In solitary confinement 23/12/2015

A lot of repression in the centres. It seems to be the only communication mean for the management. Some of our friends don’t answer the phone anymore. They just disappeared! Transfers, cells, deportations? Do we have to issue a warrant notice?
Ahmed (alias) has been in solitary confinement for 4 days after the hunger strike he started following the suicide of a Congolese man at the closed centre in Vottem.

In the centre, many others were also placed in solitary confinement. Among the 17 cells of the centre none is empty! The detainees isolated there continue their hunger strike. Very frequently, some of them are transferred from their cell to another centre. Their place is immediately taken by a new ‘troublemaker’ from the same centre or transferred there.

They find new ‘troublemakers’ every day!
Ahmed is telling us:
“We all are troublemakers and leaders, but this is something they can not understand.”
“I am getting nuts in this cell!”
“I lost the notion of time, I don’t know what day is today anymore”
“They have meetings every day to decide on our fate, then they come and tell us ‘we’ll see tomorrow”.
“It is worse than a prison because there are absolutely no rules”.
“Here it is the Northern Africans’hunt, we don’t know why”.
“It is very close to racism.”
“Pressure must be put on embassies.”

Bruges centre:
“Moroccans are all being deported and new ones arrive. It is a real factory.”
“Sixteen people were placed in solitary confinement following the hunger strikes. A police man aggressed one of the detainees and broke his foot. Information not confirmed.
“For the last three days the guards have been making efforts. They improved the communication and are all nice. But everything is so dirty here, it is really disgusting.”

At least 10 people have been transferred to other centres after several days in solitary confinement following the hunger strike.

“Transfers in every possible ways. Four are coming from Vottem, one from Bruges, another one from Merksplas.”
“They treat us like animals.”
“Morrocans are very quickly deported, Subsaharians are almost all sent to another Schengen country (Dublin).”
“An Algerian man in isolation cell will be deported to Morocco in 4 days.”
The detainees denounce dysfunctions in the centre: it was displayed that it would not be possible to go to the internet room until the 4th of January. In spite of this, some are being chosen to go to that room. The chosen ones refused to go, saying that “it is everybody or no one”.
Same thing for visits: a lot of visits are refused and some people are being selected for them.

“It smells like racism” they say.

The detainees are outraged at the arrests at the airport. The people are being repelled manu military the day after their arrest, sometimes to a country at war. They are wondering whether this is legal.
One example among many others:

New strategy : divide and rule?

Northern Africans in the centres feel discriminated against, they feel it is them being currently targeted by the Foreigners Office. This feeling could create conflicts in the centre among the different communities.
Another source of conflicts : filtering on those who deserve internet, visits, etc.

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