At Brussels National airport in Zaventem
For several months, Subsaharian or Maghrebin travellers in transit at Brussels National airport are caught by the police and retained in closed centres.
During the holidays period, some who are legal residents in one of the Schengen countries go back to their home country to see their family and friends. While in transit at Brussels airport they are controlled and caught by the airport police.
We collected several testimonies by people retained in the Caricole closed centre who have been arrested that way at Brussels airport. The pretexts of their arrests are very similar, they are being accused of being in possession of a ‘fake passport’ or of documents not in order and are directly retained at the Caricole, a closed centre directly linked to the no man’s land of the airport, in view of a ‘refoulement’ to their country of departure… The Foreigners Office refute their saying, refuse to believe them, deny their residence permits and retain them for several weeks, even for several months. Then they are released or turned back to their country of origin where, according to the Foreigners Office, they should, through the embassy of their country of residence, settle their situation and take another plane to their country in Europe. Hence, these people, although they have been legal residents in a European country sometimes for more than ten years, are being administratively retained for weeks or months. This gives way to unimaginable hassles for these people and their families. A lot of them will lose their job and their housing following this retention.
Other travellers who live in Subsharian countries or in Maghreb come to our countries to spend holidays with their families settled in Europe. Some of them while in transit at the airport also get arrested by the airport police for various fanciful pretexts. They also find themselves retained in closed centres, sometimes with their children, in view of their ‘refoulement’. Most of them, instead of spending their ‘holidays’ in closed centres, and after having understood the administrtive hassle it takes to get a possible release, prefer to forget about their plan to meet their families installed in Europe and decide to let themselves turn back to their countries.
Others get arrested at the border between France and Belgium or in Zeebrugge, mainly Afghans who fled the living conditions and the police repression in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. They are being retained sometimes for several months in the Belgian closed centres, waiting for their deportation…
Racism in all its glory
The administrative retentions of all these travellers reflect the European and Belgian obsession to hunt ‘foreign travellers’ the majority of whom would be travelling with fake passports, according to the Foreigners Office. One would wonder whether the airport police is capable of making a distinction between a real and a fake passport or whether, which seems much more logical, their judgment is not purely racist.
These repressions and deportations of foreigners are the expression of a pure and simple racism towards any person ‘of colour’ and do not have anything to do anymore with the announced migratory controls. Why arrest and retain travellers with a residence permit in a Schengen country for years or travelling to visit their families settled in Europe if not in view of discouraging, intimidating, excluding, pissing off and making money out of the arrests and deportations/refoulements, to reinforce the image of the ‘cheating’ foreigners and apply methods advocated by the far right.
All this happens in a deafening silence: neither the political parties nor the associations, and certainly not the media mention these ignoble acts at the borrders: they all are at the mercy of the power for fear of losing their votes, subsidies, listeners, etc.
‘Third countries’ citizens with whom the EU want to sign readmission and partnership agreements through ‘incentive measures’ are not fooled: it will be dead expensive to sign agreements with these third countries that see the members of their communities being mistreated in EU countries! The European Union is heading for a fall once again with its arrogance and stupidity.
Europe is trying to buy its way out of the migratory crisis :
One example of this répression: Mr Sow, still being retained at the Caricole