I can see a dead man in front of me

20 February 2012 – phone interview from the detention centre 127bis 

Listen to the testimony (FR) :

Je vois un homme qui est mort devant moi


I am leaving tomorrow.

Tomorrow? why? are they going to deport you?

I brought them my passport, I am going to leave.

Have you had enough of it or ?

Because I am Moroccan, I have fingerprints overthere in the Netherlands you see…

In the Netherlands?

Yes, in the Netherlands. They told me they would send me there because I had already been there. I have the fingerprints here, but I gave a fake name in the Netherlands. So either I give them my real name here in Belgium or ‘I must go to the Netherlands’. I refused because if I go there I will spend at least 10 months in a centre.

So, tomorrow they are sending you back to the Netherlands?

No no. I took the decision, I brought them my passport and I said I didn’t want to go to the Netherlands, I want to leave for Morocco.

OK, so now they are sending you back to Morocco and you are going to take the plane quietly.

Yes, I do it voluntarily.

OK, it is better this way than when there is violence on the plane and all.

Yes, all those fights etc. I’ll try to explain you, he is here with me.

Ok, explain me and you can translate what he is saying.

All right. (…) What happened yesterday?


He could feel a heavy pain in his heart. He could not even move from his bed.

Did he have a heart attack?

Almost. Yes, it was a heart attack.

He got a heart attack? Yesterday you were telling me about what happened when he got his heart attack, you were telling me that the doctors did not want to…

Exactly. I was there with him. They asked me why I was talking so much if nothing was wrong with me. I answered “It’s normal that I talk a lot!  There is a dead man in front of me and you are four people here, five or six guards with the doctor of the centre, and you are not doing anything, you are doing nothing!!” In fact they were laughing. I swear they were laughing, just as if nothing had happened. Then I asked them to listen to me.

So, he was having a heart attack and the doctor and guards were looking at him, they were laughing and doing nothing to help him?

Yes, exactly, as I said. Even the doctor, he did not go upstairs in his bedroom you see.

Did he think it was a joke?

He thought it was a joke. He was really bad, you can not imagine, he had even changed colour…

So, it is only when the others started shouting with you that they called the ambulance?

Yes, but we had to wait for one hour.

You waited for one hour before they called an ambulance?

Yes we did. Then they took him to the hospital. Firstly, the persons in charge of the centre here did not want him to leave, but the ambulance people said that he should really be brought to the hospital. He stayed for three hours in the hospital.

He stayed for three hours in the hospital?

When he left the hospital he said that he would make a report on his health state. He asked whether his report could be faxed to his lawyer for example. The doctor said yes. They have not given him any medicine until now. He still feels weak, he still can feel the shock of what happened yesterday.

Now the man came back? Does he feel better?

Yes, he feels better but you can see on his face that he is still tired.

The doctor of the centre does not do a lot to help, does he?

No he doesn’t.

And did he try to lodge a complaint through his lawyer or not?

No, but I will see with him later if he will try to do that.

Because you know, if you really had to wait for a long time without them warning anyone, you may lodge a complaint within five days to the compaints commission. He absolutely needs to see that with his lawyer.

OK I see.

All right?

Yes, but if he does that, it will be even worse for him, because when one lodge a complaint against them, one can be sure they will do him something bad afterwards.

I will inform certain people about that, but he really needs to see with his lawyer.

Yes, people should know what is exactly going on here in the detention centre. I trust you.

Good luck for your return.

Yes thank you, I will see my mother and all the others.

Good bye.

Good bye.

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