Interview with a woman whose companion is detained in Merksplas detention centre.
He was detained after they introduced their request at the commune. They are being accused of a marriage of convenience. After 4 months in closed center Merksplas he was deported to his country[audio:http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Ils-ont-refusé-ma-demande-de-marriage.mp3|titles=Ils ont refusé ma demande de marriage]
We had introduced a procedure, but what happened is that, according to them, several requests to leave the country were not respected. There was one on 27th June and another one in December, he had to be gone for 19th December. They are talking about, well… the 27th June one is correct, but the December one hasn’t been notified and the others are not correct. Hence, I had introduced my marriage request but they refused it, they told me that the police officer from my area would come to my house to check whether my partner was there, but no one ever came.
My lawer told me to reintroduce my marriage declaration but it got refused again. I was told to wait, and the Quaregnon police told me that X would have to testify. We did what was necessary but they were not available on that day, they postponed it. They rang me at 1.30pm to tell me that it could be done at 5pm. We went there with X so that he could testify but then they handcuffed him and took him away from me to bring him to Merkplas.
After all this, after December, actually he was arrested on 27th February 2012, and after he got there they finally agreed to accept my marriage declaration, so they really waited until X was taken away from me to accept my declaration…
Besides, they say there is a huge age difference between me and X whereas there are only eight years difference, and that according to the tradition in Morocco, the fact that a Moroccan native gets married to a woman who is much older represents a sacrifice for the man, but the prophet Mahomet got marrried when he was 25 years old and his wife was 40! I don’t see where the sacrifice is. It is not even written in the Koran that one does not have the right to marry someone older. Besides, they also say that according to my resources I just have enough to live with my son who is 15 and who stays with me. But X always contributed, he was always there to help me, he always managed to bring me some money and find small jobs (and he was not stealing anyone’s job, Belgian or whatever, it was his own sweat!).
As regards my declaration, it was refused four times in court, as well as my case for release, because my lawyer asked for X to be released since the declaration had been given, but it was always written that it was “receivable but not justifiable”, on the basis of what, I never understood.
Therefore, after the four refusals by the court, which were always in closed hearings, I appealed to the Supreme Court. I paid 200 euros for that, but again, it got rejected. So now, on 8th June I’ll go to the court in Mons to oppose the mayor and the crowns prosecutor’s decision in the hope that they change their mind because it’s really of great concern to me, I’m a Belgian citizen and I deem I have the right to marry whomever I want to. For two and a half months I have been going through something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I don’t live anymore, I don’t have an appetite for life anymore…
I often go and visit X, they are always there behind him, I feel like I am visiting someone who committed a crime, I feel like I am going to a prison, I can not see any difference between a prison and a detention centre. I give him some money, I roll cigarettes with the machine, I buy big boxes and I roll something like 200 cigarettes, I pay for his phone top-up, I take his dirty clothes back home and bring him clean clothes, I go twice a week to Merksplas, even with my children and grandchildren.
He wanted asylum, according to my lawyer it was impossible to bring him again to court because everything was decided by the Supreme Court, therefore we introduced a request for asylum. I cross my fingers, I pray to God that everything works out fine because the only thing I want is my man, and that we marry.
I know very well that there are many abuses of the system, but still… they should study the different cases on a case by case basis. Besides, I insist on the fact that for my marriage declaration, I got heard twice, once at the commune and once at the police station whereas X was never heard, they never asked him anything about me. He is being accused of a marriage of convenience. They think that because he did not leave the country that his last chance was to marry me. That’s not true! I don’t understand why they don’t let us get married. They could at least listen to us, come to our home and talk to my children and grand children, carry out a more thorough investigation, and at least let us marry, I don’t care! They should punish the people who really lie, not us! I am really deeply moved by all this.
And things do not happen the way they show on the internet, the procedure for marriage, how it takes place etc, it is totally wrong… My marriage declaration was totally flouted, from start to finish…