Fleeing a forced marriage and resisting expulsion at all costs.

Closed centre for women in Holsbeek

Mrs. Hafsa El Mangad has fled a forced marriage and asked for asylum upon her arrival at the airport of Zaventem. She was locked up in the closed center of Holsbeek for the processing of her asylum application. According to the foreigners’ office, “there was a risk of escape”. 

Her father back home wanted to marry her to an older friend who was already married. She refused categorically. Her father tried to persuade her by harassing and beating her. She decided to flee to Belgium where she has relatives and wants to apply for asylum.

Her request for asylum was refused by the CGRA, which ruled, as it often does, that there was not enough evidence, adding to its argument that “there are no more forced marriages in Morocco”. After filing an appeal, the “Conseil du contentieux des étrangers” did not find any arguments to reject the decision of the CGRA on the form.

She is desperate and started a hunger strike on October 25, 2021. Her co-detainees express their solidarity with her. A first deportation attempt has been aborted after she refused a Covid test. 

On October 29, a “psychologist” of the center announced a new expulsion attempt that very evening, explaining that there was an agreement (whose precise content we would like to know) between Belgium and Morocco to accept expulsions without a Covid test.

Mrs Hafsa El Mangad  received a ticket for a flight to Tangier from Air Arabia on Friday, October 29 at 9:30 pm. She refused this first attempt of deportation. The policemen promised her an escort and an expulsion by force in the next days.

On her return to the centre, they pressured her to eat again, which she is now doing.

She is desperate and determined to resist any expulsion. She warns that a return to her country would be hell, if not death.

Her  niece living in Belgium asks us: “But where are the women’s rights for the exiled women”?

An appeal will be launched as soon as we know the date of her forced expulsion in order to mobilize at the airport and inform the passengers of the flight of their rights and duties. https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/comment-arreter-une-expulsion/

Let’s be vigilant!


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