Testimony received: Afghan woman in a closed centre

Received from a visitor this 01/06/2022

Ms MS is Afghan. She was detained in the women’s detention centre in Holsbeek from 8 April 2022 to 24 May 2022, i.e. one and a half months. Her husband is Belgian and has returned from Pakistan with their three children. The mother was detained at the border and suffered this long detention … for nothing.

As the wife of a Belgian and mother of a Belgian child, she has the right to stay in Belgium.  But for this she has to apply for a visa at the Belgian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, as there is no embassy in Afghanistan.
To apply for this visa, you need a valid passport. But since the Taliban took power, you have to go to them to ask for this document. And they charge a lot for it.
Belgium also requires such absurd documents as a certificate of good conduct.

In the usual procedures, one can try to understand, but for an Afghan woman? Seriously? Our government requires people – women – to risk their lives to go and ask the Taliban (an organisation still labelled as terrorist) for permission to leave the country.
Asking the Taliban to certify that someone is not a criminal might be comical, if it did not have such serious implications.

As a result of the absurdity of Belgian bureaucracy, she was detained for one and a half months.
Today Mrs MS has been reunited with her husband and children. Fortunately.

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