News from the centres: detentions, deportations, escapes, self-mutilation, torture….


Caricole detention centre

– Palestinian detainees (01/06/2024)

In recent weeks, Palestinians from Jordan, Egypt and Turkey have been arrested on arrival at Zaventem and have since been held in the closed centres around the airport, awaiting deportation. Faced with these arrivals of people fleeing war and genocide, the Belgian authorities can think of nothing better than to cynically apply their usual policy: hunt down, lock them up and deport them.


Detention centre 127bis

– Hunger strike (20/05/2024)

-Escape attempts;

A prisoner tell us (22/06/2024): 

“A man ran and ran, crossed several internal fences, ran and ran, got to the big door, then was caught and knocked down. It was like something out of a film.”    

(31/05/2024) “In 127bis, a man took advantage of a visit to the hospital to escape. He was due to be deported for the third time three days later. Good luck to him!”

-Self-mutilation and attempted suicide (24/05/2024) In 127bis, a detainee tells us:

“Last week, a man in shock because his father had died back home asked for a voluntary return: after 3 days without any response, he cut himself all over his body with a razor blade and was taken to hospital. No news ever since.”


Merksplas detention centre

– Systematic solitary confinement (05/06/2024) ; Inmates tell us:   

“Systematic dunking. A fit Algerian man dared to open his mouth 3 days ago. Today he can barely walk and talk following an injection…”    

“Racist policy, discrimination.”

“Fear reigns. No one dares leave their room yet.”

-Medical care (05/06/2024)     

“The doctor is not human. Hippocrates? No respect. The doctor’s profession is noble?”

“A man has been writhing in his stomach for five days: the doctor gives him a syrup.”

“Everyone needs care, and there isn’t any!”

“You should call the Ligue des Droits Humains (Human Rights League)!”


Block 5 contains the dungeons and medical isolation cells.We spoke to two people who have been in medical isolation, one for 18 months, the other for 2 months. They tell us:     

“We live in fear.”    

“We’re treated like terrorists.”

“Surveillance all the time, in the courtyard, to smoke a cigarette, to eat.”

“When I ask why, they tell me “for my safety”. For me, it’s psychological torture.”

“It’s gratuitous meanness.”

Following a very violent placement in solitary confinement, during which a man was beaten by six guards, inmates who witnessed the scene in the opposite solitary share with us: 

“This is the mafia, we’re in another country. I’m really shocked and scared. I’ve been in Belgium for years and I love the Belgians. These are not Belgians. They’re a mafia.”


Bruges detention centre (01/06/2024)

A detainee alerted us to an attempt to forcibly deport to Turkey a man who had been locked up in the Bruges detention centre since December 2023 and had been on hunger strike for over 2 months. Two outside doctors had attested to his very worrying medical and psychological state, and had stated that a flight could endanger his life (“not fit to fly”). Despite this, he was forcibly deported to Istanbul on 1 June. He did not have the strength to resist.

“The three officers were physically brutal towards him. One of them grabbed his left arm, the other his right arm and the third was behind him. All three seized him firmly and immobilised him. They closed his mouth and one officer grabbed his throat to stop him screaming. This happened several times during the flight. The three officers were experts at maintaining calm. He was completely under control. The other passengers didn’t notice and didn’t intervene.”


Vottem detention centre

Petition for a man who has been living in Belgium for 18 years. Free Doudou!





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