I’m speaking for everyone, not just myself…

28th January 2011: A detainee’s account by telephone during an action taking place in front of the Merksplas detention centre.

Listen to the interview (ENG & FR) :


My name is…….I come from Cameroon. I have been held here for the last 2 weeks.

They arrested me at my home, I had just got into the house. I live in Antwerp with my girl friend who works there. She also comes from Cameroon. I submitted the request for regularisation but they gave me a negative answer because I have been in Belgium for 4 years and 11 months instead of 5 years as is required. I was missing one month. 4 years and 11 months! And I have all the proof!

I am sick, I need specific treatment, I am a diabetic…These conditions are not good for me!

Another person:

Hello! I don’t want to talk about me because for me it doesn’t matter that I am here, I don’t have papers, I don’t have a passport, I have nothing…But I speak for everyone here! If someone is sick here, they are sent to the nurse and she gives out the same medicine for every illness! Whether you have fever or your leg hurts, you’ll get given the same cream. It is shit…We don’t eat well! We ask for vegetarian food and they don’t want to give it to us! There are things happening which are not normal, there is no respect! I’m not saying that everybody is like this but there are a lot of racist people with us…They hit us and put us in cells! They have sedated people by giving them shots and now they walk like robots…There is really no respect. I’ve been here for one month and ten days and it’s the second time round for me! I was also here in 2009-2010. Yes I am illegal but I am still a human being like everyone else, no? I don’t have papers but I’m a human being!

I have a lot of problems in my country so I left to come here. I come from Iraq. It’s been 4 years and 6 or 7 months now that I am here.

You know my phone number. If there is something you can call me. Thanks a lot, really, thanks a lot.

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