation are controlled/arrested on public transport, on parking lots, at train stations or at their homes. They are brought to a police station for investigation by the Immigration Office. At the police station, their personal belongings and phones are confiscated, which means that they cannot contact anyone. Within the next 24 hours, they are either released, often with an order to leave the country (OQT – Ordre de Quitter le Territoire), or they are detained in one of the 5 detention centres for migrants (centre fermé – CF). http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/what-are-the-detention-centres-in-belgium/

  • What to do…. BEFORE one of your friends is incarcerated:

– If your friend has already received an order to leave the country (OQT) or has a passport, ask their permission and make a copy, scan or take a photo of the order or passport. This will afford you access to the information (name, first name, nationality, date of birth) needed to find your friend.

– If they haven’t received an OQT or they have gotten rid of it, ask them to write down the first and last names, nationality and date of birth that are on record with their fingerprints and/or that they provided when they were caught. These data are essential for you to be able to locate them as soon as possible and to possibly undertake legal action.

In both cases, warn them of the risks of being placed in a detention centre for migrants (CF) if the police catch them and inform them of their rights, if they, unfortunately, get detained: possibility to give a phone call outside (ask them to write down your phone number on a piece of paper or to memorize it and to contact you as soon as possible) and the right to an attorney and to visits.

  • If you find out that they have been arrested

– If you know in which police station they are, call or go on site. If there are others in the same police station, contact all your friends and go there together to demand their release. This type of pressure has already led to the release of some detainees.
– In principle, they are entitled to make a phone call if they are being transferred to a detention centre for migrants. If they call you to announce their transfer, try to find out the location and the exact name they have provided to the police and the Immigration Office (Office des Etrangers – OE). This will buy you some time!

Detailed procedure in case of a disappearance:

-In the first 24 hours of a disappearance, be patient: they may be prevented from calling for many various reasons. If you haven’t received any news from your undocumented migrant friend/guest for a substantial amount of time, ask their acquaintances, their friends or other hosts in case they had planned to travel or have been in an accident. They might be stuck somewhere without a phone or with no battery and the best thing to do is to wait for them to get in touch with you. The police can detain them for 24 hours before deciding what to do with them.

– Has it been more than 24 hours? Have you learned that your friend has been detained? Has your friend contacted you but without knowing in which centre they are, …?

  • How to locate your missing friend?

Before starting to call detention centres:
Be aware that the primary role of a detention centre (CF) is not to help you or to collaborate with you but to “maintain undocumented migrants at a specified location close to borders so as to facilitate their removal from the country”. Also, the “social worker” provided to your friend represents the Immigration Office in the detention centre and is therefore not necessarily the kind of social worker you might have in mind.

Two possible scenarios:

-In the best case, you will have had time to talk to your friend before their arrest and you have the name they give to the police (whether actual or fictitious), as well as their nationality (whether actual or fictitious).
Call the “Caricole” detention centre at 02 719 71 09 or 02 719 71 10 as they – in theory – centralise the information and – normally – have a list of all the detainees. Ask them if the person that you are looking for is detained in their centre or in another one. They will ask you for your friend’s LAST NAME + first name + nationality. If they don’t find the information, it does not mean that your friend is not in a detention facility. Don’t give up; start calling all the other facilities:

Le Centre pour Illégaux de Bruges (CIB) Tél 050 45 10 40
Le Centre pour Illégaux de Merksplas (CIM) : 014 63 91 10 mail: cim.info@ibz.fgov.be
Le Centre pour Illégaux de Vottem (CIV) : 04 228 89 00
Centre 127 bis : Tel 02 759 42 99 —-02 755 00 00 mail: onthaalbis@ibz.fgov.be

Closed centre for women in Holsbeek: Tél : +32 2 793 89 01‬.
Mail : cih.onthaal@ibz.fgov.be
Adres: 19  De Vunt, 3220 Holsbeek https://goo.gl/maps/pu5mjhbrp1YC1fnk7
Route : From Louvain  bus 333 (Peron 11) till « Wilsele Gemeentehuis »

Informations about closed centre here: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/what-are-the-detention-centres-in-belgium/

-Second possibility: If you only know his or her alias, send an email to gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net where someone might be able to cross-reference that information with other calls made.

When you know that your missing friend is in a detention facility and you know its location, what else can you do?
(do what you can without any obligation: “Everyone does what they can, the way they can, when they can”)

-Get them a mobile phone without a camera (Note: your friend can request to have their SIM card in the detention facility). If not, try to get the phone number of a fellow detainee who is willing to receive your call. Through the private message (PM) groups you can also coordinate with other visitors to get the mobile phone to your friend.

– Visit him or her at the detention facility and/or bring them their belongings if at all possible (see the practical information provided for each detention facility CF). The PM groups have made it possible for hosts, friends and families to coordinate support (car rides, belongings,…) see below.

– Contact gettingthevoiceout (GVO) by email and give them the name of the detained person, their nationality and the name of the facility. GVO will put you in touch with a visitor or, for the guests of the plateforme d’hébergement citoyen with a designated contact person for that facility (“référents centre” (RC)) (see below).

As soon as you are in contact with your detained friend, try to find out what happened and if they want a lawyer.

If they want to be assisted by a lawyer, contact Gettingthevoiceout and provide them with as many details as possible. In some cases, it is urgent to find a lawyer because certain steps must be taken within 10 days, sometimes even within 5 days.
Send the information to gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net, never through Facebook or PM (private message)

This is the information the lawyer will need, in order of importance:
Name under which the person is registered in the detention centre (most often their OQT names if they have already received OQT’s)
-Nationality (as recorded by the Immigration Office)

-Name of the detention centre: 127 bis, Caricole, Vottem, Bruges, Merksplas?
-Identification number (Immigration Office/IBZ/SP) that should, in principle, have been put on their badges upon their arrival at the centre.
-Date of birth
-Date of arrest
-Place of arrest
-Language of the case /

  • Visits to detention facilities

Each centre has their own rules and procedures for visits (see specific information for each facility in annex). Visits also provide an opportunity to ask the detained persons about other guests/friends who are not accounted for.

Merksplas (FR): Le Centre pour Illégaux de Merksplas-2018.07.02127

Bruges (Fr)here

127 bis (FR° 127

  • Legal aspects

CAUTION: The legislations linked to the topics of migration are extremely complex. Don’t try to take on the role of a specialist or a specialised lawyer and don’t ever rely on the advice provided by the social workers in the detention centre as they first and foremost tend to defend the interests of the Immigration Office and not those of the migrants!

The first question to ask oneself: does your friend want the support of a lawyer? The decision is theirs but should they decide to get a lawyer, it is important that they be willing to listen, trust, follow their advice,and follow the legal proceedings to the end. Much too often, a lawyer is found only to be rejected by your friend for various reasons (fear of the unknown, lack of trust in the lawyer, belief that without lawyers they will be rapidly “dublinated” towards their point of entry…from which they’ll easily be able to return, which is often a false assumption!). Giving up on the proceedings benefits the Immigration Office whose aim is to make the life of the detainee so unbearable that they accept to be deported or agree to return voluntarily.

A specialised lawyer can identify flaws in the proceedings (badly formulated arrests and incarcerations documents, lack of interpreters, requests for asylum introduced by the Immigration Office against the will of the detainees, blind application of the Dublin rules…) and the lawyer can make sure your friend’s rights are respected.

Gettingthevoiceout has a list of competent lawyers to defend the rights of the migrants.

  • In case of release or deportation:

Inform gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net as quickly as you can on the fate of your friend so as to provide us with a global perspective on these deportations/releases.

  • In case of deportation threats

As soon as they arrive at the centre, the migrants can be threatened with deportation to the country of origin by the social worker, without mention of the existing recourses. They should not let themselves be intimidated.
One day though, if the legal proceedings have not reached a positive outcome, they will be given a “ticket” for a trip towards their country of origin or their “Dublin” country. It is then essential to inform the lawyer very quickly as he or she may, in some cases, still be able to introduce a recourse.

At the first deportation attempt, detainees can refuse boarding: they will be brought to the airport and if they refuse to get on the plane, they will be brought back to the detention centre, generally in a calm manner.

At the second deportation attempt (sometimes the third), they will be told they will be escorted and forcefully deported. If they resist, it can become very violent. If the detainee wants support to prevent their deportation, the CRER and Gettingthevoiceout can call upon people to mobilize, go to the airport and talk to the passengers of the flight in question. They’ll explain to the passengers that they have the right to inform the flight captain that they refuse to travel with a man/woman that is being deported by force. They can refuse to sit down as long as the deportee is on the plane.

For more information, please see http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/how-to-stop-a-deportation/

 

  • For the hosts of the Plateforme hébergement citoyen: Coordination groups via Messenger and Whatsapp

Messenger or Whatsapp groups specific to each detention centre have been created.
They connect together the people/families concerned about the fate of a detainee, who would like to coordinate visits (car pools), drop off packages, get info, help and support one another, …
The Plateforme hébergement citoyen has also appointed contact persons for each detention centre (CF)in order to provide information, facilitate coordination with Gettingthevoiceout and stimulate the MP groups. They are voluntary. They are no legal advisors and they don’t liaise with the lawyers.

 

Contact:

– Getting the voice out: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org – Email: gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net  

– Tel:  +32484026781   

The information shared among the referents and GVO concerning the retainees are kept confidential except prior agreement of the retainee and can only be used in the interest of the retainee, individual or collective. 

 

 

Publié dans migrant in transit, Migrants in transit, Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

Attempts to make resistance invisible: stifling rebellions in closed centres

On 20 June 2018, during the whole day, militants blocked the building site of the family units next to the 127bis. In the centre, the retainees expressed their support in favour of this movement in different ways. Some refused to sit and have lunch, others wrote messages of support and solidarity with the militants, etc.

One retainee crossed the corridor shouting ‘we want freedom, we want freedom!‘. The guard came and said ‘enough now, calm down or else…‘, other retainees who had heard the noise joined him rapidly and opposed the guard telling him ‘he has the right, he is doing nothing wrong’. The reaction of the authorities was fast: 4 people were placed in confinement cells! It is automatic for anyone who tries to spread another message than the message of the authorities. Confinement aims at discouraging any form of action, and at breaking any form of growing resistance within the centres. 

What happens inside the centre can also be seen outside. When one speaks of the resistance to migration, security and repressive policies, may they come from inside or outside the centres, it is a real dissuasion logic that the authorities are applying. An attempt to cut all support to actions that make the ligth on what is going on inside the closed centres, as shown by the arrest of the RTBF film crew during the occupation of the building site by the militants on 20 June 2018. 

https://player.vimeo.com/video/276328192

https://www.rtbf.be/auvio/detail_operation-not-in-my-name-au-centre-ferme-127-bis?id=2365202

 Other images

http://inmyname.be/fr/

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Escapes…..and new escape……

21/06/2018 Further escape attempts (to be confirmed); Four other detainees attempted to escape to the Vottem detention centre at 10 a.m. on 21 June. Three have been caught, one of them is still running.

——————————————————————————–

H had been retained at the 127bis closed centre for more than 2 months. He was supposed to be deported this 20 June 2018. He had sung  “Aicha” on the microphone from his cell at the Steenrock and he had impressed the audience. 

VIDEO HERE

On 19 June, he escaped when he was in the backyard, climbing the fences. He vanished into thin air. The guards and management “are not happy” according to a retainee,they are having a meeting to ‘change the regulations’, he added.

Another escape attempt happened at the Vottem closed centre on Saturday 16 June, also from the backyard. Unfortunately, the guards could catch him and they beat him and he has been placed in a confinement cell, according to the information we got. 

FREEDOM FOR ALL!

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Visit of an accredited NGO at the 127 bis closed centre on 7 June 2018

We had received distress messages from prisoners in closed centres and more particularly from 127bis in Steenokkerzeel. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/ramadan-in-closed-centres-hunger-strike/
Following repression, detention and threats from the management for those who tried to have contacts with the outside, with the media, the calls of the detainees were very incomplete, disjointed.

A certified person went to meet some of the migrants

– escape attempt last week: the two persons got intercepted, one was placed in confinement for 48 hours, the other for a week and then deported.

– Muslim retainees don’t have the right to Moroccan bread and pancakes for the breaking of the Ramadan fast, but they are being served pasta 4 times a week…

– they get out of date and moldy bread for meals

– 3 women were arrested in the framework of legal cohabitation procedures. One was released because she was pregnant but with an order to leave the territory after the baby was born. The father is Belgian.

– One retainee has been confined in a cell with no windows for 22 days.

– All the retainees fear the calls of social assistants because they are frigthening (tickets, threats of being sent back to their country of origin, messages of thekind ‘what the hell are you doing here? You don’t have anything to do here!’.

– the guards spend their time annoying and challenging the retainees with verbal racist attacks to be able to place them in confinement if they react.

En Ramadan in CRA France:
https://collectifsanticra.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/pas-de-ramadan-en-retention/

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In heavy pain, on hunger strike, epileptic and DEPORTED 05/06/2018

In heavy pain, on hunger strike, epileptic and DEPORTED

Mimoun had been in Belgium for 3 years. He got a surgical operation due to a several cerebral pathology in 2017. He had to learn how to eat and walk again. He lost all sensations in his hand and can hardly walk. A regular follow-up during a period of 10 years was essential. Due to this pathology he became epileptic and has to take pills every day.
After the surgery, he was working a few hours a week in the pizzeria of a friend.
He got arrested at the end of March 2018 during a control at the pizzeria and he was transferred to the 127bis closed centre.

On May 9 2018 they tried to deport him for the first time. The doctor of the centre had drafted him a ‘not fit on flight’ certificate seen his poor health status. But another external doctor called by the centre made him a ‘fit for flight’ certificate. He refused that deportation and was brought back to the centre.
His lawyer refused to follow hip because he could not afford to pay him anymore and had debts.

He went on hunger strike at the beginning of May with other retainees to demand conditions respecting the Ramadan fast. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/epileptic-crisis-and-hunger-strike-at-the-127bis-closed-centre-14052018/

He did not receive his medicine anymore and had 4 epileptic crises in the centre.
Message by a co-retainee on May 13 2018: « Good morning Madam, it is 2:17 in the centre. There is a Moroccan man here who suffers from epilepsy. He got a brain surgery here in Belgium and it has been 4 days he hasn’t eaten. Unfortunately, today he had an epileptic crisis. Honestly, I was shocked when I saw him in that state… they didn’t even call an ambulance, nothing! It is totally inhuman, please help us!”

The management was threatening him with confinement cell ‘if he was having other crises’. His co-retainees were supporting and helping him, they were washing him etc and absolutely did not want him to be placed in confinement cell.

On May 15 he was finally transferred to a medical confinement cell and could at last take his antiepileptic medicine again. He was isolated from everything and everyone. He continued his hunger strike, only drinking water and coffee.

We had a last contact with him on May 27 2018. We learnt that he had been deported to Morocco on May 28, without having been allowed to warn his lawyer and his friends.

The Office used all the means possible to deport Mimoun as any foreigner locked in our camps called closed centres for illegals, condemning to death in the short or medium term since Mimoun can neither afford to have a medical follow-up nor to pay for his treatment in a region such as the Rif.

 

NOBORDER

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Mass arrests and news from the closed centres 26/05/2018

The Office is filling hundreds of places in our camps called closed centres; places that had been made available on the occasion of the raids announced at the North Station and in Parc Maximilien.
After the mobilisation of the platform and following the police interventions, the Foreigners Office chose to organise raids in a more discrete way, on their migratory routes. Several dozens of them have been arrested the last weeks and find themselves in closed centres today, others were released after hours spent in confinement cells, and after being subject to violence not far from torture.

They filled our camps one after the other: on 23 May it was Vottem, on the 24th Merksplas and on the 25th Bruges.

According to our last assessment, 70 of the 85 retainees in our camps had been released, be it in Belgium or in another European country, sometimes after having been retained for several months. After their release, many of them resumed their migratory journey to Great-Britain or another European country. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/the-hosts-their-guests-and-the-decision-makers-10052018/

It will most likely be the case for the newly arrested people.
One may wonder what the use of these raids and retentions is. Is it to discourage all asylum seekers and undocumented, to increase the numbers of ‘illegals’ to deport, to reassert the ‘strict but fair migration policy’ so dear to Theo Francken ?

At the closed centre 127bis, the situation remains explosive, hunger strikes started at the beginning of the May and they seem to be ongoing although we get very few information after the heavy pressure on the retainees not to have contacts with the outside.Some ‘recalcitrant’ retainees have been retained for one month in a confinement cell, others are in medical confinement. An epileptic man is in a worrying state of health.
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/epileptic-crisis-and-hunger-strike-at-the-127bis-closed-centre-14052018/

At the Caricole centre, 5 retainees escaped. One of them has been tagged as islamist by Theo Francken…
As a reminder, a man had been retained for several months in Vottem, suspected of being a terrorist. He was finally released… His interview: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/testimony-by-an-extremely-dangerous-terrorist/

No to closed centres, no to camps for migrants
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/closed-centres-our-camps-for-migrants-may-2018/

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Closed centres, our camps for migrants May 2018

The administrative detention of migrants (foreigners without residence permits considered as valid) entered into force in 1988 in Belgium. Since then, the multiplication of this type of space is more than obvious at the border because in 1988 there were 30 places in closed centres whereas today there are approx. 650. In front of this assertion of repressive measures, one may truly speak of an explosion of the detention of this category of persons! A closed centre is in principle not a prison, it is an extra-penitentiary detention where the decision to detain only is of administrative nature. These centres are under the direct management of the Foreigners Office who has sovereign power over them. Practically, despite all the attempts to euphemize the compelling aspects of that mechanism (in closed centres one does not speak of ‘prisoners’ but well of ‘residents’, one does not say ‘incarcerated’ but well ‘retained’), it is truly a prison system. Out of sight, safe from the reactions of civil society, thousands of men and women are retained there, in average 7,000 per year. There are 5 closed centres in Belgium: 4 in Flanders and 1 in Wallonia.

Invisibility and inaccessibility… two terms that perfectly describe closed centres and make camps out of them in the sense that one can see the disappearance of the individual at the advantage of the group, the impossibility to grant respect for fundamental rights and the retention of people who did not commit any offense. Monstruous places in terms of respect of fundamental rights and of procedures but also in terms of human dignity. Multiple security mechanisms, nearly constant surveillance of the retainees, disciplinary sanctions, searches etc; The retainees are submitted to a though regime. Little privacy, locked at night in rooms of 4-6 persons or, such as in Bruges, in dormitories foreseen for up to 20 people.

Thanks to the action of militants (against closed centres), certain situations are sometimes made visible: ill people, pregnant women, parents, very old people, minors, etc. Most of them are being abandoned by their ghostly court-appointed lawyers. Foreigners who did not commit any offense. The Belgian State locks them during days, weeks, officially in order to organise their deportation, either individually thanks to the collaboration of airlines, or on collective flights supervised by soldiers and out of sight.

The unknown factor of detention: its length may in principle not exceed two months, which can be extended once under certain conditions, then once again until up to 8 months maximum. However practically, these legal deadlines, already very long, are not respected. A speciality of Belgian administration: ‘reset the counters’, hence renewing the ground for retention, in case of asylum request or failed escape attempt. Therefore, no limit in time! More than a place where there is no law, it is an exception system that applies in closed centres where everything seems possible for who is controlling them, where any procedure not pleasing the Office may be diverted, modified or used to serve the interests of more and more security migratory policies. In 2015, approx. 300 people remained detained for more than 4 months, and one thousand of them between two to four months. The longest retention in 2015 lasted one year and two months, again witnessing the lack of political will to recognise migrants as rights holders.

Under the pretext of fighting against criminality and terrorism, hence continuing this movement of migrants’ criminalisation, the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, announced in May 2017, the construction of three new closed centres by 2021, doubling Belgium’s retention capacity. Retention units for families where children will be incarcerated are on the point of being opened just next to the existing centres (127 bis and Caricole), along Brussels National airport routes. A dramatic step backwards for Belgium that had not locked children since 2008, following a dozen condemnations by the European Court of Human Rights. The retention policy is doing well, void to ‘reassure’ the public opinion and ‘discourage’ people in exile.

The progressive anchoring of a logic of surveillance, monitoring and dissuasion that affects all migrants gets crystalised in the multiplication of closed centres. It is time to denounce it and to stop this juridical, social, symbolic and political alienation!

Only the suppression of these centres, and not their likely ‘humanisation’ will put an end to these racist abuse of power.

 

 

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Epileptic crisis and hunger strike at the 127bis closed centre 14/05/2018 update

Update 23/05

Since 11 May 2018, retainees have been on hunger strike at the 127bis closed centre. Muslims gathered in one wing for the Ramadan. 

Two external associations had offered to deliver food during the Ramandan that started on 16 May 2018. 

They heard  that it will be forbidden by the management. 

They see this prohibition as an indirect route to ban Ramandan in the centre and a non-respect of their religion’. 

They decided to go on hunger strike on 11/05/2018 and demand: 

-respect of their religion and of Ramadan 

-friends’ association to bring adequate food in the centre 

-access to the kitchen in the centre in order to prepare their food! 

This day the situation is explosive: one part of the strikers is in confinement cells. Others continue to ring us to denounce the situation in the centre: junk food, insults by the guards, ill-treatments. 

A man has been on hunger strike for 15 days has made several epileptic seizures. He is currently in medical isolation. People can not see it and no contact: ‘we’re going to let it go slowly,’ the detenees tell us!

Calling doctors, parliamentarians, NGOs and tu quanti to go see …… ..

We are VERY worried!

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Epileptic crisis

At the 127bis closed centre, a man is in a worrying state and he doesn’t seem to get medical care.
After a brain surgery, he had been revalidated for several months and he had to learn to walk again. After this revalidation time, he had to go through regular check ups and follow an anti-epileptic treatment. He resumed his life as undocumented and worked for several hours at a friend’s pizzeria in order to be self-supporting. He was arrested at work and imprisoned at the 127bis some 80 days ago.
He got through a first deportation attempt on 9 May 2018; which he refused.
Since then he has stopped eating and he doesn’t get his anti-epileptic medicine.
He had 3 crises in the centre. The only reaction of the medical service seems to have been: in case of a new crisis he will be confined. Retainees refuse that he is placed in confinement and left alone unattended.
His coretainees alert us.
13/05 text message : « Good morning Madam, it is 2:17 in the centre. There is a Moroccan man here who suffers from epilepsy. He got a brain surgery here in Belgium and it has been 4 days he hasn’t eaten. Unfortunately, today he had an epileptic crisis. Honestly, I was shocked when I saw him in that state… they didn’t even call an ambulance, nothing! It is totally inhuman, please help us!”

He can not and does not want to go back to his country where he could not afford to pay for his medical monitoring, he needs a lawyer and he asking for our support to stay here in Belgium.

Hunger strike

17 retainees have been on hunger strike since 11 May. Their claims were not heard by the management who remain silent, and the medical service is totally absent. They call for assistance from the outside.
Their claims are:
-respect for their religion and for Ramandan
-allow the friend associations to provide them with suitable food in the centre
-access to the kitchen of the centre to prepare their meals!

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Ramadan in closed centres / Hunger strike

127 bis 11/05/2018
30 retainees go on hunger strike at the 127bis closed centre.
External associations had proposed to deliver food during the Ramandan period that starts on 16/05/2018.
They learnt this morning that it would be forbidden by the management.
They see this prohibition as ‘a circuitous route to ban Ramandan in the centre, and as a lack of respect for their religion’.

They decided to go on hunger strike today and demand:
-respect for their religion and for Ramadan
-the authorisation for friend associations to deliver adapted food in the centre
– access to the kitchen in the centre to prepare their meals!

13/05/2018
The retainees decided to wait Monday to ‘discuss with the centre director’. 16 of them still are on hunger strike.

Text message this morning, 13 May, Good morning Madam, 02:17 in the centre. There is a Moroccan who suffers from a disease (epilepsy). He had a head surgery here in Belgium and he hasn’t been eating for 4 days, unfortunately he had an epileptic seizure. Honestly, I was shocked when I saw him that state… They even didn’t call an ambulance, nothing. They took him at the medical service… it is inhuman… Please help us!

Each year, during the Ramadan period, retainees protest against the organisation of Ramadan in closed centres when meals are completely insufficient and only consist of bread at sunrise and sunset. Several years ago, warmed pasta even had provoked health problems. Is it necessary each time that authorities are uncompromising to add another layer of repression? Another irrespectul treatment?

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The hosts, their guests and the decision-makers 10/05/2018.

Since the end of December 2017, the hosts of the citizens’ platform regularly call Gettinthevoiceout and Stopdeportations to warn them of the disparition of one of their guest(s). Most are declared Sudanese, Eritreans or Ethiopians.

Since 27/12/2017 and until 09/05/2018, we got 128 missing reports.

Out of them, 40 were finally found back the days after an arrest, a raid, or a control, and released with an order to leave the territory, or found back in Great-Britain.

3 were never found back.

85 of the “missing” were found back in our closed centres.

39 of them were finally released after several weeks/months of imprisonment in our return camps.
As far as we know, 3 were deported to Sudan after a long retention period (up to 8 months).
31 could ‘benefit’ from the Dublin procedure and were brought back to Schengen countries (4 in Switzerland, 4 in the Netherlands, 3 in France, 9 in germany, 9 in Italy, 1 in Norway, 1 in Sweden and 1 in Great Britain (family reunification).

12 still are retained in a closed centre and their record is ongoing.

In brief, 70 of the 85 people retained in our camps are currently free, be it in Belgium or in another European country, after being retained for several months sometimes. Many of them resumed their migratory route to Great Britain or another European country after their release. One of them reached Canada!

These figures that only are our figures reflect the future of people brought to our camps/closed centres in general and they witness the uselessness of closed centres.

In 2017 6,977 persons would have gone through a forced return according to Francken, either to their country of origin, or to a European country (Dublin transfert or bilateral recovery), or rejected at the border for administrative reasons defined by the Foreigners Office (35,45 % of the 6,977).
Statistics of the Foreigners Office for 2016, to be considered cautiously https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/FR/Documents/Rapport%20statistiques%202016%20FR.pdf

New raids are announced, new closed centres, a budget devoted to forced returns which increased from 72.000.000 € in 2016 to 85.000.000 € in 2017.

Our policies follow the European tendency, they want to be a model to follow: the exclusion of any ‘foreigner’, the closing of borders with its dead, its camps, its hunting for migrants in Europe and all the neighbouring countries. All this for the sake ofour economy, our security, our neoliberalism, capitalism, post-colonialism, imperialism, etc. All this because we are white, because we are superior, because we are THE WORLD!

This is not a migratory crisis, this is not a humanitarian crisis, it is a political will throughout the world: exterminate disturbing people and States for the sake of the West!!!

Are we letting them??????

“Act locally, think globally”

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND SETTLMENT FOR ALL
STOP RAIDS
NON TO TO CLOSED CENTRES AND DEPORTATIONS
BORDERS ARE KILLING

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127 bis en Caricole: repression and resistance

 

Before the Steenrock Festival on 5 May : Repression and Resistance at the Caricole and at the 127 bis closed centres!

Retainees are warning us!

29/04 :
An Iraqi-Kurdish man retained in the 127 bis closed centre started a hunger strike on 29 April 2018. He wrapped himself in white sheets, taped his mouth and is holding a a sign ‘FREEDOM’.

29/04 : ‘They isolated him and check him, we can see him through the windows, sometimes they close the door, so that we may not notice. Since yesterday he is being watched by a policeman.’

30/04 : « they’ve placed him in solitary confinement today’.

Another man is very sick: his basin hurts a lot and he can hardly move. His co-retainees must help him move. He was brought to the hostpial where he went through scanners last week, but he didn’t get the results and he didn’t see a doctor, neither at the hospital nor in the centre.

01/05

15 hunger strikes in wing 1. They all taped their mouths. The federal and criminal police are in the centre.

02/05

The Iraqi could leave confinement cell thanks to the pressure by 15 comrades who refused to feed themselves. Since then they have all been told that it is forbidden to go on hunger strike and that if they do they’ll immediately go to confinement cells.

04/05
« Someone just called me from the 127 bis. The director just warned all the retainees that they will have to stay in their room tomorrow until the end of Steenrock Festival. Someone asked why but she answered :’end of the discussion’ while threatening those who would complain with confinement cell.’

« I went to visit Jiyed and I saw Mounir at the 127bis today.
They plan to go on hunger strike tomorrow in the two wings of the centre to support the manifestation. They are aware that they risk confinement cell, but they can’t stand it anymore…’

« We were told that we would be allowed to go out in the yard etween 9.30 and 11 a.m instead of the afternoon during your manifesttion »

Today a man got a ticket, handwritten, without his name on it, at 3 p.m. : op 06/05 : vertrekuur 11h15 Zaventem Cotonou Aankomst 17 uur SN 285 . The man is Togolese.

Another man got his ticket for the 4th deportation attempt to the DRC on 5 May 2018, the social assistant asked him to sign a paper in Dutch. He refused…

We remind you that if we are able to spread these news it is only thanks to the telephone system that we have set up and that enables retainees to warn us. Whitout this channel, which is already very complicated because the staff of the centre who put the retainees in confinement cells take their phones; which prevents them to communicate with the outside. For what reason police forces are entering the centre and checking a women on hunger strike? What is the threatening message sent to the other retainees?’Shut up, do what you are asked to, if not things will go bad!’

It is clear that very few or no parliamentarians at all go there to see what is going on (apart from the Steenrock in front of the crowd). Don’t they want to devote some time to it, don’t they want to see?

And what to say about the journalists who too rarely take up the issue? However the facts we are spreading are serious violations of fundamental human rights!

NO TO CLOSED CENTRES – let’s all go to the Steenrock this 5 May 2018!

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Workshop: How to put an end to deportations? O4/O5/2018

Workshop: How to put an end to deportations?

facilitated by End deportations & Lesbians and gays support the migrants

https://enddeportations.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lgsmigrants/?fref=mentions

Friday 4 May, 6.30 – 9 p.m – Maison de la Paix (Rue Van Elewyck 35, Ixelles)

Welcome at 6.15 p.m

With the Steenrock festival approaching, let’s meet for a discussion-workshop with activists engaged in those issues or interested in doing so: “Strategy and experience sharing – put an end to deportations and stop collective flights”.

Join us for an interactive discussion on the immigration system in the United Kingdom (and in Belgium) and on deportations, with suggestions of involvement and actions in a strategic perspective. This workshop will mainly be a space to share ideas and experiences.

 

Register here : https://framaforms.org/atelier-discussion-comment-en-finir-avec-les-expulsions-1524495105

We will explore, among other things:

– Why mass deportations have to stop (from a moral and tactical point of view: how this fight integrates the current political context in the United Kingdom and Belgium).

– Introduction of a concrete case of direct action in a strategy aiming at putting an end to mass deportations.

– The practical steps presenting how the participants can get involved.

The workshop will be facilitated by members of two English collectives ‘End deportations’ and ‘Lesbians and gays support the migrants’.

The short film ‘Violent Borders’, created by one member of End deportations and STRIKE! Magazine will be shown.

Most of the discussions will happen in English but there will be an interpreter if needed.

And come on 05/05/2018

STEENROCK – Faites de la musique, pas des centres fermés !

 

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Surprise demonstration at the 127bis closed centre : CALL

After a new suprise demonstration in front of the 127bis closed centre this Sunday 22nd April 2018 with a phone number, we have had a dozen of conacts with retainees at the centre.
They describe disastrous situations to us: mistreatments, violence, escape attempts, illnesses, confinement cells, surprise deportations, hunger strikes, racism etc.

‘There are lots of problems here”.
“They are making fun of us”.
“We are in a fish bowl, windows are locked and we are too warm”.
“Thank you very very much”.
“You come to stress people out but you don’t do anything”.
“There are lots of problems with the lawyers whom we do not see and who are asking for money”.

“A Subsaharian man tried to escape two days ago. He climbed the various fences and got caught by the police who drove him back to the confinement cell of the centre, with lots of injuries. He disappeared the day after, probably transferred. Where can he be now?”.

Their main requests are requests for help, for freedom, a lawyer, a visit, a doctor, phone recharges, etc.

We are always astounded when retainees tell us about the awful living conditions of these unacceptable retentions, despite the theoretically possible visits by associations and NGOs!

CALL for volunteers to keep in touch with the retainees.
CALL to finance phone recharges http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/presentation_en/
CALL for new gatherings in front of the 127bis, Caricole, 127bis,Bruges and Merkspas centres
CALL to join us at the Steenrock on 5th May to shout out loud NO TO CLOSED CENTRES!!! https://steenrock.wordpress.com/
Contact gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net

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Hungerstrike in closed centre in Vottem 19/04/2018

It has now been 25 days that an Albanian man retained in the closed centre for foreigners in Vottem has started a hunger strike, and for 3 days a thirst strike.
We fear for his life. According to our information, he already lost more than 7 kilos with his hunger strike, and we are aware that a thirst strike may have irremediable consequences.

The Foreigners Office want to deport him to Albania, a country they consider a “safe country”. However, this man fears for his life if he had to be deported, because of the local mafias’ actions.

We ask for a solution to be found for him to be able to stay in Belgium, before it is too late…

According to the information we got yesterday evening, Mr M was placed into confinement cell. We do not think it is the appropriate answer to his extremely worrying health status.

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WARNING: Deportation of an Eritrean to Sudan this 17th of April 2018 :Update

 Update 18/04/2018

No news from the two persons deported to Sudan on 17th of April 2018. Several activists were at the airport to talk to the passengers. A group was very quickly stopped by the police, had their identities checked and were put away from the checking.

Others managed to warn the passengers of the situation of these two persons.

We are trying to get in contact with the two persons deported to Sudan.

There would still be a dozen of Sudanese people retained for months in these prisons in view of a deportation.

NODEPORTATION

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Mr S, recognised as Sudanese by the Sudanese delegation, even though he declares he is Eritrean, will experience his second deportation attempt to Sudan this 17th of April. 

He has been retained in a closed centre since September 2017, first in Bruges, then in Merksplas. 

He had been subject to a first deportation attempt on the 13th of February, which he had refused. 

Mr S is extremely scared to be sent back to Sudan where he would not be recognised as Sudanese and then sent back to Eritrea through Sudan. 

We will try to put Mr S on the flight to Cairo (Egypt) to then send him to Sudan. 

Hence the Office keeps looking for dirty tricks to deport people! 

An ancien art : http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/rafales-de-tentatives-illegales-dexpulsion-vers-le-soudan/

Two airlines are in charge of this flight 

Egyptair MS726 3:55 PM  

Brussels Airlines SN5601 BRU-CAI  

3:55 PM  

Let’s all meet at the airport on 17 April at 1.55 p.m to inform the passengers and protest against these deportations. 

Fax and email to the airlines and the people in charge

Egyptair Airlines Brussels National Airport PO Box 115 1930 Zaventem

customeraff@egyptair.com

+32 (0) 2 219 16 14 Airport:+32 2 753 2270 +32 2 725 42 68

Fax: +32 2 219 36 81

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EGYPTAIR

Twittre @EGYPTAIR

Brussels Airlines Email :customerservice@brusselsairlines.com

Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931

Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362

https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines

Et nos expulseurs

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre de l’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile et la Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21¨C theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

Ce contenu a été publié dans Expulsions en cours, avec comme mot(s)-clef(s) , , . Vous pouvez le mettre en favoris avec ce permalien. (Modifier)
Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Stop 2 deportation to DRC on 12/04/2017: Update

Update 16/04: Prosper disappeared. The Cracpe have not heard from him 5 days after his deportation; which is extremely worrying. 

Pappy introduced a third asylum request with new elements. His deportation was cancelled.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Another man called PAPPY, retained for more than 3 months at the Caricole closed centre and member of the opposition party in the DRC, will be the subject of a 3rd deportation attempt withescort on the same flight and he is asking for our help. Asylum seekers from the DRC seem to be currently systematically rejected by the Foreigners Office and the CGRA and they will be handed over to the authorities in Kinshasa.

Besides, this man as huge health problems and he should have got an emergency surgery already last week. 

The only way to prevent extremely dangerous situations for them is to prevent the deportation by speaking to the passengers.  

LET’S ALL MEET AT THE AIRPORT THIS THURSDAY 12 APRIL 2018 AT 08:35 A.M ! BRUSSELS AIRLINES FLIGHT SN359 10:35

———————————————————————————————————————————Message BY CRACPE: CALL FOR URGENT SUPPORT : NO TO PROSPER’S DEPORTATION 

This Thursday 12 April,  Prosper K., Congolese asylum seeker should be deported to Kinshasa on  Brussels Airlines flight SN359 10H35 from Brussels National airport. 

Prosper fled the DRC for political reasons. Unfortunately he still could not get the asylum in Belgium but he plans to introduce new procedures. “In case of deportation he would be in danger when arriving to Kinshasa.”

We ask you to protest: 

Commandant de bord)Email :customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlinesLeur contacts presse
Vice Président External Communication ¨C Porte-parole
Email: geert.sciot@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 84 00
Mobile: +32 (0)477 77 49 11

Vice Président Corporate Communications ¨C Porte-parole
Email: wencke.lemmes@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 85 11
Mobile: +32 (0)477 61 86 45

Media Relations Manager ¨C Porte-parole + médias sociaux
Email: kim.daenen@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0) 2 723 84 55
Mobile: +32 (0) 479 69 36 48

Les autorités belges:

F.Roosemont
Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL ¨C EN) ¨C 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax
02 274 66 40

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre de l’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile et la Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21¨C theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Audiotestimony : one who knows his laws and rights, well, they do not like it!

Audiotestimony from a closed centre /February 2018

listen here (Fr)

Hello to all,

I am here, admitted to the centre Vottem. I was arrested in Brussels because I did not have any papers. I am not a delinquent, I am not a criminal, not a murderer, not an assassin, they put me here in a closed centre but it’s worse than prison.

It’s all closed off, we are abused, the officers do not respect us, we are like animals and people who do not understand French are insulted. But when they see someone who speaks good French, who knows his laws and rights, well, they do not like it!

So I had a problem the day before yesterday, they brought me in, I spoke with an officer since I was talking about my rights. He did not like it. He went to see the manager, they wrote on my report “in emergency cell “.

Why? Because, sir, he defends himself with his tongue, because he knows how to speak French well, because he knows his rights. Because, people who do not know French, I help them translate into French, I help them, telling them here we must do that, we must not accept, we must not do that, so they brought me to the prison, the officers threatened it is necessary, they did not even allow me to go to the manager to express my point of view in relation to what happened, they just told me “sir, you’re going to Bruges because you’re threatening”, even though that’s not true!

I speak on behalf of the people here. There are men who have families, they have children, who have been in Belgium for 10 years, 15 years, but they are here locked up like animals. Even the animals I find here in Belgium, even an animal here in Belgium has its laws, we have no law. It is unacceptable, it is unfair, it is unfair. The problem is that the Belgian citizen only sees what sees on TV.

The Belgian citizen he does not know exactly what happens in closed centres. That’s why they do not let journalists or people in, because they know what’s going on here. They have banned camera phones because they are afraid of filming what’s going on.

We are badly treated, they speak badly to us, they treat us like animals. They do not know what respect is, even we are foreigners, we know what respect is.

It’s unfair, I think it’s happening on the government side, they’re crowding people into closed centres, why? Because for them it’s a business, it’s a business for them to lock people up like that. We are not terrorists, we are not delinquents. We are just simple people looking for a life, a job, a future. The Belgian state does not care, even if you shout, even if people march in the streets, they will not listen because for them, it suits them, because it is a business. The centre is made to earn money and the state is ready to do anything to make money.

We are treated like animals and I really hate it because they want us to come out with hate, really they want us come out with hate. When I was in Morocco, when I heard about Belgium I thought it was a country with human rights, but there are no human rights here! Nothing, nothing at all. Just hatred against us, it’s fascists working with us, agents, real fascists.

Please, we are not asking you to release us, but we are just asking that they respect our rights, our laws.

It’s true we are human beings, we are all human beings we are descendants of Adam and Eve. It’s true there are Moroccans, Algerians, Chinese, Afghans but we do not ask you to free us, we just ask you to treat us a bit as we should. There, there is no respect, the agents, in the morning they speak to you aggressively. Afterwards, when you speak with them, they respond in a way that wouldn’’t even dare to do! Sorry because I’m a little upset, I’m not against Belgians, Belgians are good people, because of what they do for us, that I’ll never forget, but I’m talking about the state.

For me, the Belgian state is a mafia state, that’s what I mean, I say it clearly and clearly, the state is a mafia state. They treat people like animals. I would love to have a face-to-face interview, but they won’t allow it.

Publié dans Audio testimonies, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Death at the border on 22/03/2018

On 21st of March, a 22 year old man died at the port of Zeebrugge as he tried to reach the UK. He was stuck between 2 containers and died instantly. This is the fifth known death since July 2017 of people trying to cross the Channel from Belgium.

THE BORDERS KILL

Tribute to

-Omar died under a bus in Brussels on 23/07/2017 Sudanese 18 years
-Dejen died in Aalter fell from a truck on 04/11/20117, nationality unknown, 16 years old
-M found in the canal in Brussels on 17/11/2017 Sudanese
-Mohammed died in Jabbeke prosecuted by police on 29/01/2018 Ethiopian 39 years
-M died in Zeebrugge on 22/03/2018, Algerian nationality 22 years old

Map of the dead at the border of Europe
https://neocarto.hypotheses.org/1370

Publié dans Migration policy, News from elsewhere | Laisser un commentaire

Trial of 15 activists in GB: Stop deportation flight

Last year, 15 people grounded a deportation charter flight for ten
hours to prevent it taking off. On MONDAY 19TH March 2018, they are
standing trial, charged with a terrorism-related offence that could
result in life imprisonment !
Secret deportation flights take thousands of people from our
communities every year. Parents, friends and neighbours are targeted
on the basis of their perceived nationality and snatched to fill a
flight that the Home Office has chartered. Many critics have argued
that like Trump’s ‘muslim ban,’ these deportations are unjust
and racist. Violence and abuse from security contractors have been
documented on these flights. Most people would be horrified if they
were aware of the nature of this process.
The Stansted action was the first time a deportation flight has been
grounded in the UK by people taking action against the immigration
system. People who would have been forced onto the flight were able to
stay in the UK because of the action, as it gave them time to have
their applications heard. People across the UK are standing together
to stop the Home Office breaking up families and tearing communities
apart.

Proposition of lettre to send to Ambassador in Brussels

Subject : Trial of 15 activists

To the attention of Alison Rose, Ambassador

Dear Honorable Ambassador,

In March 2017, at Stansted airport, 15 people grounded a deportation charter flight for ten hours to prevent it taking off.
Next Monday, 19th March 2018, they are standing trial, charged with a terrorism-related offence that could result in life imprisonment.

I hereby would like to remind the fact that these people acted legitimately by humanity and compassion and shouldn’t be charged for this, especially with such a disproportionate and mismatching charge.
I’m therefore asking you to take action and question the United Kingdom’s competent authorities in order to express your support of the defendants, and demand the charges to be dropped.
I also demand to put an end to deportation charter flights.

Thanking for your attention to my request I nourish the hope you will give it an appropriate reaction as soon as possible.
Best regards
Ambassade du Royaume-Uni à Bruxelles, Belgique
Avenue d’Auderghem 10
1040 Brussels
Belgique public.brussels@fco.gov.uk

Link https://enddeportations.wordpress.com/michael-mansfield-qc-to-represent-stansted-defendants-press-release/

https://enddeportations.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/campaigners-halt-deportation-flight-by-blocking-stansted-runway-and-locking-themselves-to-plane/

Publié dans Collective deportations, News from elsewhere, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Raids, releases,deportations : news 14/03/2018

For a few weeks, raids on parkings and in stations all around Belgium are ongoing again. Several hosts contact us to warn us of the arrest, often violent, and/of the retention in closed centres of one of their guests. Very few of them will be released after several months of retention, most of them will be deported to the Dublin countries. A few Sudanese still riskk deportation to their country of origin and had to go through an intense questioning by the Office to determine the danger forthemto go back to Sudan.

Releases

A few were released these days, mainly because of a procedural defect, the Foreigners Office wrongly formulating the Order to leave the territory. The Office preferred to release them than to lose face during an appeal (see the positive outcomes gained by the lawyers at the CCE http://www.rvv-cce.be/fr/actua/champ-dapplication-directive-retour-et-reglement-dublin-iii )

One example: « It is a procedural defect. When he came back to the centre after his second arrest he had to sign an OLT mentioning he would be sent back to his Dublin country, but the latter never got confirmed hence he was non-deportable. The Foreigners Office might have understood its mistake and absolutely wanted to avoid the success of an appeal on the issue».

Dublin :

The retention conditions are so bad that most of the Dublin people end by accepting their deportation to the Dublin country without knowing what their fate will be overthere. They could end up being deported to the country they fled. It is for that particular reason that many come back after their deportation to Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway – to keep on trying to reach the United Kingdom.

For 1, 2 3 years, they crossed many countries, thousands of kilometers and it is not the closed centres nor the intimidation or repression, nor the European migration laws that will stop them.
The Dublin rule is just about passing the buck to another country but it nevers fixes the situation of the exiled. Debates are ongoing with extremely contradictory proposals: reinforce the Dublin system or adjustement of the rule proposed by several MEPs.

Arrests on the streets, in the public transports, at home, in airports:

A lot of arrests of Moroccans, Pakisatni, Subsaharians on the streets, the public transports, at home, in airports are going on. According to our contacts, Algerian people seem to be the nationality currently privileged by the Foreingers Office… Please warn your Algerian friends!

Several Algerian detainees testify :

-“It is international here” says one of them.

-A man in Belgium for more than 10 years risks a deportation to his country of origin :
« I don’t know my country anymore, (…) because of your “integration” I barely speak Arabic! »

-In Belgium since 2011, arrested on the street in Brussels 15 days ago: “It is not fair Madam, we are full of hate but we bear with it!” Until the day when??!!

Actions

IN all the European countries, undocumemnted associations, exiled people and citizens rally and fight against these migration policies, demanding the abolition of the Dublin rule, claiming for the freedom of movement and establishment. The European migration policies must be fought against throughout Europe via demonstrations, actions, debates, etc. All means are good to ask for this freedom of movement that has been claimed for almost one century, and for universal human rights.

A few examples of movements in Europe :

France: https://www.facebook.com/CISPM-Coalition-Internationale-des-Sans-Papiers-et-Migrants-339882146184374/
https://collectifsanticra.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/ecoutez-les-cris-des-muets/
Great Britain: https://detainedvoices.com/
https://enddeportations.wordpress.com/
Germany:https://www.proasyl.de/
https://refugeestruggle.org/en
http://www.thevoiceforum.org/
Italie: https://hurriya.noblogs.org/
Netherlands: http://wijzijnhier.org/who-we-are/
Grèce/Lesbos: http://musaferat.espivblogs.net/en/2018/03/13/statement_of_5/

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

DemonStration at the 127 bis closed centre : « It’s wonderful ! We are not lonely! »

28/02/2018:  At the time of big demonstrations by the citizens’ platform in favour of a ‘more human policy’, we received less calls from hosts announcing retentions of exiled people in transit.

However, they continue to arrest people: Albanians, Erythreans, Turks, Romanians, Congolese, Moroccans, Algerians and even an old Greek man (!) are the main nationalities present in one wing of a closed centre. These retention places, worse than prisons, retain people who were arrested at home, on the street, in public transports or even in parking places.

A spontaneous demonstration took place this Monday 26 February in front of the 127 bis closed centre. The demonstrators called for the destruction of closed centres and for the immediate stop of deportations. Many retainees called us to say ‘It is wonderful, we are not lonely!’, ‘It cheers us up’, ‘Help us!’.

Text messages we got:
« Hello, thank you for everything, from Mounir and Jiyed » sent by Mounir et Jiyed arrested during the raid on Friday 9th February in the ASBL Globe Aroma http://regularisation.canalblog.com/archives/2018/02/13/36138623.html

« Please you people can help me ? I have been in Belgium for nine years. I was walking on the road when they
arrested me. I have been here since 4 months. They plan to deport us with soldiers’ airlines tomorrow. Please help us ! »

First, the other retainees could speak with the demonstrators, but then people from the security, quite nervous, prevented them from doing so, threatening them with sanctions.

Even though our Secretary for Asylum and Migration excels in exclusion policies, the latter also are European. Europe and its Nation States took the decision a few dozen years ago to wage war against migrants for ‘economic and security’ reasons, and they use all the means possible to that end. No matter the deaths in the Mediterranean sea and at the borders, no matter the agreements made with dictators, no matter the fate of deported people, no matter the Geneva Convention, the universal human rights, no matter this cooperation that has become a form of currency to send men back to death, retention, camps or a life of misery.

This is globalisation; the freedom of movement for capital and the exclusion/deportation of exiled people who flee disasters provoked by our wars and with our weapons or famine and precariousness caused by the same globalisation.

 

NO ONE IS ILLEGAL !

Publié dans News from the centres, Récits de luttes | Laisser un commentaire

New visit by a Sudanese delegation in the closed centres ?

New visit by a Sudanese delegation in the closed centres!

Urgent 26/02/2018 :

Call by a Sudanese man retained in Merksplas closed centre to a host.
“The social assistant warned me that ‘a meeting will take place on 27 February 2018 at 12 a.m. that will gather all the Sudanese people with the Foreigners Office in order to discuss about their situation.”
The retainee we are in contact with has doubts about this information and fears that a new Sudanese delegation will be present so as to ‘identify’ them!
Two other retainees have been convened at 10 a.m. “for a meeting with the Foreigners Office in order to know whether they would be in danger if they returned to Sudan.”

Other visits to Sudanese may be foreseen in the other closed centres.

Call to the hosts – get in touch with your guests being retained in ALL the closed centres and warn their lawyers

If you have more information on this ‘invitation’, please warn us by sending an email to gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net or ring 0484 026 787

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

120 women on hunger strike in Yarls Wood detention centre. 23/02/2018

We stand in solidarity with the 120 women on hunger strike in Yarls Wood detention centre.

Ici leur revendications:

1. Shorter bail request periods
Legally it should 3-5 days, however it can take anywhere up to 21 days, or even a month before you get a bail hearing date

2. Amnesty for those who have lived in the UK 10 years and above

3. End indefinite detention
Detention periods shouldn’t be longer than 28 days

4. End Charter flights
Charter flights are inhumane because there are no prior notifications, or only an oral notification with no warning. They give no time to make arrangements with family.

5. No more re-detention
Redention should not be allowed – if you have been detained once, you should not be re-detained if you are complying with the laws they have applied. This is a contradiction, you are being punished for complying with the law; it ruins the whole purpose of expecting compliance

6. End systematic torture
Systematic torture takes place in detention – at any point an officer could turn up and take your room mate; you’re constantly on edge, not knowing what will happen next. Those who are suicidal now have their privacy taken away because they are being watched – you don’t know if an officer is coming to check on you or coming to take you away. Our rooms are searched at random and without warning; they just search first and explain later

7. Stop separating families
Separating families is inhumane – people in here are married or have British partners and have children outside, and they are denied their right to private life and right to privacy; their Article 8 rights

8. No detention of people who came to the UK as children
Young adults who came to the country as minors should not be detained, deported or punished for their parents’ immigration histories

9. The beds need to be changed
Some of us have been here for a year on the same bed; they’re the most uncomfortable beds

10. LGBT+ persons’ sexuality be believed
It should be understood that explaining your sexuality is difficult

11. Fit emergency alarms in every room in the detention centre
Only some rooms have them, and there have been a lot of cases of people being very ill in places where they can’t call for help

12. Give us access to proper healthcare

13. Give us proper food to look after our diets

14. Release people with outstanding applications

15. We want to speak to Alistair Burt MP for the constituency

https://detainedvoices.com/

The Hunger Strikers’ Demands

Publié dans News from elsewhere, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

“Spend my life in prison in Algeria or die in Belgium?”Deportation cancelled

Update 22/02/2018
When he got to the airport, A was notified that his third asylum request would be dealt with by CGRA and that his deportation was cancelled.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Spend my life in prison in Algeria or die in Belgium?

Mr A has been retained in the closed centre for 4 months and he will be confronted to his second deportation attempt with escort on Wednesday the 21st of February on the Air Algérie flight 2036 at 2 p.m..
He recently heard that he had been sentenced to death in absentia in Algeria several years ago already, following a fight. He recently got the evidence of that sentence through DHL.
He introduced two asylum requests that were refused. He wants to introduce a third one but he will nevertheless most probably have to go through a second deportation attempt.

Mr A is asking for help to prevent this deportation: he would rather die here in Belgium than spend the rest of his life in an Algerian prison.

He also asks us to warn the pilot and the airport police, as well as the Foreigners Office, of his situation.

Let’s meet at the airport this Wednesday 21 February at 12 a.m. to explain Mr A’s situation to the passengers.

Flight Air Algérie 2063 2 p.m.

Hharrass the people in charge of these deportations:
Et mail, faxe à Air Algerie
BRUXELLES Adresse : 101/103 BD ADOLPHE MAX –1000 BRUXELLES +33 1 76 54 40 00, +213 21 98 63 63
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AirAlgerieOfficiel/

Directeur van de dienst Vreemdelingenzaken
F.Roosemont
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Eerste minister
Charles Michel
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be
Jan Jambon
Vice Premier  en Minister van Binnenlandse zaken
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be
Staatsssecretaris van Asiel en Migratie
Theo Francken
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be
Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be
232345 /027232362

 

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Arrests and deportations – Update

Update 10/02/2012 : Arrests are ongoing and lately the favorite targets of the Foreigners Office are minors and women. According to several testimonies by hosts who look for their guests in the centres, the information is not given anymore by the people working at the reception of these centres. One of the answers frequently given is “weet het nit mevrouw “(I don’t know madam”) and they hang up.

–——————————————————————————————————–

Arrests :

The police is everywhere in search for migrants in all the parkings and train stations of the country. Even if wishtleblowers associated to the platform sabotage the raids, we are the witnesses, through the hosts and the people retained in closed centres, of multiple arrests, mainly of Erythreans, Sudanese and Ethiopians. These arrests sometimes happen with heavy violence by the police forces.

The majority of the people arrested are freed with another Order to Leave the Territory, probably because of a lack of places in the centres. One part is driven to closed centres. The last days we heard that the most frequent detentions are of young people and women, which demonstrates a very well known sadism: retain the most vulnerable!

Closed centre

After a lot of searching, the hosts finally find their guests back with the help of other hosts, and sometimes thanks to a picture! The hosts who have the time and energy bring them a mobile phone, deal with the lawyer, go and pay them a visit.
Those who don’t have hosts are very isolated. The most resourceful manage, with the help of a co-retainee, to alert us. Others remain without contact, without phone, without lawyers etc and it is by chance that they are discovered, sometimes after several months of retention. It is more than likely that some are deported without anyone being informed!

Lawyers :

At present, lawyers are not court-appointed anymore for people coming from Sudan. The social assistant often tells them: ‘You don’t need a lawyer since you will be sent back to your Dublin country’ or ‘If you request asylum, you will be deported to your country, you’d better not request asylum’, ‘a lawyer is not of any help’. Here we notice again the misappropriation of the role of social assistants by the Foreigners Office.

Deportations

Most of the Sudanese and others in closed centres are systematically being deported to their ‘Dublin’ country (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany). According to gathered information, it seems that they often agree by signinf an document in a language they do not understand. We also got testimonies that, if they do not sign, it is the social assistant who signs on their behalf. For those who do not have a lawyer or a contact with the outside, which is often the case, while ‘official’ assertions say the opposite, it is extremely worrying. If they are sent back to their Dublin country, it is not guaranteed that this country will not send them back to Italy or Sudan, and they will find no one to advise them.

 

Sudanese are really the scoop of the year, but for others, migrants in transit, all those undocumented people who have been living for years in Belgium, the asylum seekers, the same illegal procedures are being used daily without any external supervision, once they find themselves in closed centres.

According to the government, a commission to assess repatriations would be implemented, a sort of compromise found between the different parties in order to legalise the illegal actions of the Foreigners Office! They are being trusted! The commissions only report what they are supposed to report.
http://plus.lesoir.be/139341/article/2018-02-10/politique-migratoire-le-retour-du-bon-sens

Small example of the procedures used: testimony by a Congolese man who had resisted a violent deportation and who finally got his asylum right! http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/arrestation-et-tentative-dexpulsion-audio/

ONE SOLUTION
Freedom of movement and establishment for all
Visas for all

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Testimonies after the evacuation of the 127bis closed centre

On Friday 26th January at 10 p.m. : the alert is given in the 127bis because of smoke due, according to the media, to a short-circuit in an electric cabin :https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detail_evacuation-du-centre-127-bis-a-la-suite-d-un-court-circuit?id=9823196
http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20180127_03324488

All the retainees were displaced in the courtyard. The police and firemen hastened up.

The retainees stayed in the courtyard until 3 a.m. After that, several police buses and vans arrived. All the retainees were handcuffed and placed into the buses and vans. Our witness arrived in one of these buses, escorted by police cars to the closed centre of Merksplas at 5.30 a.m. still handcuffed. He got his belongings back at 11 a.m! Our witness is very traumatised seen the lack of space (100 spaces less on that day), he might be released, anyway, no new retentions in closed centres these days, he says!

Another testimony: a man rings us, HAPPY! I had rarely heard so much joy! He heard that the 127bis had to be evacuated. He had spent 5 months there before being transferred a few days before the events. He is giggling and telling us: ‘100 spaces less, 100 prisoners less!”

Lastly, testimony by S, on the women side at the 127bis:
27/01 11 am : They were taken out from 10 p.m till 3 or 4 a.m. We got blankets around midnight. There were several benches but not enough spaces to sit for everybody, hence some had to remain standing. They were extremely cold. Some had not come out with the adequate clothes in order to stay several hours in a row outside in the night. The old woman (73 years old) was very cold; S. was transferred to the Caricole. They waited in the dining room from 4 till 6 a.m (they were still cold). Then they got a room. They did not have their belongings so they could not take a shower yet. Their phone was taken from them when they arrived to the Caricole and they only got them back now.

30/01: They got their belongings back after 2 days. There is no heating in their rooms. They can not open their windows, they open the doors on to the corridors in order to refresh the air. It is cold and the air is not breathable. Therefore, they had to suffer one night outside (10 p.m – 4 a.m) not properly dressed, plus 4 to 6 hours in a room with no heating, in addition to their daily routine without heating. Since her night outside, the old woman is not feeling well. It is still cold. Contrarily to the 127bis centre, there are no plugs at Caricole, hence they are not allowed to recharge their phones themselves, they have to give it to them and get them back later (they can not keep their chargers with them – ‘each centre have their own rules’). Do they look search their content? More than likely since there are no codes…

Publié dans News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

No contract to retain children

 

Bars on a logo : this is what a group of citizens depicts in a video in order to denounce the building of family units in the 127bis. Objective?

 

Denounce the involvement of the construction company Lareco Bornem NV in the works. Besides, the citizens denounce ‘those who collaborate actively to the implementation of the government’s inhuman programme’.

The construction of the family units in the 127bis closed centre is almost achieved and it shows the will of the federal government to retain children again in order to deport them. According to the latest information, these units could be operational as of March 2018.

The construction company Lareco Bornem NV knowingly collaborates to the enforcement of this inhuman and disgraceful decision. It is indeed terrifying to see on the Facebook page of Lareco Bornem NV a picture of the works from an article of the Standaard (14/09/2017) with, as a legend : « The works at the asylum centre for families with minor children have started. A hundred organisations against the retention centre for families with children.”

The face covered with a white mask to denounce the “invisibilisation” of the persons retained in the centres, the group calls for the works to be stopped. “A few people know about the centres and the living conditions of the people retained there. From retention to deportation, the violence of the migratory policies reaches its climax with closed centres”, explains a citizen.

In a mail sent on 24t January, a dozen French- and Dutch-speaking organisations wanted to address the company to clarify the stakes of such a construction and they sent them the following requests: stop the collaboration in this project that violates the fundamental rights of foreign families who are illegitimately deprived of their liberty, and to express themselves publicly on the retention of children in Belgium. The mail remained unanswered.

Call for action !

Please send loads of emails to Lareco Bornem NV , publish messages and comments on their Facebook page and call them to tell them your indignation, several times a week if possible!
info@lareco-bornem.be
https://www.facebook.com/LarecoBornemNv/
+32(0)3 890 68 80

Here under is a template email in Dutch (preferable) and French, that you may modify according to your inspiration.

Mail-type

Bonjour,

J’ai appris que votre entreprise Lareco Bornem NV était en charge de la construction des unités familiales du centre fermé du 127 bis. Comme vous le savez parfaitement, ce bâtiment vise à enfermer des enfants uniquement en raison de leur statut de séjour.

De plus, vous partagez un article de De Standaard du 14 septembre 2017 qui mentionne l’opposition de « 100 organisations au centre de détention pour familles avec enfants ». C’est donc en connaissance de cause que vous collaborez à cette décision politique bafouant les droits fondamentaux des familles étrangères privées illégitimement de liberté.

Entre autres, la Cour Européenne des droits de l’Homme, le Commissaire aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil de l’Europe et le médiateur fédéral se sont clairement prononcés contre de telles mesures. Tout comme nous nous opposons à la politique dramatique du gouvernement Michel, sachez que nous nous opposons également à toute entreprise collaborant à un tel projet.

Nous vous demandons d’arrêter immédiatement les travaux.

Ik heb vernomen dat uw bedrijf Lareco Bornem NV instaat voor de constructie van de familiale afdeling van het gesloten centrum 127bis. Dit gebouw heeft, zoals u het perfect weet, tot doel kinderen op te sluiten, enkel op basis van hun verblijfsstatuut.

Daarbovenop, hebt u een artikel van De Standaard van 14 september 2017 gedeeld, dat ‘100 organisaties’ vernoemt, die zich tegen ‘het opsluitingscentrum voor families met kinderen verzetten’. Het is dus in eer en geweten dat u met deze politieke beslissing instemt.

Het Europees Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens, de Commissaris voor de Rechten van de Mens van de Raad van Europa en de Federale Ombudsman hebben zich duidelijk tegen dergelijke maatregelen uitgesproken.

Wij vragen u paal en perk te stellen aan deze werken.

* CRER • Getting the Voice Out • Coordination des sans-papiers de Belgique – Coördinatie van mensen zonder papieren • Ligue des droits de l’Homme • Ciré • Brussels Platform Armoede • Association pour le droit des étrangers • Le Monde des Possibles • Comité des Élèves Francophone • Défense des enfants international Belgique • Plateforme citoyenne de soutien aux réfugiés • MRAX • CRACPE • Voix des Sans-papiers de Bruxelles et de Liège • Beweging voor Kinderen en Jongeren zonder papieren

Publié dans Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

« Freedom of movement and establishment for ALL» ?????????

24/01/2018 : Lots of raids have taken place in parkings and train stations in the whole country over the last weeks. Some migrants are released with an order to leave the territory, others (among whom a lot of minors) are taken to closed centres. They are selected by nationality. The Office’s current top 1 being Sudanese, Ethiopians and Erithreans.

For the Sudanese, faithful to his past beliefs and convinced that it is them and only them who pollute the North Station and the Maximilian Parc in Brussels night and day, Francken declared that he would continue to arrest them to send them back “to a country that will deport them to Sudan”.

If Ethiopians are currently targeted by the Office, it may probably be linked to an ongoing readmission agreement between the EU and Ethiopia. The negotiations started several years ago, according to the well-functioning logic of “more development aid in exchange of more collaboration in repatriations and migratory controls’. In December 2017, the agreement project was disclosed (see the French article https://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/leaked-european-union-document-outlines-procedure-to-expel-ethiopians/)

Once more, it is not about a real readmission agreement that should be ratified by the European Parliament but about something else (in this case we speak of “admission procedures”) – very practical to avoid any debate…

This agreement notably foresees missions of civil servants of Ethiopian secret services in the EU Member States in charge of identifying the people to be repatriated. Does it ring a bell?

Interviewed by the EUObserver, the Ethiopian ambassador to the EU recently confirmed this information https://euobserver.com/migration/140614

We still ignore when the document will be signed but there is no doubt that the EU wants to conclude the agreement – with the consequences one can imagine for the Ethiopians currently retained in closed centres and for those who will arrested in the near future…

Thank you to the hosts: you were more than 10 this Sunday to share a car to go and visit your guests in the Merskplas closed centre. Please continue to support them in the closed centres, continue to follow them until the end of the road.

Through your actions, you are taking part in a struggle against the restrictive, freedom-destroying, morbid and inhuman European and Belgian asylum and migration policies.

Let’s support the fights and occupations of undocumented people in the whole country.
It is thanks to the individual and global fights that we will impose this beautiful principle of “freedom of movement and establishment for ALL”.

NO BORDERS, STOP DEPORTATIONS !!!!!!

 

 

Éthiopie
http://statewatch.org/news/2016/mar/eu-com-eeas-readmission-ethiopia-7205-16.pdf
https://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/leaked-european-union-document-outlines-procedure-to-expel-ethiopians/
https://www.taz.de/!5477240/
https://euobserver.com/migration/140614

Publié dans Migration policy, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

ALERT – SAHA will experiment a new deportation attempt to Bangladesh this WEDNESDAY!

23/01/2018: Two weeks ago, we denounced the violence Saha, a young Bangladeshi who has been living in Belgium for 10 years, had to go through during a deportation attempt that was interrupted by the pilot of the plane: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/mangled-by-the-escort-during-their-deportation-attempt-on-him-s-is-asking-who-are-the-criminals/

He just heard that his next deportation attempt will take place this Wednesday 24th January on a Turkish Airlines flight (the same airline that collaborates to returns to Sudan…).

Saha is desperate and he is asking for help. He will introduce a new asylym request but he already knows that this step will not cancel the deportation attempt and that the latter will be even more violent that the previous one.

WHAT TO DO:

1) For those who can, go to Zaventem airport at 4 p.m to speak to the passengers of the Turkish airlines flight 1940 to Istanbul (departing at 6.15 p.m).

2) or directly call or write the airline :

Turkish Airlines
+32 2 620 08 49
+32 2 720 34 68
+32 2 753 26 75
bru.airport@thy.com
bru.sales@thy.com
Page Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/turkishairlines/?brand_redir=405541409459785
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TurkishAirlines

 

3) harrass the people in charge of these deportations:
Directeur van de dienst Vreemdelingenzaken
F.Roosemont
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Eerste minister
Charles Michel
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be
Jan Jambon
Vice Premier  en Minister van Binnenlandse zaken
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be
Staatsssecretaris van Asiel en Migratie
Theo Francken
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be
Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be
232345 /027232362

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Fallen into oblivion in our ‘law-abiding’ state – Appeal to all!

14/01/2018: It seems that the federal police have launched a migrants’ hunting in the whole country, determined to ‘clean’ all the country: arrests in the stations, parkings and trains the last days. Many hosts are calling us to report missing persons. Some are found back, others ring us from Great Britain, but many disappear and are most likely being retained in our prisons called ‘closed centres for illegals’. It is extremely difficult to find them back because often the hosts do not have their full names. Therefore, the detainees are deprived of any contact with the outside and often have no contact with a lawyer. This is a strategy by the Foreigners office to prevent them from defending themselves, to keep them in their ‘dungeons’ so as – at least so they hope- to deport them in total secrecy…

Appeal to all the people who have contacts within closed centres : ask the detainees to look carefully around them and to report newcomers, giving us, if possible:

 

• the name under which they are known by the Office
• their nationality (as registered by the Office)
• the name of the closed centre where they are being retained : 127bis, Caricole, Vottem, Bruges, Merksplas
• their identification number (OE/IBZ/SP)
• their date of birth
• the date when they were arrested
• the place where they were arrested

Send this information to stopdeportationsinfo@riseup.net

Always the same see http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/the-hunt-for-migrants-in-transit-goes-on/

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Mangled by the escort during their deportation attempt on him, S. is asking: “who are the criminals?”

10/01/2017: S. has been living in Belgium for ten years. He tried to get regularised since his arrival, in vain, although he worked and respected the laws. He never stole anything, not even to eat. Some of you may have met him. While he was retained at the 127 bis centre, in autumn 2017, he got in contact with militants after a support gathering in front of the centre. A few days after he got released, he wanted to take part to a gathering on closed centres to bring his testimony – on his story but also on the persons’ he had met while being retained – isolated young people, fathers, separated couples, etc.

He then took part in a demonstration against the deportations to Sudan and hosted a former Sudanese co-retainee who had just been relased after three months’ retention. “He spent one night at my place and left to France”.

End October, the police went to his place to arrest him. Back to the closed centre, in Merksplas this time.

This Tuesday 9th January, S. was the object of a very violent deportation attempt to which he resisted in the end. The flight passengers reacted and the captain demanded that S. be disembarked. The police officers started to beat him in the centre. “I knew one of them, the one who was beating the hardest. I asked him not to beat me in the feet because I already have one broken foot, but he did it anyway, while the others were watching… Who are the criminals?”

His co-retainees assert his sayings. S. also got one hand, one eye and the head injured.

“He doesn’t know anyone in Bangladesh, he has been in Belgium for years.”
“Our hands are tied. There is nothing we can do”.
“Please do something for him.”
“We need a doctor”.

If you know a doctor who could rapidly go to Merksplas to pay him a visit, contact us in PM or send an email to crer.info@gmail.com

Thank you

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

The Office des étrangers in counterattack !

The fast intervention team of the Office des étrangers at work

On the 25th of December 2017 around noon : a host brings back two migrants to Brussels. The federal police holds an alcohol control on the highway E40 at Reyers. Because of the presence of the two migrants in the car, the police asks the driver to wait there. One or two hours later, two men out of uniform arrive. The car gets completely searched. The two migrants are taken away and the host is threaten of human trafficking.
“human trafficking”: this information is wrong: Aider une personne sans-papiers n’est pas un crime, mais un devoir citoyen http://www.liguedh.be/les-documents-des-commissions-thematiques/2899-destination-solidarite-
What are our rights in front of the police? http://www.quelsdroitsfacealapolice.be/spip.php?article62&lang=fr

A cat-and-mouse game
Due to similar controls on the roads and the reporting of controls on the trams and trains, the hosts are playing the cat-and-mouse game with the police. They try to avoid the controls so that their protégés don’t get arrested, or they advise their protégés not to take the road.
The migrants have no interest at all in staying and all they want is to continue their road. The ones that are hold in detention centers are aware of the rumors. They refuse the lawyer that is offered, they refuse to seek their asylum. They only have one request: to get out of these prisons and to be free of movement.
The lawyers, the NGO’s, the hosts are trying their best to explain the rights to the migrants, but the message is rarely heard. A migrant, who has known only repression and traps since his departure, does not believe in his “rights” anymore, does not trust our “state of law”. The only thing he claims is his freedom of movement.

News 27/12/2017 from closed centre 127Bis
At least 10 new people have been placed in a wing of the center. In the second wing there are also many newcomers, but the number is unprecedented.
Sudan, Erithreë, Syria, Ethiopia, …
The center is FULL

News from the closed center in Vottem
Some twenty Sudanese, who have been locked up for months, have “disappeared”.
https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/liege/detail_de-vottem-a-steenokkerzeel-cherche-soudanais-desesperement?id=9798757 (French)

When will there be a moratorium on the suspension of arrests?
When will a movement resume the demands of those involved: freedom of movement and establishment for everyone.
FREEDOM!

Video of a manifestation for closed centre in Steenokkerzeel during the mass arrest of Iraqis.

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Call from a detention centre: “Torture in Sudan you say? What about here?”

22/12/2017
“Does the Schengen Area still exist?”

The persons detained in the Merkplas detention centre are very angry. A man was recently brought to the detention centre even if he had a valid residence permit in France.

It is definitely not the first time that a person is kept in detention for months even though he/she has a valid residence permit in the Schengen area, whether in France, the Netherlands or Spain, which was the case for a Sudanese person who had a valid residence permit in Germany … This happens all the time, people have to stay in detention for months before being sent back to their Schengen country. For very obscure reasons, they get arrested during razzia’s in trains, trams or in public areas and are then brought to detention centres.

While being held in detention for months, they lose there jobs, there houses. Those situations quickly turn into a disaster for them. What the detainees put a stress on through this testimony is the unmanageable administrative logic with which detention centres are rules, a logic which banalizes the practice and idea of an “extra penitentiary” detention :
Deprivation of freedom for mear administrative motives, the green light is given to detentions without any obligation to bring the matter in front of a court and the detention can be maintained for an undetermined period of time.

Another phone call from a man’s relatives : he has been in complete isolation in the the detention centre high security area in Vottem for 4 months already. This month he had been transferred to Merkplas and put in the dungeon. During his transfer he was beaten up. He has a residence permit in France and two of his children live there. The Office of foreigners suspects him of islamic “radicalisation”. His relatives in France tell us that this is not the case: he has two children in France, he used to be a singer and above all that there has never been any type of investigation about this presumed “radicalisation”.
This case reminds us of the incarceration of a man supposedly suspected of “terrorism” who was eventually released after months. http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/testimony-by-an-extremely-dangerous-terrorist/

And the most recent call of today 22/12+17 : “Madam, my husband has been detained in isolation cell for 4 days in a closed centre. Is this legal? isn’t that torture?”

The detainees in detention centres are protesting : “Does the Schengen area still exist? What are the duties of the Foreign Office and what do they do that is beyond their role and duty? What about people’s rights? Are detentions decided according to people’s colour of skin? Is it blatant racism? What are detention centers meant for exactly?”

 

 

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Audio: ‘The human being was not made to be imprisoned, never’ (FR)

Audio: ‘The human being was not made to be imprisoned, never’

Audio from 127bis 15/12/2017

“listen here (Fr)”

Translation:

Currently I am in the 127bis closed centre.

Before that I was living in Verviers. I lived there for four years.

Firstly I would like to say that we, the foreigners as they call us, we do not come here to be a burden for others, for the Europeans. We come here to participate to the life of the community. Most of the people who come here do so because they flee problems in their country: problems of security, of war, of family; hence they are both economic and social problems.

We come here because we can see the media all the time, thanks to the internet, we have access to everything. All the people who are living in Africa, in Asia, in the poor and third-world countries, we can see that life is better in Europe and that’s the reason why we come and seek refuge here.
When we come here to search for freedom and peace and we find ourselves in a closed centre, many thoughts cross our minds. Of course, even the word closed centre annoys me a bit, it is like if we called it closed centre to reassure the people who are outside, to reassure society. In my opinion, they say closed centre to say that they are not like prisons and that people are well treated. In my opinion, here it is worse than in prison because when you are in prison you know for how long you are staying there whereas here we do not even know for how long we are going to stay, it all depends on the good will of the Foreigners Office. Therefore, we can stay 2 months, or 4 months, or even 8 months and live without knowing when we are going to leave, just that is unbearable. So many thoughts cross our minds…

When you find yourself retained, hope becomes despair, reality becomes a nightmare. I always thought that the human being was not created to be imprisoned. The fact of being imprisoned can transform the person. I have always been caring and kind to others; the others are myself, I’ve always been like that.

Just wondering: is it Belgian society that imprisons me, or just one part of it, or just Belgian politicans? All these thoughts cross our minds. It is a bit difficult, honestly, there is a risk that the persons retained here lose their values of humanity. The risk is that love transforms itself into hatred.

When we see demonstrators who sometimes come here, then we understand, but when we don’t see them, we believe that all the society agrees with that.
When we see demonstrators who sometimes come here to shout for our freedom, to support us, it makes us so much good, it brings us back together and we start to think that it is not the whole society that agrees with us being imprisoned, hence there is always something positive, when we see demonstrators we think that luckily enough everything is not bad. Fortunately, even if they are not a lot, there are voices that arise to oppose to this inhumane policy and to support us.

I would like to add many other things but my heart is very heavy. I just want to say Long live Freedom, the innocent human being was not created to be imprisoned.

I say it here and I’ll continue saying it when I leave the centre, I’ll continue to fight for it to remain the truth for ever and ever, long live the human being, long live human values.

Demo 127 bis 01/10/2017
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/solidarityaction-to-the-127bis-closed-centre-in-steenokkerzeel-and-call/

Publié dans Audio testimonies, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

6 Decembre 2017 – “Saint Nicolas” Action at closed centre 127 BIS.

Update 5 december (Nl): De mensen opgesloten in her centrum 127bis waren van plan mee te betogen vanuit het centrum. Maar hun dagelijkse wandeling tussen 15 uur en 17 uur werd door de direktie afgelast. Zij zijn solidair en zullen hun best doen om mee te betogen vanuit hun kamers”

6 DECEMBER – “SAINT NICOLAS” ACTION AT 127 BIS
NO CHILDREN IN CLOSED CENTER
FREEDOM FOR ALL AND ALL!
We share the call of the League of Human Rights, Tout Autre Chose and Humans Welcome denouncing the construction of the new wing for families with children at 127bis.

Meeting Wednesday 6th December at 14.00 at Nossegem station!

“1km walk to the construction site of a new centre. Accompanied by St Nicolas, we will bring toys that we will symbolically fix on the fences. Everyone, come and create a human chain in solidarity with people who have been criminilised and locked up simply because they did not have a residence permit.

Please bring used or non-used toys (teddies, dolls, etc.) to hang on the centre grilles. ”

Belgium has long boasted to other European countries of its “maisons de retour” (“homes for returns”), which were supposed to allow the smooth expulsion of families with children. Meant to be more “human”, this solution was nothing more than variation on the theme of migration injustice, which means that some people, some families, some children, are not welcome in Europe.

The proof is that many families were escaping from these “open centres” to avoid repatriation operations. Hence the need for the Belgian authorities to start locking up children again. Note also that already families with young children are placed in a closed centre the day before their expulsion, precisely to increase the “rate of return” …

The new family wing of 127 bis, announced by Theo Francken in 2014 (see http://regularisation. canalblog.com/archives/2014/ 10/25/30830216.html), is just another wheel in the sorting, segregation and oppression machine put in place by our governments.

Publié dans External contributions, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Collective deportation to Guinea and DRC on 2017/11/28

Collective deportation to Guinea and DRC on 2017/11/28
Several guineas detained in the Vottem and 127bis closed centres have
received a ticket for a collective flight this coming Tuesday
2017/11/28. The flight would leave at 10:30.
The social assistants have explained it will be a military flight to
Guinea and DRC!

It is important to tell all Guineans and Congolese detained in the
centres to contact their lawyers. In some cases appeals are possible!

Please tell your Congolese and Guinean friends. Arrests are still
possible!

ACTION! Call Them right away!!!

Collective flights

Publié dans Collective deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Audio: “There are Sudanese who suffer here” (FR)

There are Sudanese who suffer here

During the demonstration for the regularisation on October 12th, retainees of a closed centre wanted to participate live through their phones. Unfortunately it was not feasible for technical reasons.

Audio here (Fr)

“There are Sudanese who suffer here. I know pepole who spent one day, only one day here in Belgium and who were directly sent to a closed centre. They were obliged to introduce an asylum request. Obliged! How? They brought someone from the embassy to identify them and then they asked them to request asylum. Those Sudanese did not want to request asylum in Belgium. Then they brought flight tickets, hence people go to the airport, one time, two times, three times, and then they get embarked by force. When the Foreigners Office brought the planes to Sudan, they had to request asylum. There is a person who has been here for about 4 months and a half. They forced him to request asylum two months ago and they said “everything you’ve done before the asylum request does not count anymore, that’s the law”. I don’t get it, there is no logic in all this…

There are Sudanese here who introduced a release request, they went to the court of appeal of Brussels and were released. But the Foreigners Office appealed in front of the Indictment court, and there there release was refused. Now they are here, waiting for an appeal in cassation, it takes longer, and they suffer…
Besides, everybody knows that Sudan is a dictatorship, the President is wanted, they are all dictators. They dared to send people, how to call them, they are not deputies, they are not consuls, they are people who came to identify the Sudanese here. In fact, they brought people from the consulate here, in the closed centre, they saw the retainees one after the other to identify them, without warning them of course. The problem is that the Belgian government collaborates with the dictators and the representatives of the dictatorship, it is bad!”

Publié dans Audio testimonies, News from the centres, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Audio: It is a prison here, Madam (FR)

14/11/2017 It is a prison here, Madam.

Before the great manifestation for regularisation of all on November 12 2017 some detained persons had volunteered to participate through telephone. Sadly, it was not possible because of technical difficulties.

Here are their testimonies. Parole de détenus

“We are here in a closed centre, they retain us: two months, we sign, two months again, we sign. They deprive us of our liberty and they tell us “you are not in prison”. But we are in prison! We are imprisoned, we have the right to one hour courtyard in the morning, one hour in the afternoon. If one of us does a small thing, we get disciplinary reports. It is prison, it is all the same!

We have families outside. Personally, I have two kids and a wife who are waiting for me. What I don’t understand is that the Belgian government want to take me away from my children. They want me to go back to my country, and my children are anyway legally registered here, so is my wife. They gave me inadmissibility for 10 years, which means that I’ll alsmot be 58 years old when I can come back, in ten years.

It is not logical, it is not normal, is it Madam?

And the stories are many. One week ago they brought a young Syrian boy, who is 14, a small young boy. We had to talk to the social assistant, we talked to everybody here so that they would intervene. He spent two nights here. Do you find it logical that they bring a minor in a closed centre, with majors, because they had doubts on his age? When you see his face, it is obvious that he is only 14, there is absolutey no doubt about that! When they have doubts, usuaylly they have, they place him with other minors, in a centre for minors, and then they make a test such as the one they were going to do to prove he was minor. But when we put a little bit of pressure on them, we spoke to the boss here, to the social assistant, we rang the organisations, and it worked, two days after.

We are here, retained, deprived of our liberty. There is nothing better than freedom, Madam. But we suffer, I swear, we do suffer a lot. It is already difficult to be separated from your children. We suffer from everything, Madam, everything. Luckily we have faith, because if we didn’t, we would commit suicide. The problem is that we fear the dark world because we ignore what there is after. And we have faith, hence we do not do that, we can not do that. We have people behind us, we have family waiting for us, children, wives.

What they do to us is really serious. And the politics, it is ture… with the politicians, we can not get nowhere. They have the power!

Publié dans Audio testimonies, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

The hunt for migrants in transit goes on

14/11/2017: The hunt for migrants in transit goes on in all the country. Every day we get alerts by hosts who lost their guests, their main worry being that they get arrested, retained and expatriated.

Controls and arrests continue but they are less visible: Sudanese, Erythreans, Ethiopians,…. are controlled and arrested more discretely in train stations in Brussels, Charleroi, Ostende, Bruges, Zeebruges or in trucks on their migratory road.

A few of the migrants who had disappeared then reappear a few days or weeks later. Some were arrested and then released. One current trend is that the authorities prefer to retain the Dublin cases who are much more easily identifiable and deportable.

Others disappear without giving any news, avoiding to be tracked by the authorities.

Others are sometimes found back in closed centres.

In closed centres they are still very badly welcomed: no telephone, no lawyer. We face loads of difficulties to get in touch with them because of the censorship of the centres’ management, because we ignore their exact names or alias, and because of their total mistrust in contacts with the outside. This prevents us from finding a lawyer who might introduce an appeal in extreme urgency, the deadline being of 5 or 10 days according to the case.

We respect this will of migrants to stay fully anonymous, but in some cases a fast appeal against their arrest may enable their release and the possibility to resume their migratory journey. We continue to wish them a SAFE TRIP.

If you host or are in contact with people who could find themselves in this situation, we invite to:

– speak to them about the possibilities of arrest and their consequences.
– explain the possible legal steps to follow during a retention: very rapidly introduce an appeal in extreme urgency or an asylum request
– arrange with them a way to contact someone to warn them of their arrest. They can call from the closed centre with the phone of a co-retainee (solidarity works very well among retainees) to a number remembered by heart.
– tell them to immediately warn if there is a deportation risk, either by contacting you, or by directly contacting Getting the Voice Out ( 0032(0)484026781) and the facebook group stop deportations info&actions to enable a mobilisation (see http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/comment-arreter-une-expulsion/)
– Send us any information useful to help find the arrested person, maintain a contact and understand the new tricks used by the Foreigners Office : gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net

MESSAGE we convey to the hosts who are worrying:

« If the person has been arrested, he/she should, within the coming hours, be released or be placed in a closed centre.

If you still do not get any news during the day, ring the Caricole Centre who have the list of all the retainees in the closed centre (you will have to insist!). Or, to be certain of the result, ring all the closed centres. But know that 24 hours at least should pass before one finds him/herself in a closed centre after an arrest.
Phone numbers:http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/quels-sont-les-centres-fermes-en-belgique/

If it is the first time he/she gets an order to leave the territory, we have 10 days to introduce an appel in extreme urgency. If he/she already got an order to leave the territory before, we only have 5 days left! Several lawyers are available but it all depends on the place where he/she got arrested, and in which centre he/she is retained.

Give us news!
Good luck!”

Publié dans Migration policy | Laisser un commentaire

Maximilien Parc : acknowledged refugee arrested and retained in a closed centre: Update

Update 06/10/2017: Mikele is FREE: Thanks to all

—————————————————————————————————————

O5/10/2017 Mikele is a young Erythrean who got arrested in Brussels and retained in the 127bis closed centre on the 22nd of October 2017 although his refugee status had been acknowledged in Italy and  the social assistant of the centre had all the documents required to certify his identity and refugee status, and therefore also his right to circulate freely in Belgium.

When he was arrested, he said he was called Mikele, but the agents wrote ‘Mickey’, not making a single effort to understand his name which was however very visible on all the documents the social assistant of the 127bis had in her possession. This could have had extremely serious consequences for him.

Without the reactivity of her lawyer, the 10 days of retention would have passed and Belgium would have tried to deport a man acknowledged as a refugee in Italy!

Following a release request in extreme urgency, the lawyer received last Friday (3rd November 2017) a decision to release him immediately. Two days later, Mikeke is still being retained at the 127bis!

Action Fax & call to 127 bis

FREE MIKELE !!

Tel of 127 bis : +32 2 7550000

Fax. +32 2 7598168 

Publié dans News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

14 and retained in a closed centre: Update

Update 1 November 2017
After the call from the closed centre of Merksplas, we promised ourselves
that the young boy would not stay another night in that jail. Mission
accomplished! Thanks to your calls, faxes and emails, the guardianship
service went to pick him up to bring him to an adapted open centre.
Thank you!
Let¹s destroy closed centres

——————————————————————————————————————————–

31 October 2017

Several retainees of the Merksplas closed centre warned us of the presence of a 14 years old Syrian boy in the centre! They were told that bone tests would have to be made to confirm his minority, deadline:one week!

“He is a child, madam! He plays games on the play station and has no hair on his chin!”

Write, phone, fax to request the release of Ahmed TODAY! 

Publié dans News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Suicide attempt at the Caricole closed centre

19/10/2017 : I. cut her wrist in her shower at the Caricole closed centre on 18th October 2017.

She was very bad psychologically for the last two days, she had asked assistance from the medical service and an appointment with the director of the centre, in vain. Desperate, she ended up calling us, first saying that she needed to talk to someone. She was crying, saying she wanted to die, asking us to ring her mum and tell her she loved her. We had said goodbye, talk tomorrow, and she had thanked us. The same day she took action. We would have hoped that the “talk tomorrow” and the “thank you” would at least have relieved her for one day.

I. fled a forced marriage in Morocco. Her father, a “hard Muslim” as she said, wanted to marry her to an old man. She had to pass her BAC2 and thought she could do it here in Belgium. She also likes singing very much. She had sung us a song on the phone at the start of her retention.

“I was in prison in my family and now I’m in prison in Belgium.”
“I had chosen Belgium because it is the country of Human Rights.”

I. could not stand this “administrative” imprisonment. She expected a different welcome.

No to retentions, no to closed centres

RELEASE this young girl, release all th retainees!

Ring the Caricole send them protest emails!

TEL: 027197110/09
Rika Goethaels, Directrice: rika.goethaels@ibz.fgov.be
027197111

Anne Crollen, Directrice adjointe: anne.crollen@ibz.fgov.be
Melina Lopez, Psychologue du centre: melina.lopez@ibz.fgov.be
Brenda Melis, Attachée: BMelis@ibz.fgov.be

Publié dans News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

HOW TO PREVENT A DEPORTATION

HOW TO PREVENT A DEPORTATION

If you have contacts with retainees in a closed centre who risk being deported:

Try to know:

– if it is the first time they are being brought to the airport
– what is the flight number on the ticket they got in the centre. It is not enough to know the airline: for e.g, Turkish airlines have 4 flights leaving Brussels every day, what is the stop over (if there is one), and the following flight number to the final destination. We have relay-people in some countries or other militants who may intervene during the stop over.
– if the ticket says ‘with escort’ or if the social assistant told them that there would be an escort.
– Try to get in touch with their lawyer to know whether appeals are under way.

In general, during the first deportation attempt they are being brought to the airport and the police insist in asking (saying that ‘next time the flight will be with escort ,which is not nice at all’) if they want to leave. If they refuse, they are brought back to the centre (not always the same one, to isolate them from their friends and acquaintances). There have been exceptions, although very rare, to this rule when as from the first deportation attempt the escort was present without them being notified in advance.

During the second, or the third deportation attempt, they are being brought to the police station at the airport where several police officers are waiting for them. They are being ‘sliced up’, handcuffed and carried to the back of the plane with the escort, before the arrival of the passengers. Read a recent testimony here: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/arrest-and-deportationattempt/

It is important to know whether they want a mobilisation at the airport in order to warn the passengers of their presence on board. If so, it is also important to explain them that they should make noise in order to alert the passengers of their presence on board (sometimes they are hidden behind a curtain and the passengers can not see them!).

It is also worth knowing that if the second deportation attempt fails, they are sometimes being kept in the airport and secretly boarded on another flight, often with another airline!

 

1) BEFORE THE DEPORTATION : if a deportation, individual or collective, is announced, alert your contacts and the media, briefly introducting the story of the person (or the group of persons) who are on the point of being repatriated, giving the data of the flight and inviting the people to send protest messages to the authorities and the airline, and to go to the airport on the day of the deporattion (the latter will not be possible in case of a collective deportation from a military airport).

Example of an alert : http://snipurl.com/29pyrcx

«Airlines are the weak link of the deporation system, as written by Ian Dunt, a British journalist, in 2014. Up to us to break that link.

2) ON THE DAY OF THE DEPORTATION : go to the airport to warn the passengers who will be boarding on the same flight because very often they totally ignore what a deportation is about. If they are being explained that someone will be embarked against his/her will and that he/she will go through violent treatments, a few passengers may decide to interfere once on board in order to prevent this deportation.

3) IN THE PLANE

The victim of a deportation attempt may try to resist and draw the attention of the other passengers.

–> Video «How to stop a deportation» (octobre 2014):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Umb7MyDhw

The passengers may refuse to sit down as long as the person that has to be deported has not been disembarked. The pilot will not take off if he thinks the security of the flight is not granted. If a passenger refuses to sit down, the plane is not allowed to leave. The pilot will have the person to be deported go down the plane. Sometimes, the ‘rebel’ passenger will also be disembarked. It may also happen that the airline puts the latter on a ‘black list’.

If the deportation takes place, try to get the testimony of the person deported. Denounce the abuse and violences, use this information to feed your campaigns and actions. Generally, it is important that the public opinion is made aware of the issue, very often not known, of the participation of airlines in forced repatriations and to target these airlines through actions and campaigns.

Publié dans Migration policy, Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

ILLEGAL MASSIVE DEPORTATION ATTEMPTS TO SUDAN

ILLEGAL MASSIVE DEPORTATION ATTEMPTS TO SUDAN: Francken persists in his manner

CALL TO RALLY THIS THURSDAY 12 OCTOBER 2017 at 5.30 pm in front of the Office des étrangers: FREE THEM ALL, DEPORT FRANCKEN AND MICHEL!

Hour after hour, news that we get from the closed centres are more and more worrying : although they know that repatriations to Sudan are illegal (as the Court of first instance of Liège stated on October 9, see https://www.liguedh.be/espace-presse/138-communiques-de-presse-2017/2908-le-rapatriement-des-soudanais-est-un-acte-illegal ), the Belgian government multiplies the deportation attempts of people identified as Sudanese.

This Saturday 7th October, we heard from reliable sources that deportations have been planned every day of the week : 2 on the 7th October, 4 the day after, etc. In total, the Sudanese delegation « welcomed » in September delivered 43 laissez-passer to Khartoum ! The fundamental rights of the Sudanese retained in our closed centres are violated : the staff of the centres is telling them that they will not be allowed a phone, a lawyer, which is false, or more ingeniously, they tell them that they will not need it.

One solution against the deportation would be to introduce an asylum request, but most of them do not trust the Belgian authorities and refuse to introduce an asylum request from a closed centre.

The Foreigners Office policy is the following : if a person is not requesting asylum, it means they are ready to go back to their country. Let’s quote the spokesperson of the Foreigners Office : ‘If they request asylum or introduce an appeal, it is their choice and freedom. If they have the least fear for their freedom, they may request asylum in Belgium and their requests will be dealt with. If they do not, we assume that they do not fear for their life. However, since they are in closed centres, that they have been identified and got a let pass, our objective is to repatriate them and not to retain them eternally in closed centres.’ This summary is an interpretation of law that is more than discutable.

The law is very clear, confrontation with the native country is only authorised after an asylum request has been refused ultimately. Even the members of the governement who are in favour of ‘voluntary’ return to the countries of origin severely call into question this way of applying the law.

We are clearly opposed to these return policies, but we underline here that even in the logic of the policy in place, procedures are not being respected.

‘Since Theo Francken realises very well that by doing so he violates the European Convention on Human Rights, art. 3- as already mentioned by the Litigation Council- he does so ‘like a bandit’, said the President of the Human Rights League Alexis Deswaef.

‘They gave me an order to leave the territory, then they put me in jail. What does that mean ? They prevent me from leaving the territory. Never in my life will I stay in Belgiqum. I WANT TO leave this fucking territory and they are preventing me from doing so’ (testimony by a Sudanese detainee).

We are talking of dozens and dozens of people (at least 26 only in the closed centre in Vottem, and 27 in Merksplas!), among whom minors. Lawyers and militants are trying to enter in contact with these detainees but it is not always obvious : after being subjects to raids in the Maximilien Park or at the North Station in Brussels, questioned by Sudanese secret agents, they mistrust everything and everyone.

Some detainees who did not meet the Sudanese delegation are still being brought to the Embassy of Sudan these days to be identified and delivered a laissez-passer. This means that, besides the 43 people identified by the delegation, others will be identified by the Embassy in view of a deportation.

Violating the international obligations and the judgements of Belgian courts, Michel’s government only has one goal : that Belgium looks as a country hostile to migration and discourages the arrival of other refugees on its territory, without considering the future of the repatriated people.

Following the decision of the Court in Liège, Francken has declared that we will appeal against the decision but that in the meantime he will keep deporting the Sudanese detained in the other closed centers that are not affected by this decision.

We clearly know now who are the ‘illegal’, the ‘criminals’ : Michel, Francken and their clan, who abuse their powers to send dozens of refugees to distress and death.

CALL TO RALLY THIS THURSDAY 12 OCTOBER 2017 at 5.30 pm in front of the Office des étrangers – Chaussée d’Anvers 59B (Gare du Nord)
FREE THEM ALL, DEPORT FRANCKEN AND MICHEL!

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW :

– If you have direct or indrect contacts with Sudanese migrants, share this information and insist on the fact that they may refuse the first deportation attempt. At least four of them did so. But how many know that they have this right ? And what is going to happen during the second deportation attempt ‘by force’, and often without police escort ?

– Through a lawyer, they may introduce an appeal against their retention at the Aliens Litigation Council within 10 days after their arrest, and they should be released.

– If lawyers manage to get in touch with them, they are currently appealing for their release, the only solution to finally get them free.

WHAT YOU CAN DO :

– Participate in big numbers in the rally of the 12th of October to denounce the criminal acts of the government

– Write, call, send faxes to the Embassy of Sudan to denounce the fact that they are providing laissez-passer to their citizens

AMBASSADE SOUDAN
Avenue F. D. Roosevelt 124
1050 IXELLES
AMBASSADEUR Mutrif SIDDIG ALI NIMMERY
+32 2 647 51 59
+32 2 647 94 94
fax +32 2 648 34 99
sudanbx@yahoo.com
http://www.sudanmfa.com

– Write to Egyptair, SN Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, who organise these repatrations through Cairo, Istanbul, Doha, to denounce their complicity in these illegal deportations (contact details below)

– Go to the airport to talk to passengers (calls are posted via Getting the voice out and the Facebook page “Stop Deportations Info&Actions”) : people have the right to refuse the first deportation attempt, but the second time they will be put on the plane by force and with a police escort. That’s when we should be at the airport!

– Gather in front of the closed centres to support the detainees and call all the centres to warn them of the presence of Sudanese people and express your indignation at these arrests and deportations (contact details below)

– Send tons of protest messages to the criminal members of this governement (contact details below)

AIRLINES

Egyptair Airlines Brussels National Airport PO Box 115 1930 Zaventem
customeraff@egyptair.com
Phone
Reservation:
+32 (0) 2 219 16 14
Airport:
+32 2 753 2270
Fax
Reservation:
+32 2 219 36 81
Airport:
+32 2 725 42 68
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EGYPTAIR
Twittre @EGYPTAIR
Brussels Airlines
Email :customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines
Leur contacts presse
Vice Président External Communication – Porte-parole
Email: geert.sciot@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 84 00
Mobile: +32 (0)477 77 49 11
Vice Président Corporate Communications – Porte-parole
Email: wencke.lemmes@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 85 11
Mobile: +32 (0)477 61 86 45
Media Relations Manager – Porte-parole + médias sociaux
Email: kim.daenen@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0) 2 723 84 55
Mobile: +32 (0) 479 69 36 48

Turkish Airlines
Avenue du Boulevard 21, 1210 Bruxelles, Belgique
+32 2 620 08 49
0032(0) 27203468
0032(0)5001939
Fax 0032(0)27532670
bru.airport@thy.com
bru.sales@thy.com

Ethiopian airlines
Belgium +32 289 483 03
For Reservations, Sales, arrival/departure, ShebaMiles, and other enquiries
Toll free: 3228948303
General Sales Agent
Address: Kales Airline Services, Park Hill, J.E. Mommaertslaan 18A, 1831 Diegem
E-mail:et.be@kales.com
Phone:0032 2 716 0060
Fax:
+32 2 716 0086

 

Brussels Airlines
Email :customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines
Leur contacts presse
Vice Président External Communication – Porte-parole
Email: geert.sciot@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 84 00
Mobile: +32 (0)477 77 49 11
Vice Président Corporate Communications – Porte-parole
Email: wencke.lemmes@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 85 11
Mobile: +32 (0)477 61 86 45
Media Relations Manager – Porte-parole + médias sociaux
Email: kim.daenen@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0) 2 723 84 55
Mobile: +32 (0) 479 69 36 48

Turkish Airlines
Avenue du Boulevard 21, 1210 Bruxelles, Belgique
+32 2 620 08 49
0032(0) 27203468
0032(0)5001939
Fax 0032(0)27532670
bru.airport@thy.com
bru.sales@thy.com

Ethiopian airlines
Belgium +32 289 483 03
For Reservations, Sales, arrival/departure, ShebaMiles, and other enquiries
Toll free: 3228948303
General Sales Agent
Address: Kales Airline Services, Park Hill, J.E. Mommaertslaan 18A, 1831 Diegem
E-mail:et.be@kales.com
Phone:0032 2 716 0060
Fax:
+32 2 716 0086

THE CLOSED CENTRES

Le caricole :
Chaussée de Tervuren 302, 1820 Steenokkerzeel
TEL: 027197110/09
FAX/ 02/759.81.68

Le Centre pour Illégaux de Vottem (CIV)
Visé Voie 1, 4041 Vottem
tel. +32 4 228 89 00
fax. +32 4 228 89 13

Le Centre pour Illégaux de Merksplas (CIM)
Steenweg op Wortel 1 /A, 2330 Merksplas
tel. +32 14 63 91 10
fax. +32 14 63 91 20

Le Centre pour Illégaux de Bruges (CIB)
Zandstraat 150, B-8200 Bruges
Tél. +32 50451040
Fax. +32 50315956
Le centre de retour 127 bis à Steenokkerzeel
Tervuursesteenweg 300, 1820 Steenokkerzeel
Tel. +32 2 7550000

MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT

F.Roosemont
Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre del’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile etla Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

Publié dans Migration policy, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Children are the first victims of imprisonments and deportations!

03/10/2017 Every day, families are being broken by the Foreigners Office that retains fathers and mothers, separating them form their children, sometimes newborns, and does not hestitate to deport the parent to the “country of origin”, on the pretext of “danger for public order”, refusal of cohabitation or marriage, lack of residence, etc, asserting that the contact with the father/mother can be continued through Skype!

A mother separated from her a few months’ old twins

Cases follow each other, more and more sickening.

This 2nd of October 2017 in the morning, we got a phone call from the women retained at the 127bis closed centre. They told us that a woman had just integrated the centre who said she had been separated from her twins (one month old). We learnt later that they were 5 months old. She had been brought to the centre after having spent 24 hours in the police station in Molenbeek.

The coretainees were outraged. They told us:

“She cries and keeps shouting ‘my babies!!!'” She is incapable of speaking, she can not even say her name!’.

The day after (03/10/2017) a call was launched via Facebook, inviting the citizens to ring the 127bis: dozens of people rang the central. The Delegate general for Children rights, Bernard De Vos, wanted to investigate. He was told : “There is no record of children in the file of that woman at the Foreigners Office.” And other people who rang the 127 bis were told: “Bring us the birth certificate”.

Later in the afternoon, good news arrived: “the mother will be released this evening or tomorrow morning”. And in the evening she got released!

A happy ending for which we would like to thank the retainees who dared denounce the situation, the citizens who put pressure on the centre, and the Delegate General for Children rights who insisted towards the Foreigners Office.

Multiplication of the cases

The case of that woman is not isolated. We are faced confronted with such situations very regularly.

Here are some recent examples:

The child of T., deported on 26/09/2017, is 6 months today. T. arrived in Europe in 2012 because he was fleeing proceedings in a country where dictatorship slowly imposed itself. He had finally started a new life with his girlfriend but, despite a household composition certifying their common living for more than 18 months and his acknowledgement of paternity, he was sent back to a country where his life is in danger.

Mr M arrived in Belgium in 2005. After a small mischief he was sentenced by default and imprisoned during 8 months in 2008. Then he resumed his life, he met his girlfriend whith whom he has had 2 kids (one is more than 2 and the other is a baby of 8 months). He was deported on 11th of June 2017 because he represented a ‘danger for the public order’.

A mother arrived from the United States at Brussels’ airport to visit her family. She got arrested with her 2 children, retained and deported on the 30th of July 2016 because her visa was ‘suspicious’. Her children were under guardianship for two months and repatriated after.

M. was deported this Tuesday 3rd of October to Morocco. He had obtained the paternity of his child after two years of proceedings. The child has been placed by the judge because the mother is absent and his father -acknowledged as his father by the youth court- got deported!

The twins of O. (who got a deportation notice for the 5th of October 2017) will presumably be born at the beginning of November. The request for legal cohabitation with his girlfriend was refused the day the dossier was submitted. The Foreigners Office want to deport him whereas he signed the prenatal acknowledgement of parentage.

The Foreigners Office flouts the best interests of the child

While the construction of the new closed centre for families is ongoing (https://www.cire.be/presse/communiques-de-presse/la-construction-du-nouveau-centre-ferme-pour-familles-avec-enfants-a-commence-communique-de-presse-12-septembre-2017), the Belgian authorities already found other means of imposing the cost of their migratory policies to children: minor refugees retained because suspected of being major on the basis of bones surveys that are highly criticized (https://jucticeetmedecine.wordpress.com/les-tests-osseux-peu-fiables-et-pourtant-massivement-utilises/) and children traumatised by the arrest, retention and deportation of their father or mother.

We strongly condemn those practices as well as the multiplication of cases violating the best interests of the child behind the doors and barbed wires of the closed centres.

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Solidarityaction to the 127bis closed centre in Steenokkerzeel and CALL

05/10/2017: They were several dozens this Sunday afternoon 1st of October 2017 to walk to the closed centre 127 bis in Steenokkerzeel to show their outrage against these retentions and deportations.
They made a hundred people happy. Bangladeshi, Algerians, Rwandese, Iraqis, Brazilians, Cameroonians and 2 Sudanese minors, and loads of women extremely happy to see us coming.

Around 20 calls on our telephone:
« THANK YOU THANK YOU »
« Now we know we are not alone »
« Today we are feeling fine »
« It is very pleasant»
« It moves us deeply »
« We are extremely grateful »
« It comforts us »
« There are people who think about us, it is great »
« We are suffering here»
« It is torture to be retained here»
« Thank you »
« we are not terrorists »
« It is so kind of you »
« Thank you for what you are doing for us»
« They come to take us at 5 a.m to bring us to jail. It is scandalous.»
« When we get back home, we will burn all your embassies »
« It’s wonderful »
« Please warn the human rights people, they have to come and see »
« Where are the human rights ? »
« We are human beings »
« We need your help »
« we need help »
« This is inhuman »

CALL to reiterate the walk in front of all the closed centres: Bruges, Merksplas, Caricole, Vottem.

CALL to the people who can keep a phone contact with one of them or go and visit them. Languages: French, Arabic, English, Dutch, Portuguese, etc.

AND CALL to help us recharge their phones to enable them to have contacts with the outside. Our cash boxes are almost empty !!

 

You may support the retainees by buying a 5 or 10 euros Lycamobile or Ortal recharge at your grocer’s, bookshop or nightshop. Send us the pin code that is written on the recharge card to our email address gettingthevoiceout(a)riseup.net or by SMS to our mobile phone number 0032(0)484026781
It is of the upmost importance to warn the family and friends of their situation and a recharge brings a considerable assistance to the retainees, also enabling them to contact us again.
We send the code to the retainees asking for it, it enables them to keep a contact with us and with the outside.
If easier, you may also send us 5, 10,20 euros or more – a standing order would be even better- on the account :
Collectif Contre Les Expulsions
Banque Triodos BE58 5230 8016 1279 BIC: TRIOBEBB
Message recharge

Please spread the word.
THANK YOU on their behalf.
gettingthevoiceout(a)riseup.net

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

They are really trapping the Sudanese

29/09/2017

Since the mass arrestations in the Maximilien park and in the North Station, we had a lot of difficulties to get in touch with the hundred people arrested and retained in the closed centre.
According to the information we got by other retainees:
In some centres, when they arrive they are being told that they are not allowed to make phone calls or to have a lawyer, and that they are not allowed to have contacts with the outside. Many are under pressure, they distrust everything and everyone, they don’t understand why they are being retained, why they can not continue their journey or request asylum, why they are not entitled to a lawyer. Without a lawyer they are not allowed to make an appeal to their retention and they can hardly introduce an asylum request. It is for that obvious reason that they are denied a lawyer.
Others remain unyielding and refuse all support or defence.

The meetings with the Sudanese delegation also raises questions. For the least that we heard, that delegation would introduce itself as “an association that could help them”: a few fell in the trap and told their lives, others remained silent. We don’t understand very well how this delegation succeded in identifying as many ‘Sudanese’, most of them having refused to talk.

Testimonies we could gather from a few contacts we have in the closed centres.

“You may not have a lawyer yet, first they have to find an interpreter’

“They say one has to request asylum but I do not want to request asylum from the centre, it is much too complicated. Then they told me that they would ask for a let pass, but I know that it is very hard to get a let pass, I think they will not get it. That’s why I don’t request asylum, they will extend my stay every two months.’

“You are here for 5 months, we will ask a passport to the authorities and if they refuse to give you a let pass or a passport then it will be possible to leave’.

“I don’t want to eat anything here. They are crazy here, totally crazy. I don’t even know why they arrested me, for how long they will keep me here, nobody is talking to me, I am not being told anything.’

“I could never have imagined this in Europe, I am shocked.’

“Among all the people from Sudan here, none wants to request asylum, life is better in England, here it is hell, even if you have documents, the police is always after you’.

« Sudanese are not allowed to have a lawyer nor a phone.’

“People from the embassy came, they said we had to return. They are offereing 1000 euros per person to go back to Sudan.’

“They say I don’t have the choice, I have to go back to France. They say that if I request asylum here I will stay imprisoned for 4 months, they say people don’t do nothing because of that.’

19/09 : “Here they know very well that they can not be deported, the Foreigners Office sent an email, a fax or whathever and they have decided that the Sudanese would stay here for 3 months, not 2 months like the others. This is a violation of law. They asked all the Sudanese to go into a room with interpreters and they told them that a few days ago.’

23/09
«  On Monday, he was told that Sudanese people wanted to meet him. Since he thought they were visitors like us, from the associative middle, he talked to them and gave them a lot of information. It is only later in the conversation that he understood he was in front of a representative of the Sudanese embassy. Then he was offered to return with 1,000 dollars; 650 directly and 250 later. He feels extremely vulnerable and is calling for help.’

27/09
At 9 am today a man of the centre asked to come with him because he has an interview he was surprised because he did not ask for asylum. Then they brought him from the Caricole to the 127bis where he met the Sudanese delegation for 20 minutes. They talked to him,  not in a good way, “we know you are Sudanese” so asked to return back and they will solve his problem if he has problems wit the government or financially ! He refused to talk and they brought him back to the Caricole. I talked with him . They told me this delegation has been to Antwerp and Bruges. They said they heard 15 people deported to Sudan. He heard from people in Sudan.
They are angry.

Publié dans Migration policy, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

RESISTANCE……..and profile of the DRC people deported

RESISTANCE……..and profile of the DRC people deported on the collective flight to Nigeria, Ghana and the DRC

Opponents
Several are well known opponents to Kabila’s regime and they have been militants for years. They have been retained in closed centres for months, they have introduced several asylum requests, but the CGRA did not believe them despite their irrefutable proofs. They have been registered by the regime and they might be arrested as soon as they land in Kinshasa.

Criminals
Some have been to jail. According to what their acquaintances told us, they were minors when they arrived in Belgium and their parents had obtained asylum. Their families all have the Belgian nationality and they do not know anything about Congo. One of them has been out of jail for 10 years already. Another one had obtained the Belgian nationality and they withdrew it to him after several convictions. What the hell are they going to do in the DRC?

Fathers
At least two of them became fathers very recently but they got arrested while introducing their cohabitation or marriage request in the framework of Francken’s campaign in search of fake babies/fathers!

Women
As far as we know, at least 5 Congolese women got their ticket, among whom one mother and her two daughters aged 18 and 22 who have been living in Belgium for 5 years.

Surrender opponents to the DRC governement, advertise the deportation of ‘criminals’ and this way increase the statistics of Mr Francken, prevent marriages or child recognition, anything is good to ‘reassure’ Kabila’s people and regime. The iron fist of the Belgian state is striking its ‘foreigners’, faithful to the European migration policies and to the Return Directive coordinated by the criminal agency Frontex!

Aristing as a result of repressive and racist policies, these deportations put these people, families, and children in a situation of extreme distress.

AND SEEDS OF RESISTANCE :  Escape attempt at the 127 bis on 23/09/2017 : 5 retainees tried to escape: Sudanese, Syrian, Moroccan… They were prevented from doing so and the morning after they were transferred because there was no place left in the confinement cells that had been ‘reserved’ for nationals of the DRC, Ghana, Nigeria, all candidates to the collective flight of 26th September.

Let’s destroy this deportation machine, let’s prevent deportations.

Publié dans Collective deportations | Laisser un commentaire

ALERT : Group deportation to the DRC, Nigeria, Ghana on 26th September 2017: Update

Update: The collective depootation will take people from Nigeria, Ghana and DRC

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Several DRC retained in the closed centres got notified that they had been registered on a group flight to Kinshasa on 26 September 2017 at 10 a.m from the military airport of Melsbroek. It could be a Frontex flight where the DRC/Guineans or other people living in other Europen countries would be gathered.

Warning! Other nationalities could be concerned. Previously, most of the collective flights to Kinshasa were having a stop over in Conakry to drop Guineans.

A social assistant told one retainee: ‘Do no worry, you will not be alone, there will be other people flying with you’!!!

Warn the Congolese and Guinean diaspora. Arrests are still likely to happen to fill this flight!
Flyer to spread/print in order to warn the DRC nationals of possible raids and arrests in the coming days.
Flyer alerterafless here

Previous flight to the DRC and Guinea : http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/special-flight-to-the-drc-and-guinea-on-19-april-2017please-translate-in-en_uk-sspeciale-vlucht-drc-en-guinea-op-19042017/

CALL TO (IMAGIN)ACTION :

In order to help you:
Guide on group deportations:  http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/collective-flights/

For the end of deportations and all the machinery around them, and for the wind of freedom to blow again!

and e mails, faxes , tel to our criminals in charge;
FRONTEX :
Poland
frontex@frontex.europa.eu
press@frontex.europa.eu
fax.(48 22) 205 95 01 tel.(48 22) 205 95 00

De Belgische overheid:
Directeur van de dienst Vreemdelingenzaken
F.Roosemont
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Eerste minister
Charles Michel
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be
Jan Jambon
Vice Premier  en Minister van Binnenlandse zaken
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be
Staatsssecretaris van Asiel en Migratie
Theo Francken
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be
Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be
232345 /027232362

 

Publié dans Collective deportations, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

From Semira Adamu till today, 20 years of resistance to deportations

22 september 2017: Two evenements:

—  Let’s make the voice of retainees in closed centres audible
 
  TOGETHER, LET’S OCCUPY THE PUBLIC SPACE AND READ TESTIMONIES OF RETAINEES IN CLOSED CENTRES

Friday 22nd September 2017 3.30 p.m.
Place de la Monnaie Brussels

The 22nd of September is a yearly moment to protest against the policy of closed centres in Belgium, which commemorates the assassination of Semira ADAMU, a 20 years old Nigerian militant who choked and died after Belgian policemen had pressed a cushin on her face during their 6th attempt to deport her in 1998.

Today in Belgium, more than 6,000 people per day are being retained in closed centres, and threatened with deportation. The situation in the centres, the raids and deportations are inhuman and hidden from the public by the authorities. This situation is unacceptable.
Info and contact: audible@riseup.net.

–Friday 22nd September from 7 p.m., rue du Foulons 47/49, 1000 BXL

*https://www.facebook.com/events/1894082557577980/
On 22nd September, we commemorate the murder of Semira Adamu, who choked to death during her deportation from Belgium (1998). It is the date we chose to highlight the daily struggles against the deporations and imprisonment of foreigners in Belgium since that event. The harder migration laws, the more the authorities criminalise resistance. Today, to oppose a deportation equals to being accused. It is definitely the will of the Secretary of State for Migration and of the Foreigners Office.

With testimonies by actors who have been convicted today (the ‘six passengers’, for having opposed to the deportation of a Cameroonian man in August 2016) and miltants of other periods, we will debate on the ways to oppose this repressive machine that destroys thousands of lives each year.
This political and festive evening aims at raising funds for the court costs of the ‘six’ (travels, legal expenses) as well as supporting other struggles to come. We invite all these persons, collective groups and organisations that support this fight to join us for this important event and to reflect with us on strategies for resistance.
– PROGRAMME –
7 – 9 p.m.: Debate with the accused and past/present militants
9 – 2 p.m : Alpha guitarist & band – https://www.facebook.com/GuitaristeAlpha%20/
Atomes d’intifada – https://www.facebook.com/AtomesDIntifada
Les Lapins Electriques – http://leslapinselectriques.blogspot.be/
DJ Jo Selector – https://www.mixcloud.com/JoSelector/

– Entrance and meal by Collect’Actif – open price

 Organised by past and present militants in collaboration with the campaign  « Je ne la boucle pas ! » (I won’t shut up!) and with the support of Colectivo
Garcia Lorca.

NB: the next hearing of the ‘six passengers’ will take place at the Court of Justice of Brussels on 15th of November at 9 a.m. We hope you will be coming in numbers!

Publié dans Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Maximilien: Hunger strike at the 127 bis and “Call for air” – Update

Update 17/09/2017:
The people who were arrested daily over the last weeks by the police in Maximilien parc, its surroundings and in the North Station are still many to be retained in closed centres. It remains very complicated to spot them and contact them. It is thanks to co-retainees that we sometimes manage to get a few names to put these people in contact with a lawyer. In a few centres, the staff tells them that they are not entitled to any lawyer and that they don’t have the right to have a phone.   
A few got released after an emergency appeal, others would already have been sent back to the countries where they had left their fingerprints, but many are left without news, without any lawyer and with no contact with the outside world.
We had been informed of the presence of two minors at the 127bis closed centre. The Delegate for the Rights of the Child went this Sunday morning (17th September) to the centre to try and meet with one of them. The person at the reception firstly denied the presence of this young boy who was however effectively there, then they forbod the Delegate to enter for ‘administrative’ reasons. The impression we have is that the authorities try to ‘hide’ the presence in the closed centres of the people who were arrested in the Maximilen parc, including minors, so as to deny the systematic nature of those arrests (that are true raids) led by the police, as well as to prevent anyone to provide them with any kind of support.

If you know people who got arrested and are retained in a closed centre, it is extremely important to communicate their names very rapidly so as to enable the introduction of an appeal (within ten days) which could make their release possible. To do so, please send the exact name to:   gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net. We will transfer the data to a lawyers’office.

————————————————————————————————————————-

A hundred of migrants caught in Brussels are currently being retained in our closed centres following the ‘cleaning’ of the parc and the North station.

They are 40 in Merksplas, a wing is full in Bruges, and they are several dozens at the Caricole, 127bis and Vottem.

To free some space, many other prisoners were deported or released with an order to leave the territory, after sometimes 10 months of retention for some of them.

Among the hundred retainees in our closed centres, many are Dublin France and the centre refuses to assign them a lawyer because they say it is not necessary (which is totally wrong!).

Dozens of minors have been arrested and ‘placed under supervision’. They will surely continue their route, separated from their uncles, protectors or smugglers who were supposed to protect them, and are therefore in great danger!

Info by Terre d’asile France
All the Sudanese who were in Brussels of the camp Norrent Fontes are now back in the camp. They are extremely scared to go back to Belgium and very worried for their friends who are retained in closed centres.

AND this 14th of September we heard that 11 retainees have been on hunger strike for 5 days in the 127bis closed centre, among them Erythraeans and Sudanese. They do not understand why they are being retained and ask to be released!

On 15th September, Francken announces that an Identification Unit from Sudan is on its way. They will identify 80 Sudanese people in our closed
centres! Most of these people are Dublin, hence they still are asylum seekers in another country where they would have to wait for the answer to
their request. Will Francken ignore these rules and send asylum seekers back to Sudan, continuing to play the border guard of Europe?!
http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/loffice-des-etrangers-belgian-immigration-service-the-border-guard-of-europe/

Rapport Amnesty Soudan 2016/2017: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/sudan/report-sudan/

Call for air

We are getting calls from wandering persons/families in Europe and who, seen the agitations they can hear about in Brussels, imagine that if there are so many migrants movements and so many security forces, there must be interesting plans in Brussels to get to Great Britain.

Some of them are on their way!

FREEDOM OF CIRCULATION

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

“We don’t want any Calais in Brussels”

Despite the  militarisation of the European borders and the construction of walls and barbed wire, thousands of migrants still want to reach Europe. Since 2015, the politicians have been speaking of “migrants crisis”, of “asylum crisis”, of the management of situations said to be uncontrollable and of constant urgency. However, far from undergoing this situation, it is the policies of the States themselves that constructed it from scratch, either through borders control, or through populations’ control. The rationales of monitoring, each time more restrictive and security-oriented, undermine the possibilities for legal entries, leading to situations of huge precariousness where migrants find themselves trapped. The Maximilien parc is an example of these spaces that multiply themselves everywhere in Europe.

In every European city, migrants try to settle, live and eventually get the sesame, i.e. documents!

Like in Calais, like in all the cities of Europe, the State has only one answer: repression, retention and deportation for reasons of public order and public health. These actions only have one goal: nurture the threatening speeches around migrations.

We do not accept that people have to sleep in parcs or in train stations.
We do not accept new raids in parcs and train stations.
We do not accept retentions in closed centres.
We do not accept this violence by the State.

We will continue fighting for the dignity of all migrants, undocumented, foreigners, asylum seekers, homeless!
We will continue welcoming them in dignity.
We will continue fighting against the repression strategies that only exacerbate the sufferings and distress.

We don’t want any Calais in Brussels.
We don’t want a Calais where the same methods used for years have been a complete failure.
We don’t want history to repeat itself.

Let’s unite beyond our peculiarities and our different ways of fighting in view of organising a strong resistance. Let’s demand that the budgets allocated to the restrictive and repressive migratory policies- and we are talking about billions of Euros- are invested in favour of real welcoming policies.

Brussels 2017 can not be like this!

First protest meeting this Friday 15 September 2017 at 5. p.m. in front of the Foreigners Office  Chaussée d’Anvers, 59 1000 Bruxelles

and on 14 September 6.30 p.m. in front of the town halls of Schaerbeek and Brussels city centre to show our determination to the mayors, responsible for the raids in the North Station and in the Maximilien parc.

« Let’s make of our commune a commune of hospitality »
 http://www.cncd.be/commune-hospitaliere-140917

First signatories:

CRER

SOS Migrants

PROGRESS Lawyers Network

CRACPE

Front d’actions des Migrants

MRAX

Niemand is illegaal

VZW Toestand

Comité de voisin.e.s solidaires aux Sans Papiers – Quartier schaerbeekois

Plateforme citoyenne de soutien aux réfugiés

CISPM:

Clémentine Delahaut (collectif Plan B)

Groupe montois de soutien aux sans-papiers

Swen Gloaguen
pour BXI Bruxelles Initiative asbl

Migrations et Luttes Sociales

Acteurs des Temps Présents

UPJB

CNE (Centrale Nationale des Employés)

CSC Bruxelles

Jeep Novak

Vincent Patigny

la petite Maison du Peuple

Terre d’Errance France

CISPM – Coalition Internationale des Sans-Papiers et Migrants

Soudan Action groop

Manuela de Tervarent

Anne Leloup:
Editions Esperluète

Béatrice Didier (pas d’assoc)

Aliette Griz

Marie Bach

Veronika Mabardi

Célestin de Meeûs

Dounia Depoorter

Patshiva Cie

Milady Renoir

Nicole Dontot

Publié dans Migration policy, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

More than 20 Sudanese and Somalis in our closed centres

05/08/2017: Francken discovered two countries he didn’t know: Sudan and Somalia.

Since almost a year, migrants – mainly Sudanese and Eritreans, have been sleeping in the Maximilien Parc in Brussels.
Associations and volunteers try to provide them with food and sleeping bags since their arrival.
Politicians and NGOs suggest lodging proposals, “selection or pre-welcoming centre”, which will look like hot spots rather than lodging.
Francken announces “arrests and returns to the countries of origin”.
In front of the concentration of migrants in the parc, harassments and intimidations have been organised by the communal and federal police, followed by repeated raids, early in the morning, of around hundred people, all this accompanied by thefts of valuable objects (mobile phones, etc), intimidation/ban on serving meals, dispersion and arrests of the most recalcitrant, not to mention asset forfeiture, occupation of the parc by the police during the day, preventing the migrants to come back etc.
After pressure and negotiations, these raids and police presence have become less frequent over the last weeks.

However, this doesn’t mean that Francken’s promise to “place all of them in closed centres and deport them to their countries of origin” is no longer on the agenda.

We heard that between 20-30 people, mainly Sudanese, 2 women among them, were arrested the last weeks around train stations and that they have been placed in closed centres. Some of them have been there for serveral weeks, others have just arrived!

Instead of carrying out visible actions, the Foreigners Office have adopted a more discreet method and they arrest them around train stations and public spaces, when they are isolated and far away from witnesses’ eyes.

One has to know that during controls, several nationalities are designated and brought to closed centres so as to be deported. They are chosen according to existing agreements or tensions between Belgium and the countries concerned, according to the nationalities present on our territory or according to Francken’s moods.
Thus, Algerians have been languishing in jail for months because the Secretary of State tries in vain to obtain a ‘return agreement’ with Algeria.
Thus, Congolese are being retained and sometimes deported (a lot of opponents to the current regime) most likely following ‘secret agreements’ with Kabila’s regime.
Thus, lots of Cameroonians are being arrested and deported following the agreements recently signed with Cameroon and, many of them are put in jail as soon as they arrive to Cameroon because they left the country to request asylum in Europe.

And thus, insidiously, far away from any witness, the Foreigners office target Sudanese and Somalis, arrest them and retain them to try and deport them.

Some retainees are ‘Dublinised’ and should be sent back to the country where they left their fingerprints, often Italy; a country that struggles a lot to deal with asylum requests. They will find themselves on the street, and if they are dismissed, they will be deported to Sudan, since Italy signed a ‘return agreement’ with Sudan. Movements and demonstrations by citizens and undocumented against this ‘Dublin’ agreement are ongoing in several European countries (Germany, France, etc.).

Most of the retainees who were arrested over the last weeks refuse to request asylum in Belgium:
“They say that we should request asylum but I don’t want to request asylum from the centre, it is too complicated. Hence they explained to me that they would ask for a let pass, but I know it is very hard to get it, I doubt they get it, therefore I don’t request asylum for the moment, they will extend my stay every two months.”
“ All the people from Sudan here, none of them wants to request asylum, life is better in England, here it is hell, even if you have documents the police is always after you.”

The closed centre refuses to appoint a lawyer to some of them: ‘You may not have a lawyer yet, first we have to find a translator’.

As usual, the Office and the Secretary of State only have one answer to these travellers: intimidation and repression!
Some will be sent back to the European country where they left their fingerprints (Dublin) and will continue their migratory road to the country they have chosen. Ohters will remain in our closed centres for months, labelled “Dublin Belgium” and they will be obliged in fine to request asylum in Belgium if they want to find their freedom again, although Belgium is not the country they had chosen.

We can not allow it to happen. These migrants travelled thousands of kilometers to find a better future, their migratory route passed by Brussels, but NOT to find themselves imprisoned in an endless administrative trap which was built by Europe to prevent the ‘foreign’ human being from travelling.

ACTIONS!!!!!!????????                                  

STOP DUBLIN, STOP DEPORTATION

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Urgent deportation!: Deported

Update 31st August 2017
Some people were at the airport but it was very difficult to find passengers willing to listen to the problematic. Fefe arrived in Kinshasa in a very bad state. Friends and family members were waiting for her. She was brought to the hospital where she is on drip. The Congolese community here and there remains attentive to her situation and her family’s. It often happens that opponents are being chased or killed long after their deportation.
A lot of Congolese are currently being retained in closed centres, sometimes for several months, notably opponents to Kabila’s regime. Some explain that Kabila, in collaboration with Belgium and undoubtedly with other European countries, make everything possible to intimidate and gag the DRC Diaspora before the elections that are foreseen to take place at the end of the year in DRC.

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30th August 2017
Mrs Fefe, a famous opposition journalist in DRC, retained in Bruges for more than 5 months and on hunger strike for 20 days, was “urgently” brought to the airport for her third deportation attempt.
Former deportation here: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/le-gouvernement-belge-va-livrer-une-militante-congolaise-aux-autorites-rdc/
She will most likely be put on the Royal Air Maroc flight of 5.4 p0.m. this 30th of August 2017, which will have a stop over in Casablanca and reach Kinshasa this 31st of August at 3 a.m!
Fefe is in a terrible physical state after her hunger strike of 20 days.
Let’s meet at Zaventem airport at 3.40 p.m to speak with the passengers of Air Maroc flight

Publié dans Expulsions en cours, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Robocops in the closed centre 127 bis

Robocops in the closed centre 127 bis

Today 25/08/2017 11 am : a Moroccan man detained in 127 bis’ closed center freaked out.
He had learned that his brother died in Libya and was to be burried in Morocco. He had asked for a return to Morocco. The Office answer, received on 25/08, came as to be a prolongation of his detention for another 2 months. Many other detainees receive like him detention prolongations of 2 months, leading to “administrative” detentions up to 1 year. Some ask to be repatriated to their home country.Others are in Belgium since 20 years or more, among them some have families here. This decision towards this Moroccan man has aroused a violent solidarity movement in the centre today. Some detainees started destroying the living room equipment. The Moroccan man has quickly been put in confinment which led other detainees to gather in front of one of the centre directors’ office.
At 2 pm: 32 detainees refused to eat lucnh. 3 police vans arrived and police entered in the centre. The demonstrators, gathered in front of the centre, have been put aside.
At 3pm: 25 violent “robocops” were present. The centre’s direction designated 3 detainees who were then brought in the police vans. A provisory calm is restored in the centre.

Media
https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/flandre/detail_debut-d-emeute-au-centre-127-bis-pour-etrangers-de-steenokkerzeel?id=9691456
“Police is on the scene
Round 2pm, policemen in riot control outfits have entered the centre.Through the mobile telephone of one of the “lodgers”, we could hear part of the intervention, carried out using dogs. According to our witness, policemen have arrested and hit one of the rioters (the one who took on to be the spokesperson of his fellows to the centre’s direction, reporting their precarious living conditions: bad food, insufficient food, smelly toilets etc.).”

Already on 3 May, detainees had protested and had refused to eat what they had been served. Three “leaders” have since been transferred to other centres.

Here are some detainees’ words:

” We ask for more rapid procedures on files in order to avoid long detentions. Some are getting crazy herE. We are detained for months without any reason and without getting any news. The social worker always says yes and never does anything! I think she works for the Office. The guards aren’t respectful (to the eXception of 1), they are mean and racists.”

” We are all in the hands of the Office without any rights: Isn’t this Gestapo?

Medical care is also challenged:
“Some are very sick, have appointments at hospital, wait for urgent surgery. These appointments are never respected and seldom are the ones who are brought to hospital.”
“When someone is very ill, we must insist heavily to have a chance to see a doctor. And when no doctor comes, the centre ends up calling an ambulance when we put the mess (3 times this week!)

We will continue claiming for the closing of these shameful closed centres. These “administrative” detentions are the expression of a European and global repressive approach towards this supposed to be “invasion”.

    FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND SETTLEMENT FOR EVERYONE
    NO ONE IS ILLEGAL
    SOLIDARITY

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Two RDC women on hunger strike for 10 days

20 August 2017 : It’s been 10 days already that two Congolese women, Clarisse Iseka Mbongo and Fefe Tuluka Mizaku have been on hunger strike at the closed centre in Bruges. Powerless in front of the oppressive system, they are trying to launch a last SOS call to us, after having experienced several deportation attempts. They are starting to feel heavy pains (back , articulations) and feel extremely weak.

The strike is not acknowledged by the closed centre of Bruges which tries to ‘break down the fights’ and to stifle the movment through confinements in isolation cells, transfers and violence. Fefe has been isolated for 4 days at the nursery. They took her mobile phone because it is on the ground that links her to the outside that the prolongation of this form of resistance is happening.

What the retainees are saying:
“I prefer to die here”.
“If they want to kill me, they’d better do it here, in front of everyone”.
“I’d rather die here than being raped etc in my country. It’s become hell over there. At least here my family will have my grave and I will be recognised among my people”.
“I was able to gather a lot of evidence, but Belgium doesn’t care”.
“They say we are the victims of money”. (the staff of the centre say that, reminding to some the era when Mobutu was generously “watering” South Africa for them to send back the political opponents… This was never certified with evidence, and it was too delicate to investigate upon… but “we know it existed”. However, yesterday’s reality seems to have become that of today, with Kabila and some of his allies.”

The acquaintances of the retainees add: “She can see she is being treated as a criminal. Her last deportation attempt was traumatising, she can not recover from it, she was humiliated, brutalised, she doesn’t believe in anything anymore, she stopped feeding herself.”

When we call them, the Bruges centre answer:
“We are getting calls for her”.
“Who are you?” “It is not possible to speak with Mrs FT… but I’ll put you through to the social assistant.”

The social services:
“It is impossible to speak to her now, only this evening after 7 p.m.”
“The doctor and the management decided to oblige her to rest”. “She is rather stressed out, she should avoid constant phone calls, she needs rest, she will be in touch with her lawyer this afternoon.”

Story of Féfé :http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/the-belgian-government-wants-to-deliver-a-congolese-activist-to-the-drc-authorities/
Story of Clarisse: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/a-new-deportation-attempt-with-police-escort-for-clarisse-mbongo-iseka-is-announced-this-coming-thursday-august-10/
and here http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/another-deportation-prevented-call-fol-rally-against-detention-centres-and-deportations-on-thursday-13-july-at-9am/

We do not speak of HUNGER STRIKE…!!! The tone is courteous but they avoid all dialogue while giving an impression of transparency.

To support them, let’s keep ringing the central of Bruges in mass!
 
Ring the central of the closed centre au 050.451.040 and ask to speak to one or the other, and ask for news.

Write, ring etc to the services responsible to express your outrage related to these policies.

F.Roosemont
Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre del’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile etla Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

 

Publié dans News from the centres, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

The Belgian government wants to deliver a Congolese activist to the DRC authorities.

14/08/2017 : A second deportation attempt with police escort is announced on August 17 for Mrs TULUKA MIZAKU Fefe
She arrived in Belgium in 2006, fleeing Kabila’s regime which had put her in prison for being critical.
Mme T.M.Fefe is a journalist. Once in Belgium she carried on denouncing Kabila’s regime.
She was arrested on March 6 2017 and has been detained, since then, in the closed center of Bruges.
She has made several asylum requests with indisputable proofs of her investigation work against Kabila’s regime as a journalist. She has several videos and radio extracts showing for instance the illegality of the last elections (this radio program was realised with the EU representative, diaspora members and so on). But the new elements for her fourth asylum request were considered as “not relevant” by the CGRA.

The Congolese diaspora in Belgium does not understand that Belgium wants to deport to DR of Congo, a “fighting” journalist who has produced programs expressing critical talks against the present regime in DR of Congo, when it is well known that Kabila’s regime does not tolerate any criticism. The Diaspora acknowledges with terror that many Congolese activists are presently detained in Belgian closed centres to be deported to DRC while the Belgian government, the European Union, the USA, the United Nations et the International Community are all denoucing and condemning multiple and increasing human rights violations.

Mrs T.M.Féfé’s interview on CONGOMIKILI on July 132017: “An activist journalist detained and threatened to be deported after 10 years in Belgium.”
http://congomikili.com/congomikili-une-journaliste-activiste-detenue-et-menacee-d-expulsion-apres-10-ans-en-belgique/

Mrs T.M.Fefe is also extremely worried for other compatriots in DRC. The whole file of her asylum request will be given to the Congolese authorities when she arrives in Kinshasa. The file contains several names of people who sent her documents to testify of the situation in DRC. Those people would risk deadly prosecutions by the present regime.

Féfe should not be sent back to DRC! Demonstrations have already been organised by the Congolese diaspora, and others are foreseen to protest against her deportation.

Flight SN359 17/08/2017 10:35 to Luanda and Kinshasa

Come and join us at the airport to show your opposition to these practices! Let’s meet at 8.30 a.m. this 17th of August to explain the situation of Fefe on flights SN 359  and question  SN Airlines on their deadly collaboration to the deportation policies of the Foreigners Office.  
Beware! it is the same SN Airlines counter for all Africa. You should ask their destination to the passengers (Luanda SN 359 and Kinshasa) and explain them that they are allowed to refuse this violent deportation by remaining standing in the plane and talking to the aircraft captain.
For info :
How to prevent a deportation : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Umb7MyDhw

Denunciation campaign:  fax , mail and call the people in charge

Brussels Airlines (demandez à ce que que votre message soit transmis au Commandant de bord)

Email :customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines

Leur contacts presse
Vice Président External Communication – Porte-parole
Email: geert.sciot@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 84 00
Mobile: +32 (0)477 77 49 11

Vice Président Corporate Communications – Porte-parole
Email: wencke.lemmes@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 85 11
Mobile: +32 (0)477 61 86 45

Media Relations Manager – Porte-parole + médias sociaux
Email: kim.daenen@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0) 2 723 84 55
Mobile: +32 (0) 479 69 36 48

Les autorités belges:

F.Roosemont
Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre del’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile etla Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Un commentaire

A new deportation attempt with police escort for Clarisse Mbongo Iseka is announced this coming Thursday August 10

Update: 11/08/2017: Some people went to the airport to tell passengers that Clarisse would be on the plane: Clarisse resisted her second deportation attempt with police escort.  

 “When we went up the stairs onto the plane, some of the police officers were in front of me and I could not see what was happening.  I saw people passing next to me and I knew it was the right moment. I started to scream. They took my head and put it on my knees. I could not breathe but I kept screaming. All the passengers stood up. A young Angolan guy said “But do’nt you see she is Congolese! I can see and hear she is! The police officers answered: “we have the certificates (passes)”. But people stayed standing up. The pilot came and asked that I should leave the plane.” 

————————————————————————————————————————————————

08/08/2017 Clarisse has been detained in the Bruges closed centre for now 8 months! She has already suffered a violent deportation attempt aginst which she resisted in July and a demonstration was organised by the Congolese community on July 13. You will find information on her situation and her testimony on http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/another-deportation-prevented-call-fol-rally-against-detention-centres-and-deportations-on-thursday-13-july-at-9am/

Last Monday morning 08/08/2017 she was called at the “social assistant”‘s office where she was told she will be deported to Angola. She reacted “I have introduced a new asylum request, therere are videos which explained that I am congolese, why don’t you watch them! Is the asylym request refused?” She was told:”we do not have the answer, we cannot tell you anything, the answer will be given to you at the airport.”

Legal insecurity. Pressure maintained- Deterrence logic. Those technics are well known and seem to become usual work methods for the Office des Etrangers (Immigration Agency) espacially when migrants resist the stystem. This is shown throught the answer beeing given in the airport and the impossibility for the lawyer to introduce an appeal. Human rights, did you say?  tout particulièrement quand les personnes démontrent une résistance au système

Flight SN Airlines 359/ TAAG Angola Airlines DT6359 :  10h35 ,destination Luanda/Angola and Kinshasa.

Come and join us at the airport to show your opposition to these practices! Let’s meet at 8.30 a.m. this 10th of August to explain the situation of Clarisse on flights SN 359  and question  SN Airlines on their deadly collaboration to the deportation policies of the Foreigners Office.  
Beware! it is the same SN Airlines counter for all Africa. You should ask their destination to the passengers (Luanda SN 359 and Kinshasa) and explain them that they are allowed to refuse this violent deportation by remaining standing in the plane and talking to the aircraft captain.
For info :
How to prevent a deportation : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Umb7MyDhw

Denunciation campaign:  fax , mail and call the people in charge

Brussels Airlines (demandez à ce que que votre message soit transmis au Commandant de bord)

Email :customer.relations@brusselsairlines.com
Fax= 027233599 / 02/7238496 / 027534931
Tél 078 188889 / 027232345 /027232362
https://www.facebook.com/brusselsairlines

Leur contacts presse
Vice Président External Communication – Porte-parole
Email: geert.sciot@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 84 00
Mobile: +32 (0)477 77 49 11

Vice Président Corporate Communications – Porte-parole
Email: wencke.lemmes@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0)2 723 85 11
Mobile: +32 (0)477 61 86 45

Media Relations Manager – Porte-parole + médias sociaux
Email: kim.daenen@brusselsairlines.com
Tél: +32 (0) 2 723 84 55
Mobile: +32 (0) 479 69 36 48

Les autorités belges:

F.Roosemont
Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre del’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile etla Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

Construction of three new detention centres in Belgium


05/08/2017: Mid May 2017 the Council of Ministers have approved a masterplan “Detention centres for illegal residents”. The masterplan provides a big extension of the existing return capacity and the creation of three new dentention centres.
“With this masterplan we will be able to repatriate much more illegal migrants. This will make the idea of becoming an illegal resident less attractive. The time when the order to leave the territory was nothing but a rag of paper will soon be behind us. This [our] government does not regularize the criminals, we repatriate them.”, says Theo Francken, Secretary of State for Asylym and Migration.

Where and when are these three new detention centres supposed to be built?

Holsbeek, 2018
In the beginning of January 2013, the federal authorities have bought an ancient Formule 1 hotel in an industrial zone of Holsbeek, in the suburbs of Leuven. Maggie De Block, Secretary of State at the time, wishes to transform the building to a open centre for voluntary return that can host a hundred personnes.
Succeeding Maggie De Block in 2015, Theo Francken closes the centre almost overnight because of bad results. If the voluntary return doesn’t offer sufficient results, it seems logical that the forced returns from detention centres will offer better results. What a beautiful demonstration of nicely measurable migration politics.
The building of the open centre, being built, it is only a matter of updating the facilities to the required safety standards. It can then become a detention centre.

Zandvliet, 2020
The previous mayor of Antwerp had already asked for a detention centre near Antwerp. The project of a new detention centre in Zandvliet strongly satisfies the current mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever: “Zandvliet is an ideal place because it’s a remote rural zone.” According to De Wever “the center will improve the security and the quality of life within the city of Antwerp, and 150 jobs will be created. It’s interesting to see how a detention centre offers a solution to both migration and economic problems.
Except that a fierce opposition was put in place as soon as the masterplan was announced. The inhabitants gathered 700 signatures to oppose the new centre. The reason? They “are afraid for their own security”  and declared to “have become the garbage bin of Antwerp”…
Initially, the detention center was planned to be built on currently abandoned lands which are property of the Flemish government, along the A12 highway and close to the Dutch borders. But now, the town has started negotiating the exact location where the detention centre will be built, basing itself on the intricacies of the spatial implementation plan.
It appears that the centre will be in use much earlier than 2020 because Theo Francken has planned to reuse containers coming from the Tilburg (The Netherlands) prison to accommodate the detention centre.

Jumet, 2021
The biggest detention centre of Wallonia is planned to be located in Jumet (Charleroi). It’s the building of the IPPJ [Public Institution for the proection of the Youth ] which is requested to be transformed into a detention centre with two sections for children (boys and girls). The educators of the IPPJ have expressed their dissatisfaction at finding themselves either “working in Brussels or staying in Jumet as a prison guard
The city of Charleroi supports the project but “regrets the lack of consultation with the local authorities concerning the announcement of the project”, says the Alderman-delegate Françoise Daspremont… but if the different power levels had worked together, would they have adressed the issue of the relevance of building detention centres or would they have simply adressed the details about its location?
We say NO to any detention centre!

Source : https://bxl.indymedia.org/spip.php?article14859&lang=fr

 And other project: Charleroi Airport for deportation operations

Moreover, the future Jumet centre is explicitly linked by the Government to the possibility of using Charleroi airport as a base for deportation operations, allowing more and more forced repatriations.
Here is Theo Francken’s answer to a parlamentiary question adressed on 28 June 2017:
” Regarding the use of proximity airports;  with the federal police services, we are currently considering the possibility of more actively make use of Charleroi airport for the return operations.The project is still embryonic and I can’t inform you at this stage about the additionnal running costs or the related infrastructure costs. A proper collaboration with the federal police services has been been provided to ensure an optimal flow of the return operations.”
Congratulations to Brussels South Charleroi Airport and to the related airlines!!! For how much money will you become accomplices of violent and repressive migration policies?

The following companies contributed to the construction of the closed center in Steenokkerzeel in 2OO9.
http://blackliststeenokkerzeel.blogspot.be/

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres | Laisser un commentaire

Mass deportation to Nigeria on 9 or 10 August 2017: Update

Update 07/08 /2017:  departurz of the flight the 09/08/2017 at 10 p.m.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

We learned from a sound source that 80 to 100 Nigerians will be deported on August 9th or 10th. It would be a Frontex flight organised by Austria.

The flight will take off from the Melsbroeck military airport (Brussels). It will stop in Viena and will l and in Lagos. Some detainees will be brought by bus from the Netherlands.

Please tell the Nigerian community (arrests are still possible in order to fill the flight), alert your networks.

Imagine what they think impossible: let us stop this massive and deadly deportation organised by the European Union through FRONTEX, the European anti migration army with all the means possible (pressure on diplomats, on military, actions, demonstrations) in the whole of Europe 

Ter info:

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Avenue de Tervuren 288
1150 Brussels
Ambassadeur: Mevrouw Nonye Udo
Tel: + 32 (0)2 762 5200
Fax: +32 (0)2 762 3763
nigeriabrussels@belgacom.net http://nigeriabrussels.eu/contact-us/

Gebruiksaanwijzing voor collectieve vluchten:http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/gebruiksaanwijzing-voor-collectieve-vluchten/

Military Airport van Melsbroek:
Adres : Haachtsesteenweg, 1820
Téléphoon : 0475 68 56 65
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9127221,4.4907957,1359m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Closed centre 127 bis Steenokkerzeel
Tervuursesteenweg 300, 1820 Steenokkerzeel
Tel. +32 2 7550000
Fax. +32 2 7598168
https://www.google.be/maps/place/Repatri%C3%ABringscentrum+127Bis/@50.8728062,4.488272,12z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xd34f839a3cd0dae8!8m2!3d50.9168334!4d4.5049017

Massale deportatie naar Nigeria Maart 2016 http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/nieuwe-collectieve-deportatie-naar-nigeria//

Testimony from a Nigerian man deported to Nigeria Oktober 2015 http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/frontex-deportation-naar-nigeria-on-14102015-getuigenis/

Action in GB : https://www.facebook.com/events/1762411670660192/
2015: Following the thousand-strong demonstration at Yarl’s Wood in Nov 2015,there has been successful collective resistance to stop a mass
deportation to Nigeria by charter flight, and for the first time put the collusion of the Nigerian government on the public agenda in Nigeria.
As a result of organising coollectively inside YarlsWood to resist and a mass campaign to get the Nigerian government to refuse to allow the
charter flight to land – out of aproximately 40 women, only 2 were on the flight.
After the success of the latest Surround YarlsWood demonstration on 12th March we mst contonue to build ouir movement to end detention and end
these mass deportation charter flights – join us on 17th March at the Nigerian High Commission – Nigeria can refuse to accept these flights –
we must demand they do so!
The next Nigerian charter is in 9 days (22nd March), and we must orgainse again to defend our community from being forcibly ‘removed’.

2017
https://enddeportations.wordpress.com/

Publié dans Collective deportations | Laisser un commentaire

« What could I possibly do back in Congo ? »: New deportation attempt mislukt

Update 24/07/2017:

Changement de programme : ils ont essayé de mettre Francis sur le vol vers Abidjan à 11h15……Coups ,saucissonage….Francis a expliqué sa situation aux passagers. Beaucoup se sont levés, beaucoup ont filmé. Francis a été ressortit de l’avion et ramené au centre fermé de Bruges……

Francis, born in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 09/07/1980 has been living in Belgium for more than 20 years. He is 37 years old. His mother was granted asylum in 1992 in Belgium and Francis joined her under the refugee family reunion rules in 1995. His mother passed away in 1996. Francis was then 16 years old. His maternal grandmother, who obtained Belgian citizenship, was appointed as her tutor and he has been living with her since.
Francis had an orange card (which allows individuals to legally remain in Belgium while the decision about their visa/residency is being made). When he was 22 years old, Francis made a mistake, was judged and detained. In 2008,  the Office des étrangers (Immigration Office) ordered him to leave the country (Ordre de quitter le territoire). While he appealed to this decision, he never received an answer to his deportation appeal. After being released from prison, he moved on with his life, took courses, worked when opportunities arose and was supported by his family.
In the view of the Office, Francis is one of those criminals who absolutely needs to be deported, though his criminal record dates back from more than 15 years ago  and without any trouble since then.
Francis has a sister, a grandmother, aunts, cousins in Belgium who are all Belgian citizens! He has no one in DRC and does not know this country. Where will he go if he is deported to Kinshasa? Francis does not want to leave his family. “ What can I possibly do there, my country is Belgium, all my family lives here. I don’t know anyone in DRC”.
Francis needs our help to prevent his third deportation attempt on an escorted commercial flight.
This Monday 24 July 2017, he will be escorted on an Air Maroc flight to Casablanca (Royal Air Maroc AT833) at 5:40 PM for a connecting flight to Kinshasa.
Join us at the airport to explain Francis’ case to passengers and inform them that they have the right to ask the pilot and employees to refuse to participate in this forced removal

Denunciation campaign:  fax , mail and call the people in charge

callcenter@royalairmaroc.com

Ressources humaines RAM:  emploi-cadre@royalairmaroc.com  tel 02 219 30 30 

Royal Air Maroc TEL : 027215050 FAX :027256292 infobru@royalairmaroc.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalAirMaroc?fref=ts

Twittre https://twitter.com/RAM_Maroc

 

F.Roosemont
Directeur de l’Office des Etrangers
Bur_Presse@dofi.fgov.be T02 793 80 31 (NL – EN) – 02 79380 30 (FR), Fax 02 274 66 40

Charles Michel
Premier Ministre
Tél: 02 501 02 11 Fax: 02512 69 52 e-mail:charles.michel@premier.fed.be

Jan Jambon
Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre del’Intérieur
tél: 02 504 85 13 Fax:02 504 85 00 email:kabinet.jambon@ibz.fgov.be

Theo Francken
Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile etla Migration
Tél: 02 206 14 21– theo.francken@n-va.be kab.francken@ibz.fgov.be

Didier Reynders
Téléphone : 02 501 85 91 E-mailcontact.reynders@diplobel.fed.be

 

 

Publié dans Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

“To them we are not human beings, just animals to be crushed”

17/07/2017 Call from Bruges: “Who can we turn to, Miss?”

Sleepplace and lifeplace closed centre Brugge 2016

Fifteen days ago, around forty people made a written request to the direction. Two representatives of the group met the direction. Thy asked daily showers and partial freedom to move around the centre. The problem is that they are detained all together during the night and that in the early morning some detainees get up and wake up the others. They suggested to open the door so that people who wake up can go the the room where they spend the rest of the day, letting the others sleep. They still haven’t received an answer to their requests and don’t know what else to do.

“Who can we turn to, Miss?”

17/07 Merksplas immigration detention centre: the Robocops in the centre

It was the end of Ramadan. It was very hot. Detainees asked to meet the director of the centre. They sleep in cells occupied by five people where it’s very hot. They wanted to ask the director to open the only small window at night, to air the cell. They also wanted to inform him that the quantity of food was far from sufficient. The director came to the romm to meet them. During the meeting, while the director carefully took note of their requests, the room was invaded by helmeted and armed robocops (surely called by the director). Some robocoffs aimed their weapon at the detainees, others drew their truncheon. Five detainees were bludgeoned and violently put in solitary confinment, where they stayed three days. One of them still suffers from the physical consequences of this treatment.
“We are treated like terrorists”.
“We have no rights. As soon as we make a request, they put us in solitary confinment”
“They are the outlaws”
“Who are the criminals?”
“This is brutality”
“To them we are not human beings, just animals to be crushed”
“Should we contact the animal welfare organisations?”
“Who will listen to us one day?”
“We must alert the media!”
“The most renowned lawyer can not do anything. Francken is above the law”

 

Publié dans Migration policy, News from the centres, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Laisser un commentaire

Another deportation prevented: call fol rally against detention centres and deportations on Thursday 13 July at 9am

Rally organised by the Congolese community to support Ms C, who resisted a deportation to Angola, and to support all detained Congolese who risk deportation

Thursday 13 July at 9am in front of the Office des étrangers – Chaussée d’Anvers, 59B 1000 Brussels (Gare du Nord)

Ms C has been detained in the closed centre of Bruges since November 2016. She is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and has been living in Belgium for more than ten years. In 2009 her regularisation application was approved, but following several blunders her file got lost in the maze of the administration. The deadline was exceeded and Ms C, against her will and against all logic, became an irregular migrant. While living in Belgium, between 2009 and 2016, Mrs C has built her life as well as a relationship. She was arrested at her partner’s place. This is how it went.

At 6 am (therefore illegally) “they rang at the door and said ‘we are here to arrest you, you are illegal’. I was handcuffed and taken to the detention center in Bruges”. Although Belgium has already been condemned for this kind of unlawful arrest, these practices continue on a daily basis!

During her time in the Bruges closed centre, Ms C has been facing daily the logic of detention and she has tried to hold on: “I wait. People here sometimes stop eating and cry. This is what life is like in the centre”.

To flee her country, Mrs C transited through Angola, where she got her documents and bought a plane ticket (under a fake Angolan identity). Today, this is precisely where the problem lies in her file: according go the Office des étrangers (Immigration Office), she can not prove her Congolese identity. She has however submitted several documents proving it, but the CGRA (Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons) criticised “the absence of biometrical data”! Against all logic, the OE wants to deport her to Angola, where she does not know anyone and, most crucially, where she could be imprisoned.

Ms C is well known in all the communities where she has been involved (Church, neighbours…) and many positive testimonies have been gathered to support her application for asylum. The OE, however, did not take into account any of these elements, nor the specific nature of her path and her integration into society. Their only message is: “You are illegal, pack your bags”.

On July 11, Ms C faced a  violent deportation attempt, with its usual trail of abuse, insults and threats.

“When I arrived at the airport, that took me to a little room, there were two persons, they told me: this is what will happen now, today we are escorting you to your country. I said I was not Angolan, they replied: we have the laissez-passer, that’s it. Four more people arrived, there were three women and three men… Then they put the special belt on me. People started getting on the airplane, there were’t many passengers, I pretended I was sleeping. When more people had boarded, I screamed, I screamed a lot, I said: I did an application for asylum, I gave them evidence, all the evidence, I’ve been living here for years and I gave them the address. I said I am not Angolan, I am Congolese, they know very well. I started giving the name of my primary school, of my township in Congo, that’s when people realised I was Congolese and stood up, they started filming. There were a lot of people standing, they were saying: you are not going to leave, Miss, your are not going to leave. The hostess arrived and she told me to disembark.”

“The policemen form the escort were angry, they insulted me – I can not repeat what they said. Then they said: you will get back here in two or three days and this time it will be with Air Maroc, we are going to make you a personal record as an undeclared worker and we will give it to the centre, this way you will not get out of this”.

Join them to support the opposition and resistance movement to these blind policies.

This Thursday 13 July at 9am in front of the Office des étrangers – Chaussée d’Anvers,59B 1000 Brussels (Gare du Nord)

Publié dans Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories, Testimonies | Un commentaire

‘here is the plumber, there is a leak in the house’

17/06/2017 Violence strikes again: married and repelled

He is Iraqi and he benefits from the subsidiary protection. She is from Morocco. They got married then years ago and they were living in Iraq from where they fled in 2013. In Jordan their marriage was recognised by Belgium and they requested asylum in Belgium. He got it, she did not. Different steps are undertaken to settle the situation to allow her to continue living legally with her husband. Despite a marriage certificate in due form certified by the Belgian embassy and living together for more than 10 years, they refuse her everything and she gets several orders to leave the territory against which she appeals.

One morning, she is alone at home. He was gone to renew his residence permit. Someone rings the bell, on the door phone she can hear ‘here is the plumber, there is a leak in the house’. She opens the door and three policemen enter the appartment. They ask to see her papers, she gives them her passport. They say she has to accompany them to the police station. They ask her to dress. She does with the mandatory presence of a police woman. They tie her hands and leave the house. Downstairs she discovers that there is another group of policemen expecting her. She is driven to the police station and placed in a cell where she has to undress. She is forbidden to wear her scarf. She can not keep her inhaler for her asthma. They take a picture of her and her handprints and bring her back to her cell. The cell is cold, there is no water, no toilet paper. Short visit by a doctor. After several hours, she is transferred handcuffed to the Caricole closed centre.

During her stay at the centre, she is regularly brought in front of different courts, always handcuffed. She denounces this criminalisation, and the multiple times they bring her to a confinement cell sometimes for a complete day, notably at the Court of Justice.

She experiments her first deportation attempts to her country of origin, Morocco. They drive her handcuffed to the airport. An agent comes to ask her: ‘Are you ready to leave? If not if will be under constraint.’ She refuses to leave.

Return to the centre. There they continue to put pressure on her to make her leave and they continue threatening her with serious violence during the next deportation attempt in case she rebels. The centre director even tells her ‘you will be able to go and visit your husband in Iraq’ although he is being protected in Belgium and he may absolutely not go to Iraq!

She was extremely scared of this escort that was accompanying her; they tried to deport her a second time on 9th June 2017. Since then we do not have any news from her and her husband who had gone to visit her just before her deportation.

Publié dans Migration policy, Ongoing deportations | Laisser un commentaire

New deportation prevented by passengers – Calls

Mr D was arrested in Liège in February 2017. He wanted to prevent an attempted rape and had called the police. He was undocumented for six years on the Belgian territory, hence the police arrested him and brought him to the closed centre in vew of a deportation to his ‘country of origin’.

It was foreseen that Mr D would have his first deportation attempt this Tuesday 13th June 2017. Legally, a first deportation attempt may be refused by the retainee at the airport, after which he is being driven back to the centre. Here, unlawfully, an escort of a dozen policemen was expecting him at the airport. Tied up and handcuffed as required by the protocol, he was taken on an SN Airlines flight to Conakry. In the plane he shouted and explained his situation to the passengers. One policeman put his hand over his mouth, others beat him all over his body. Passengers alerted by the cries intervened and refused to travel with him on board. He was taken out of the plane by his escort and driven back to the closed centre. A complaint has been lodged against this violence.
The escort policemen threatened him with a military flight and warned him that he would be deported anyway, ‘even if they had to cut him into pieces and send him back piece by piece’.
It seems that the escort policemen are currently particularly violent, others seem to be part of a contestation movement that has to be informed. Indeed, for one month already we have heard retainees say that many deportations are being cancelled because of a “lack of escort”. This information make us think of protest movements in the ‘escort’ services of the federal police. An article in the Dernière Heure confirms this discomfort: an escort refused to take part in the deportation of Mamadou.http://www.dhnet.be/actu/faits/l-expulsion-de-mamadou-annulee-la-police-a-refuse-de-jouer-l-escorte-pour-l-office-des-etrangers-5920b13acd70022542f04f4f  

CALL to the passengers who witnessed the deportation of Mr D – please contact gettingthevoiceout@riseup.net.
CALL to question SN Airlines that takes part in the daily deportations
CALL to question the protest movemement by the federal police escorts, which presumably is a state secret!

Publié dans Ongoing deportations, Struggle stories | Laisser un commentaire

Police brutality, psychological torture, imprisonment, illegal deportation: the story of M N and many other undocumented people

On Tuesday 6th of June 2017, a Senegalese named Medoune Ndiaye, member of la Voix des Sans Papiers (VSP) de Bruxelles (The Voice of the Undocumented – Brussels), was deported on a Brussels Airlines flight to Dakar. He was arrested end of March in Virton and retained in the closed centre for foreigners in Vottem (Liège). Retention conditions similar to prisons’, lack of information regarding his retention, his arrest during which he was beaten up (broken finger), lack of medical care (refusal to give him analgesics), withholding information on his medical file, repeated intimidations by the closed centre’s staff and the police… Closed centres for foreigners are deportation machines. To prepare these deportations, one has to break up the retainees’ resistance through imprisonment, psychological torture until applying a confinement measure, which Medoune experienced during several days.

The Foreigners Office very quickly delivered a deportation order. The Senegalese embassy then granted a let pass without any investigation nor contact with Medoune. After a first deportation attempt, Medoune Ndiaye was driven to the airport on 6th June. A dozen policemen were waiting for him. He asked to speak with his lawyer in the context of an appeal procedure against the police of Liège. This right was denied to him on the grounds that the complaint would have been withdrawn; which is false. This was followed by threats and violence. A policeman held him on the ground, another one sat down on him and several others beat him; preventing him from breathing until Medoune passed out. In the meantime, he was tied and handcuffed without noticing. Forced to get on the plane with two policemen threatening him: ‘Even if you die, you are going back home’; he could hear them speak with the captain in Dutch. Medoune then struggled and broke objects around him. Both policemen beat him again. Nobody in the plane, neither the staff nor the passengers did intervene. An air hostess had asked him to calm down, saying that recently another man had been beaten, that he had had broken teeth and that they had deported him even though he was bleeding. Before landing, the two policemen mentioned a possible medical care once in Dakar. Handcuffed, he was brought to the Senegalese authorities represented by the gendarmerie. A fake file concerning him was mentionned, accusing him of several thefts in markets, and of robberies in Belgium. This document had been written in Dutch. Medoune requested a copy but it was refused. He also questioned the gendarmerie that do not oppose to receiving a document in a foreign language, accepting it without wondering about his obvious bad physical state. Then Medoune got angry at the gendarmes who in turn threatened him of imprisonment. Two passengers interferred to defend him so that he could leave the place without being charged. The gendarmes refused to call an ambulance and asked him to go away and find a way to go alone to the hospital.

Two broken ribs, the body molested and bruised, he was also stolen half of the money he had as well as his mobile phone, without knowing when it all happened.

Here are the concrete results of the policy implemented by Théo Francken, consisting in closing borders and in deporting 1000 more people each yar, increasing the retentions! Many decisions directly concerning the undocumented are being taken by European and national authorities, and their lack of transparency and democratic nature is not to be demonstrated any longer.

The members of the group VSP, among whom Thierno Malik (still retained in Vottem) and Medoune Ndiaye, directly pay the price of it. Lastly, other groups of undocumented also were subject to reasserted repression. When European leaders boast the promotion of peace and human rights throughout the world, the undocumented of Europe hide and follow the walls. Actually, this policy doesn’t care about human dignity and about rights which are supposedly inalienable.

We question the Senegalese, Belgian and European authorities on these facts, and we call the citizens to denounce with us these raids, retention conditions, ‘administrative’ retentions and deportations. We support Medoune Ndiaye as well as all the other retainees in closed centres (men, women and children) i