Physical searches at the 127 bis centre in Steenokkerzeel

This Sunday 14/05/2016,  suddenly, around 1 p.m., the guards of the 127 bis closed centre decided to search everybody in the wing nr 1.  

All prisoners had to gather in the common hall. They were called one by one by their number and separated from the group to be submitted to a full physical search while other guards were searching the rooms, emptying the trays, putting the mattressses upside down.

One of the retainees explains us that these searches are very frequent and done by order of the director who explains the reason for these searches. 

On that day, no direction, no reasons explained and, according to certain retainees, the attitudes of the guards were racist and lacking respect.

At the time of the searches this Sunday, the retainees were very nervous and they were calling for support from the outside.

Currently, as far as we know, four men have been on a hunger strike for 15 days. Another one started one three days ago, claiming for his release. He has been living here for 6 years, he is married and he doesn’t see any valid reason to justify his retention.

In the women’s wing, two women are still on hunger strike and one the health of one of her is worrying.One woman in the centre say us “She will dy if we do not do anything”

A majority of the retainees do not understand why they are being detained, they didn’t get any explanation and some have been detained for more than 8 months.

These searches are part of the intimidation and repression strategies caracteristic to all prison environments so as to make them feel that they are the ones holding the supreme power on the retainees and their actions, that the guards are there to mate them!

Call out for support and solidarity with the prisoners 

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