S, Algerian born in 2006, 16 years old, travelled across Europe for a year, looking for a place to live. He travelled from country to country (Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands) to end up in a detention centre in Belgium at the beginning of 2022.
His fellow inmates had alerted us to the presence of a boy in the Bruges detention centre. They warned us that he was in great pain.
Our article on this subject.https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/s-16-years-old-detained-in-the-closed-centre-of-bruges-rather-than-protected-14-02-2022/
At the beginning of his detention he was crying, then he was revolted by what happened to him and in total incomprehension. As a result of the management’s decisions, he found himself in solitary confinement on several occasions and even spent a few days in a psychiatric ward. His fellow inmates tried to protect and console him.
The Office des Etrangers gave him the age of 18 and treated him as an “adult”. So they made him sign a paper in Dutch, a language he does not understand, in which he confirmed this age even though the visiting NGOs and the co-detainees, as well as some of the educators in the centre, confirmed that he was a kid.
He told us “I want to go home”, “I miss my mum”.
It is not uncommon for the OE to lock up young minors in a detention centre, disputing their age, even though it is written on their birth certificate, claiming that it is false.
It is thanks to our contacts with detainees that we are sometimes made aware of these unacceptable situations. It is totally unacceptable that very young people are mistreated by our authorities.
The Office des Etrangers did everything it could to get rid of them by looking for the Dublin country that was willing to take them back. He was confronted with a real carousel of “Dublins”: Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany; countries where he had left his fingerprints.
Finally he was deported to Spain and was very happy and relieved to be released after 3 months of detention.
We have not heard from him since his deportation.
We will repeat again and again:
Let’s close the closed centres, let’s stop rounding up and locking up women, men and children who are simply trying, legitimately, to improve their lives.
Let’s free them all!
Fire the detention centres!
Subscribe to our newsletters by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
To support them:
RECHARGE THE PHONES of detainees in closed centres.
We receive a lot of requests for phone top-ups from people detained in closed centres. Their telephone is very often their only contact with the outside world, whether it be with family, friends, their lawyer, or to make their situation known publicly.
Whether their arrest takes place on their migration route or in their place of residence, whether their family and friends are here or in the country, being able to warn and communicate with their loved ones is crucial. Many of them would not be able to do so without your help.
You can support these detainees by buying a 10 euro top-up from Lycamobile at your local grocery store, nightshop or bookshop. Then send us the pin code from this top-up to our email address email@example.com . We will send this code to the prisoners who request it. You can also, if it is easier for you, pay or even better make a standing order of 5, 10, 20 euros or more on the dedicated account :
Collectif Contre Les Expulsions
Triodos Bank BE58 5230 8016 1279 BIC: TRIOBEBB
Pass this message on to your friends and acquaintances.
THANK YOU for them.