News from the centres and deconfinement alertA 03/06/2020

Deconfinement ALERT

According to recent news, the European borders will open again on 15 June 2020. Flights will resume as of that date.
Some retainees already got the information that the centres will be filled again.

Raids and arrests will therefore resume in our neighbourhoods, in public transports, in parking places, etc. to refill these centres where more than 400 places are available.

However, a message has been circulating lately…
« When the borders reopen, the persecution of undocumented and asylum seekers will start again in order to fill the closed centres and relaunch the deportation machine. To confront that situation, an informal anti-raid network is organising itself.»

Let’s be careful in case of raids or arrests.
Let’s prevent these arrests.
Let’s go to the police stations where people have been brought to and claim their release.
Let’s go in front of closed centres to show our soliarity with their struggle and claim their release.
Let’s prevent deportations.

News from the centres on 1 June 2020 :

They still are a hundred or so (for 600 places) in closed centres. A lot were released after the COVID outbreak.

The remaining retainees have mostly been there since before the lockdown and kept there until flights resume. Many have been retained for 5, 6, or even 10 months: Ethiopia, Algeria, Guinea, Bangladesh, Morocco, Cameroon, Benin, Mali, Tunisia, Gaza, etc.

The Foreigners Office harass them and keep them retained to try and deport them as soon as flights resume.
Many retainees wonder why they are being harrassed that way: “Many were released because of the pandemic. Why are we still here? All these months in prison are very long. All we want is to be allowed to continue our asylum or regularisation requests outside, free!”
“Is all this legal?”

Bruges closed centre: they are still a dozen to be retained.

A man cuts himself regularly and for months they have moved him from isolation cell to medical service and vice-versa.

« In this room even a dog would not sleep. The mattress stinks, the bathroom is disgusting.It is stressful, very stressful, I can’t sleep. It is not normal at all. You have pain somewhere, you would like some medicine, they refuse to give it to you. They speak to you badly. There is no humanity. Ok, it is true, I am illegal because undocumented, but I am not a criminal. And I am not an animal.”

The last days, they revolted peacefully against these retentions and threatened to go on hunger strike. The police intervened directly. As a result: 3 were placed in isolation cells and then transferred to other centres.
« We wanted to start a hunger strike but we didn’t do it, we stayed quiet. Then the police came and placed 3 people in isolation cells. Why these 3 persons and not everybody, and why us?”

Caricole closed centre : they are 26, all retained since the beginning of the year, many of them are women arrested at the airport in January 2020.

“We are left behind we do not sleep, we have psychic problems because of this imprisonment. The doctor only gives us paracetamol, always. Sometimes we shout, then the management comes to speak to us and tell us that they will ask the Office. ”

« Our retention is extended for 2 months every 2 months. It’s a nightmare. The food gives us stomach pain and diarrhea. I haven’t eaten for 15 days. There is war in our country, we do not understand why we are not welcome here. »




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