Théo Francken is proud to announce the retention and expulsion of many «undocumented criminals ». These endless retentions are challenging, they are part of Machiavellian and dishonest, not to say illegal processes. As an example among many others, some had documents, but following their ‘incivility’ they were deprived of this small piece of paper, becoming ‘removable undocumented criminals’ in the statistics of Mr Francken and they are being deported!
Testimony by M., retained in Merksplas for several months, 23 November 2016
M. has been in Belgium for 27 years, and retained in Merksplas for 6-7 months.
He is Algerian, his return is refused by the consulate but this doesn’t prevent the Foreigners Office to deprive him of his liberty against all logic nor to waste the taxpayer’s money, having tried to deport him already 7 times! One might be tempted to think that the subsidizing of air companies is one of Théo Francken’s objectives.
M. who is 52 years old now had come from Algeria directly to Zaventem. He had been called to join the Algerian army where to do his military service for 2 years in order to wage war against the islamists. However, M. did not want to fight against other Algerians. Neither within the army, nor within islamist movements. His only possibility was to flee civil war.
In 2000 he introduced an asylum request that was rejected. In 2006, he was convicted to 3 years of imprisonment for theft. He recognised the offence but insisted that he had never committed violence against anyone. He served his sentence before being released.
18 months ago, he was controlled in front of his house and the police men told him that he had to go back to prison because of the case of 2006.
He doesn’t understand, because he had been released and controlled several times without any particular problem since then.
He was imprisoned in Forest, Tilburg and then Wortel before being transferred to the closed centre of Merksplas. At the time of the transfer, the court’s clerk tells him that he will be released after a few days in Merksplas. He still doesn’t understand the reason of this ‘return’ to prison.
But the few days became long months, interrupted with plane tickets and extension of detention because they were not able to send him back to Algeria.
He is asking for an Order to leave the territory within the 24 hours so that he may ‘leave Belgium and that no one ever hears about him anymore’.
But the answer is always the same: it is not possible.
M. knows that Algeria will always refuse his deportation. If they accepted, he would only go back there in a coffin. He’d rather commit suicide.
M. is stuck in Merksplas. In an absurd situation that he doesn’t understand, with no escape.
He can not stand the centre anymore, retention, deprivation, racism by the guards. Through spite, he asks for a transfer to a French-speaking centre but they say it is not possible.
He tried hunger strike for 15 days. Then he gave up because he had been threatened of confinement cell or injections, which he feared could have made him crazy.
His words show the revolt and despair linked to this cruel and absurd retention:
“I should destroy everything to be able to move. They push you to do that.”
“On Monday, the social assistant distributes plane tickets just like peanuts, it is stressful, I sleep very bad.”
“Here, it’s welcome to hell!”
“We get no help from the management, it’s too tough…”
“There is a lot of racism here, it’s the NVA, the guards say that their boss is Théo Francken…”
“There is no time limit here”
“The food, even dogs wouldn’t eat it. They just killed us… 2 toasts, 3 slices of cheese, a piece of chocolate. We can not buy anything, only waffels and coca cola… Sometimes we get anything, they say that retainees cost a fortune”.
“In 20 days, one retainee will have been here for a year (…) every time a deportation is aborted, they extend his stay with 2 mohths. ‘
“They imprison and deport fathers, their children will become thugs…””