23/03/2021: A roundup was organised in a camp in Waremme (a hospital municipality!) in collaboration with the local and federal police.
Mainstream media : Waremme Réfugiés incivils à Oreye: «Un phénomène assez nouveau»
They were all taken to the police station and arrested. Four of them (2 women and 2 men) were transferred to the closed centres in Bruges and Holsbeek for deportation.
Testimonies of migrants and supporters:
ROUNDUP at the camp of ‘La forest’ in Waremme – Tuesday 23.03.2021
“Following the call, I went to the site. it must have been around 9.15 a.m. There were no police vehicles left. as usual, I entered the forest with the aim of meeting any young people who might have escaped the police. there was no one left! i noticed that all the tents had been opened, all of them without exception. And no one left. everyone had been taken away, leaving not only their personal belongings (backpacks, mobile phones, etc.) but also sometimes their shoes. Obviously, this was not a voluntary departure.
“They tell me that they were taken out of their tents by police officers with dogs, at 7am, in the middle of their sleep. Their hands were tied with collars. Several times they asked in English, ‘What’s going on? What have we done? “. They received no answer and were taken to the police station. They stayed there with their hands tied. The police took photos, fingerprints and names. All this was done in English, some translating for others. No questioning about possible misdeeds. To this day, the young people who were arrested still ask me the “why. ”
“They took our things, asked our name and then we had to wait in the courtyard of the police house. We were tied up the whole time. yes, now everyone is free.
They were very scared, especially because of the dogs and the fact that there were many policemen everywhere in the camp. They didn’t understand why they were arrested and nobody explained it to them. “Too much stress”
They asked if I had ever seen this in Waremme and if it happened often… (also in Belgium, in Waremme?)
“A young man comes back to the forest. he is the first one to be released: he is stressed, afraid but trusts the volunteers he knows. he is sheltered. he explains that at 7am, someone knocked on his door.
“I was asleep. I opened the door and there were police everywhere in the forest, at every “house”, with dogs. they took us out without telling us anything. Then, with bound wrists, he explains that the police tied his wrists with “plastic” – let’s understand collars – and then took him out of the forest and into the vehicles.”
“In the rush and fear, he cannot remember if the police let him take his bag or if they kept it. He will not find his bag.
D. will also tell us that he asked to go and urinate. it is possible but without freeing his hands, without removing the collars.
“They took our things, asked our name and then we had to wait in the courtyard of the police house. we were tied up the whole time. yes, now everyone is free.
They were very scared, especially because of the dogs and the fact that there were many policemen everywhere in the camp. They didn’t understand why they were arrested and nobody explained it to them. “Too much stress
They asked if I had ever seen this in Waremme and if it happened often… (also in Belgium, in Waremme?)”
And below, the testimony of the women who were there:
They were sleeping, the police asked them to come out but as they were sleeping they did not come out immediately and the police entered the tent.
They lit a lamp and made them come out. They put on the collars. They took 10 people in the police van and took them to the police office. Then at around 4am they gathered them and took fingerprints and photos.
No food during the day;
Then they were taken elsewhere.
Thanks to the Freedom & Solidarity collective for collecting the testimonies.
Note their denial in the press
“Freedom & Solidarity is surprised to be quoted in the press concerning any consultation with the Police about the “collective” arrest (not to say raid) of all the migrants of the place called la Forest, this Tuesday morning, from 07h, in Waremme.”