Uprising at Merksplas detention centre: inmates resist inhumane conditions and are dealt with harshly 28/04/2023

Film https://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/filmje-mersplas-4.mp4

Around lunchtime, around 30 detainees from the a closed centre started a riot in the canteen in Merksplas. They did this to express their displeasure against the living conditions at the centre. This happend at the same centre where two months ago, a man who went on a hunger strike as a protest against the situation died. 

The police responded quickly and aggressively. With a force around 50 policemen, ready with battons and shields, they invaded the centre around 2pm.
At that time the detainees already destroyed the entire third floor. The police removed about 15 people with force to the isolation cells” sounded an anonymous testimony from one of the detainees.

Around 3pm, the police communicated that they had already left the centre. Journalists at the scene could however see that at 4pm a large police force was still active to drag people to the isolation cells.

Both eyewitnesses outside the centre and some detainees spoke of an excessive show of force by the police. After this afternoon’s incidents, a floor of Block 3 of the centre, became largely unusable. 

How the situation continues now is still unclear. With many people in isolation cells and conditions at the centre remaining inhumane, there is a lot of uncertainty. “Until next time!” was heard as the police left. Critics of the closed centres point to the violent and inhumane practices they represent and call for the immediate closure of all closed centres! 



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