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