Audio : ‘The earth does not belong to anyone’ (FR)

Testimony by a woman retained in the closed centre of Bruges for 4 months and then released.


[audio:à-personne.mp3|titles=La terre appartient à personne]

I swear there were pregnant women. One of them lost her baby in the stairs (it was crazy, guards were pulling her… stairs). An 80 years old mother got arrested, an old mum, a mum from Kosovo. There were mums over 60 years old who were also arrested. The guards were not nice, they treated us like prisoners.

They come without warning for a deportation?

Yes, we are never warned. They come unexpectedly. Besides, if you refuse once, they may plan another flight for you. Stress is predominant. We are being told there is a social assistant but I think she’s rather a flight organiser. A social assistant should assist you morally, especially morally in this kind of situation.

How does the medical service function?

oooops, don’t even ask… When you fall sick, you go to the medical care unit, they give you small tablets, you don’t know the name of them, there is never a name on them, there is never a date either.

And does the doctor examine you seriously?

We never see any doctor. We only see nurses. If you want to see a doctor you must really insist (…). Sometimes you’re even being told that is it not because you pretend to be sick that you’re gonna be released. ‘ “It is absolutely normal, if your stomach aches, if you throw up. To be retained like this. It is absolutely normal’, they say.

We are being told to take our stuff, but I think someone doesn’t only have one suitcase after they left their country for so long and spent years and years on the territory, they have a life here, were integrated here, and suddenly they are being asked to leave from one day to the other, with one suitcase. (…) If you really want people to leave, organise the journey with the persons concerned so they may take everything they have and leave.

Everybody is happy to stay at home. I am being reminded each time. ‘Why don’t you want to go back home?’ I simply answer that the earth does not belong to anyone. No one decides to be born in a poor or in a rich place. It is destiny. Now, if you have the opportunity to change the situation just a bit… to look for something else, it is man’s reflex. This is why he wants to change his situation.

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