I didn’t want them to hit me so I said I wanted to return to my country

This interview was conducted during an action carried out at the Merksplas detention centre on 28 January 2011.

Listen to the interview (NL) :


I would like to tell you what happened to us. I speak good Dutch. I have lived in Belgium for 18 years and I don’t have any papers. My wife is Belgian and so are my children.
We were detained for no reason. I have two young children and my wife here. I can’t leave here. (…) My children live in Antwerp.(…)

I have been detained for one month and 10 days. There is a lawyer here, but he wants to send me back. They have reserved a flight to Yugoslavia for me for Monday. I come from Serbia. I have lived in Belgium for 18 years. I was at school here.
I legally recognised my child at the registrar’s office in Antwerp. My wife lives in Antwerp.
And my lawyer doesn’t help me. Wait.
I should have the right to stay in Belgium. I have lived here for 18 years and my children and my wife are here. My wife is Belgian and my children are Belgian. My children were born here. My son is 3 and my daughter is 7 months old.
They controlled me in the street and detained me because I don’t have any papers.
You see?
I should have the right to stay in Belgium. But on Monday 31 January they are going to send me back to my country.
(…) If I don’t cooperate they will put me in handcuffs. I have often seen it happen. They put you in handcuffs then they hit you because you don’t want to go back to your country.

I didn’t want to get hit so I said I wanted to go back to my country, peacefully and without handcuffs. (…)
They use violence. A few days ago they beat someone up.
It is really hard here. My place is not here. It is my son’s birthday soon and I can’t be there. I just said: “OK, fine, I will go back to my country.”
I don’t know what is going to happen. My family will really miss me.
My daughter is only 7 months old. And my son. And my wife who will have to look after them all by herself. She will be alone with nobody to help her.
Can they help me? I don’t think so. I saw what they do. They take our money. You see?
Now you have my number, you can contact me.
We are beside your van with the loudspeaker. I am there wearing the white jumper. Now we are outside, but you can’t see us. Only through the windows.

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