Collective deportation of Aghans this 16/11/2022 : A detainee informs us that there is a “special flight” tomorrow to deport Afghans to Austria . Three Afghans in closed centre 127 bis and several Afghans from other centres were placed in isolation ( cachot) awaiting deportation. All visits at the closed centre will be postponed.
28 october 2022
The reinforcement of the Dublin procedures¹ announced loudly and clearly by the Office des Étrangers (OE) and the government to put more people subject to the Dublin regulation in closed centres. The aim is to reduce the pressure of reception and to free up places in open centres, and above all to frighten other people applying for international protection in order to discourage them from applying in Belgium. The OE and the CGRA keep repeating to anyone who will listen that the number of applications has been very high since this summer. The government, which is organising this reception crisis, is thus cleared while opting for the worst solution, that of repression and mass expulsions.
Currently the EO’s target is Afghans.
We learn from some detainees that many Afghans (dozens) are currently locked up in the closed centres.
We have great difficulty in establishing contact with them and ensuring that they are supported and have a lawyer. They would not have a phone to communicate with other detainees who receive a phone and SIM card on arrival. For the few contacts we had through fellow detainees, they were all arrested at the Office des Étrangers during their first interview.
We appeal to:
– Contact us if you know of someone in a detention centre via our email email@example.com
– Warn Afghan people of this situation, make sure they have a lawyer and do not go to summonses without the advice of their lawyer.
– A lawyer can lodge an appeal in extreme urgency within 10 days against their confinement, or 5 days if it is a 2nd order to leave the territory (OQT).
– The lawyer can also lodge an appeal against decisions to keep them in the country.
– There is also a way to “break the Dublin procedure”².
A new department within the Office des Étrangers, the ICAM (for Individual Case Management or “alternative to detention” or “terugkeer bureau”) was opened in July 2021. https://dofi.ibz.be/fr/themes/sejour-irregulier/alternatives-la-detention. Their “coaches” are present at the OE, in the new Dublin centre in Zaventem and in all municipal administrations in the country.
People in the Dublin procedure will be called to the “ICAM” office to offer them a voluntary return to their Dublin country. Some time later, they will be summoned again. If they refuse their “alternative to detention”, i.e. a so-called voluntary return, they will be placed in a closed centre to schedule a forced return. If they do not show up, they will be considered as fugitives and will lose their right to reception in an open centre. Their Dublin procedure will be extended by 18 months.