Isolation cell, suicide, escape, terror in the closed centres…….13/12/2015

Closed centre 127bis .

Last week, a dozen of releases. Among them, a few Afghans who had been arrested in the context of the Afghans’ hunt announced by Francken.
This week, reopening of the wing for 40 people with a press conference and all the rigmarole at the 127bis. The detainees tried to speak to the media and shouted through their windows.
Listen to the reportage on RTBF ( A 23:20 ) Tension is tangible!
These new places were rapidly occupied by the newcomers (25 newcomers these last days, all nationalities mixed). A lot of deportations and isolations.
It seems that workers of the centre strongly discourage prisoners to ring associations, threatening them with sanctions and deportations. Hence, the communication with the outside became almost impossible.
Fear prevails in the centre and each one is living in their corner, trying to avoid any contact, be it inside or outside the centre. Terror paralyses everybody, it is the modus operandi, worth of a fascit State.

The word ‘terror’, in the meaning of a collective terror that is spread among the population to break their resistance. Terror can be used as a way to govern, “enabling the power to break down those who resist it thanks to extreme measures and collective terror”.

Terrorism is the use of terror for political, religious, ideological or vilanious ends.

In the women’s wing, several women are there, retained following a suspicion of marriage of convenience. And the same rhythm again: deportations, newcomers arrested at the Office, at home, in public transports etc.

6 detainees tried to escape on 9th December. They broke bars of their windows and jumped. Guards were alerted by the noise and they called the police who were there, at the foot of the wall, to welcome them. They spent 3 days in confinement and were transferred to several centres.
Here is what they told us:
“Everything is dirty in Merksplas, the food is inedible. One only sees deportations and isolations, only negative answers.”
“They call us dangerous people, but they are the dangerous ones!”.
“They call us illegal, but they are the ones into illegality!”

Still in Merksplas, two very young Bosnians were arrested at the border between Belgium and France one month ago. Their families have been living in the North of France for more than 5 years and they would like them to come back and live with them. The Office wants to send them back to Bosnia, a country that they do not know.

More than 15 Afghans are being retained in Vottem, in the context of the Afghans’ hunt announced by the State Secretary Théo Francken; a very worrying fact.
In the blue wing of Vottem, one retainee calls for help; someone went on a hunger strike for 28 days and is currently in the hospital. Another one tried to commit suicide and is also in the hospital. A third one tried to jump over the wall and also landed in the hospital!
A demonstration took place on 12th December 2015, gathering associations, support and undocumented people from Liège and Brussels.

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