Hunger strike in Merksplas, Mistreatment and escape at the 127 bis


Several retainees of the Merksplas closed centre have been on a hunger strike for 5 days to protest against their retention.
Three of them have been placed in confinement cells by punishment. An escalation of racist actions by the guards has also been commnunicated to us.

Some were arrested at the Foreigners Office after being convoked to prolong their asylum, obtained 5 years ago, without any explanation nor appeal possibility. Ohters have been in the centre for several months and can not see any way out.

At the Caricole, a few drama shocked the retainees:

After the passage at the Caricole of 4 children- their mother being from the DRC and living in Paris- who wanted to be with their mother, they finally were placed under guardianship and their mother stayed in the centre.

She does not understand anything and feels very, very bad. She tells us:

«They¹ve taken everything from me; passeport, residence permit, licence
etc. I am nothing anymore. »

« How will I be able to live without my
children? »

« How will we repair all this after that?”

Other similar drama/
A pregnant woman was assaulted during a deportation attempt.
“The guards carried her like a baby, they were strangling her, she was shouting, it was just horrible. Even in Africa, they would never treat a pregnant woman that way”.

« What we can see here (at the Caricole) is just horrible. A woman arrived with her baby. She said that the police had pushed her, that she fell with the baby in her arms. Then she had to stay in a very cold room, so cold that the baby could have died. She shouted for them to get her out of that room.”

“A Chinese woman came from Angola to visit other Chinese people living in Europe. Since she arrived late, she got arrested because the hotel had cancelled her reservation.”

“It is forbidden to bring food in your room. A guard teared a slice of bread away from my hands. If you want to buy biscuts or crisps, you may only do so when the refectory is open.”

“A lot of chaos today, people are nervous in the centre, they are exhausted, it is normal. If we had a camera on our mobile phones I swear that the centre would be closed down by the end of the week!”

“People do not understand anything anymore here, all their documents are givent to them in Dutch, however their lawyers do not speak Dutch, neither do they, so why are they doing this?”

“They don’t want people to know what is going on here, that is the reason why we can not have phones with cameras! But what is going on here is totally crazy: for example, yesterday two people slept in the corridor with just a blanket!”

Escape from the 127bis closed centre

We heard that 3 retainees escaped from the 127bis closed centre during the week of 12th December 2016. They took the chassis of their bedroom window apart, they sew the bars and escaped. The guards discovered their disappearance 4hours later! They are still walking free!
Fair winds!

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