28/01/2013: Testimony from men in closed centrum of Vottem
-So, you are being detained in the closed centre of Vottem?
-Yes I am.
– Can you tell me what happened and how it is like in the centre?
– I have been here since 21 December 2012. I was arrested in Verviers, in the bedroom I was living in. The police came. They banged on my door and said: “Sir, the Foreigners Office asked us to arrest you because you did not respect the Order to leave the territory.”
They arrested me and took me to the police station and from there to Merksplas near Antwerp. I stayed in Merksplas for 10 days and then I asked to be transferred to Vottem. I now live in Vottem close to Liège.
– How is it in the centre?
– It i very bad here because they never tell us the truth. That is the problem. They directly wake you up and tell you “Sir you’ve got an appointment”, what appointment you don’t know, and they directly bring you to the airport!
They don’t give you any information related to your release or to what the Foreigners Office said, and also, they really do any old thing with the foreigners who come here. I have one Guinean friend here, the very first day he was here he was forced to get an injection.
– He got an injection by force?
– Yes madam. He was not sick so we wondered why they wanted him to get an injection. They told him it was compulsory. He refused. The nurse called the doctor. They enchained him and gave him the injection. Nobody knows what kind of injection it is. That’s how it goes here, you get injections, you are forced to be deported, and after six-seven months back home you either die or get mad. They do that to many people here!
– Does it frequently happen?
– Yes, very often, I know a lot of people here who got this injection.
– And do they deport many people too?
– Yes they do! Every day they deport people. Without notice! If you are asleep, they come and wake you up and they tell you “Sir, you are going to the airport”. They don’t tell you whether you got your let pass, nothing! You don’t get any news, absolutely nothing, it is just like slavery. We are being treated here like if we were not human beings. They do whatever they please, they do not apply the law, they get round the law, they never say the truth. May be no A.S.B.L is allowed to come here to try and discover what is really going on in the closed centres, hence they do whatever they want to!