General hunger strike at the Bruges detention centre

 Update: At 9 a.m are many police in the centre

The people detained at the detention centre in Bruges ‘De Refuge’ on wings A, B, C and D have informed us that they have today, 23 May 2013, begun a hunger strike for a determined duration.

The majority of them were arrested at their place of residence for sometimes questionable or even illegal reasons. These arrests were often accompanied by violence.

Their conditions of detention are worthy of a concentration camp. This detention has been accompanied by systematic controls of all their actions and movements. Every movement, behaviour, conversation, phone call has straight away been considered suspect. People are placed in solitary confinement on a daily basis for uncertain reasons.

The follow-up care is either non-existent or inadequate: if they have health problems, they receive, without prior medical examination, unnamed medication which has no effect or an effect which makes them incapable of reacting or moving around.

In the case of scheduled expulsions by the Immigration Office, they are rarely forewarned.  The evening before their expulsion, they are put in isolation often without the possibility to warn their lawyers, families or friends although the rules clearly state that in the case of expulsion, they must be given 48 hours advance warning.

They wish to make themselves known to those in charge of migration policy and to meet journalists to document their stories.

Their principal demand is FREEDOM.

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