Closed Centre Caricole: last weekend at Caricole, it was a huge mess: up to 10 people a day are brought to the closed centre, stopped at the airport (Brussels or Charleroi) for administrative reasons: Indians, South Americans, Sub-Saharans, Albanians, Georgians, Palestinians. Most of them are repatriated with the company that brought them to their country of origin within 24 to 48 hours.
Some known examples:
-A man of Moroccan origin with a valid residence permit in Spain who was arrested in Charleroi because “he was making too many return trips” was repatriated to Morocco
-An older Algerian woman married to a Belgian resident in Belgium wanted to join her husband. She was repatriated to Algeria
They generally choose, if they do not want to apply for asylum, to return rather than to appeal against these decisions as this would mean imprisonment for several weeks/months in a closed centre
Merksplas detention centre: a man was facing a fourth attempt at forced deportation to his Dublin country, Italy. On arrival at the airport he was stripped naked (searched) and threatened with gagging if he refused to be deported. To avoid deportation he mutilated himself. An ambulance was called, he received stitches and was taken back to the centre
Holsbeek closed centre: surprise and very violent expulsion of an Iranian woman on 31/05. She is still being held at the Tehran police station on 8 June. Her fellow inmates are still in shock.
Closed centre Bruges: inmates tried to file a collective complaint on 07/06/2022 denouncing (we transcribe their written complaint in Dutch):
“A lack of knowledge of the limits of the duration of detention, intimidating social workers, racist staff members, the non-delivery of essential medicines for some, the distribution of meagre meals at 12 noon and at 6 pm (we are hungry!), the pressure of an imminent return to the country even for those who have children, companionship, work, a house in Belgium, a non-answer/listening of the persons in charge in the centres to their various requests
We sleep 15 to a room and it is the guards who turn off the lights and force us to sleep. Impossible to prolong the evening
We are not criminals but only for papers.
The management refused to take this complaint and one of them, an Iraqi with a Belgian wife and child, was put in solitary confinement. The next day 08/06/2022 he was taken by surprise to the airport. We have no news of him to this day.
NO CLOSED CENTRE