17/01/2019: Procedure to follow to compile the information needed by the lawyer.
A lot of arrests have taken place the last 2 weeks. Much too often, hosts ring a lawyer after their guest has been arrested without knowing all the elements that the lawyer will need.http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/at-least-100-arrests-on-our-migratory-roads-within-8-days-and-50-retentions-in-our-closed-centres/
As a reminder, we are a very small group of volunteers, therefore your contribution is more than welcome.
Besides, you are many people to frequently resort to different lawyers for the same person; which complicates even more the situation of the retainee and the lawyers.
Lawyers who are already overloaded need clear and precise information on the retained person in order to be able to access their record.
Suggestion of steps to follow:
- If your guest has been arrested and you are without news, try to locate him/her by calling the different closed centres. Start with the 127bis closed centre where most migrants firstly transit. Although they are federal centres, the use of Dutch (except for the Vottem centre located in Wallonia) makes it easier to obtain information. It might be that the centre doesn’t want to answer your questions or that they can not find the name of your guest on their lists. Very often, your guest will have given another name or the centre will have written their name the wrong way or registered them under another name. Even worse sometimes, their names might not even have been registered (yes, it happens!). Don’t be disheartened: with our lists of retained persons and the phone numbers of co-retainees, we might be able to find them back. Contact email@example.com who will check all the information they have and answer you back very rapidly.
- If your guest warns you of their retention, try to know under which exact name they were registered and in which centre they are being retained. Even better, try to get the number on their badge (“OV nummer” in Dutch); a 7 digits number, their room number or their wing and place of arrest. Remember the phone number we may use to get in contact with them.
- Send all the information you could obtain to firstname.lastname@example.org , even if incomplete. If other hosts already notified their retention, we will be able to put you in contact with them in order to complete the information and ensure the best management of the record by one lawyer. If necessary, we can ring another retainee of the wing where your guest is in order to complete the information.
- Once all the information has been compiled, you will be able to communicate it to a lawyer who will then be able to introduce an emergency appeal within 5 to 10 days as of the day following the retention. Gettingthevoiceout will be able to give you the names of pro deo lawyers who are experts in this type of defense. For emergency appeals, the judgement takes place at the Foreigners Litigation Council (Conseil du Contentieux des Etrangers ( CCE)) in Brussels, and all the lawyers are available for this procedure. On the contrary, if your guests are not released after 5 days, it is preferable to find a lawyer of the region where your guest has been arrested, since the procedures take place in front of the Chambre du Conseil of that region.
You may have understood that one thing to absolutely avoid is to communicate incomplete information to lawyers and that you should ensure that other hosts are not doing the same steps for the same guest/friend.
All this is to ease our lives!
Also worth knowing in case of release: warn the lawyer and also email@example.com
The referents of the platform’s closed centres: Michèle (Bruges), Gaële and Franck (127bis and Caricole), Valérie (Merksplas), Sophie (Vottem).
PS : As a reminder, also check the article that explains what you may already agree with your guest BEFORE an arrest and what information lawyers need! http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/information-for-the-hostsfriendsfamilies-in-case-a-migrant-friend-is-missing/