Victim of the genocide in Rwanda at the age of 6 and expelled to the same country : Update : DEPORTED

Update 09/10/2022: He was supposed to go before the Indictment Chamber on Tuesday 4/10/2022 for the fifth procedure introduced to obtain his release: he received the result on Thursday 06/10/2022: negative. The next day at 5am by surprise he is told to gather his belongings to leave; he sends us an urgent SMS at 6am: “I am being taken to the airport this morning for a flight at 10.30am….”: he has been forcibly deported and contacts us again to tell us that he has arrived and that he did not have too many problems on arrival. “I will try to rebuild my life in Rwanda.

A person locked up in the closed centre of Merksplas for 9 months has started a hunger strike this 22/09/2022. He is demanding justice and humanity. 
Michel (not his real name) fled the war in Rwanda at the age of 6 with his family. He was forced to spend some time in refugee camps, first in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then in Kenya. During this time, his parents died. In 2001, he was repatriated to Belgium at the age of 12 with part of his family.
Recognised as a refugee in 2002, he is very traumatised by his journey and all the atrocities he saw during the genocide.
He then committed acts qualified as “delinquency”. He was convicted of public order offences and imprisoned several times between 2008 and 2014.
Following these convictions, the CGRA withdrew his refugee status in 2016. His lawyer lodged an appeal against this decision.
When he was released from prison, he followed a training course and found a job, with the help of his legal assistant in Namur.
But the final decision came in 2019: the Raad voor vreemdelingen betwistingenrejected his appeal against the withdrawal of his refugee status. He receives an order to leave the country.
He was arrested and taken to the closed centre in December 2021 in order 
to deport him to his “country of origin”, Rwanda.
He testifies that he cannot and does not want to return to the country he left when he was 6 years old. He still remembers the murders and all the atrocities he witnessed, as well as the death of his parents during his exile. When he arrived in Belgium, he was traumatised and very quickly “went crazy”. He tells us that after his years in prison, he did everything to get his life back on track. He doesn’t know anyone in Rwanda, doesn’t speak the language, all his family members live in Belgium or France and have refugee status (uncles, cousins, etc.) He is very afraid of reprisals in Rwanda, as his father remains one of the genocidaires in the memory of many (he was a colonel in the Rwandan army and was wanted).
His release has been ordered 5 times by the Council Chamber. Each time, the Aliens Office appealed.
He will appear again this Tuesday 4/10/2022 before the Indictment Division for the fifth procedure to obtain his release.This 4 October 2022 will also mark the 13th day of his hunger strike.
We refuse all expulsions and denounce the racist and cynical repatriation policy of the Belgian state. 
Transcription in Engl of the testimony
“Hello to you who are listening to the recording. I am a young man of 33 years. I was born in Rwanda and I have been living in Belgium for 21 years. I have been detained in a closed centre for about ten months. And for the past week I have been locked up in a cell on hunger strike. I’m going to tell you briefly about my life and the reasons why I’m here today. First of all, I am the youngest of six siblings, four girls and two boys. My father was a senior officer in the former Rwandan army, my mother a big businesswoman. My life started well and the first years of my childhood were not bad. In April 1994, I was five years old when everything fell apart. It was the beginning of the genocide in Rwanda. I remember that morning when I was awakened by the sound of distant gunfire. I was still far from imagining that my life would change. That gunshots and bombs would become part of my daily life and would lull me to sleep for many years to come. The war had been raging in Rwanda for several years already, but I was not aware of it. That morning I quickly became aware of the seriousness of the situation when I saw two dead people in front of our house, and the state of agitation that reigned everywhere in the street. One of my sisters told me that it was the end of the world and that we would all die. A few days later my exile began. I began a long journey through Rwanda with my family, hindered by horrific tragedies, to reach the Congo. We walked for months through the hills, the forest, then across a lake to arrive in 1995 in a huge refugee camp in eastern Congo. Death was everywhere, the screams, the blood. Throughout my journey it was absolute horror. In the camp, everyone had to undergo military training. The army was recruiting all the boys, even the children, to prepare for war. Cholera was rampant. And in 1996, about a year after we arrived in the camp, the war caught up with us. It was in the middle of the night, the camp was attacked, I saw my parents and one of 
my sisters die. They were shot. I ran. It was total chaos. I was saved by a soldier and we fled with a group to the forest. We walked for weeks and arrived in another town in Congo. I learned that my brother and my other sisters were alive and in Kenya. I was able to join them some time later. In Kenya, after only a few months, we learned that several people in our group were being murdered or were missing. My sisters were then sent to France and Belgium and my brother joined them some time later. As for me, I went to the Ivory Coast where I stayed for almost two years. During my stay there a coup d’état took place. It was around the year 2000. The following year I arrived in France and was sent to live with my uncle in Belgium. I was then twelve years old. I started the process of regularising my status and in 2002 I was recognised as a refugee. I went back to school thinking that I could forget my past and live like everyone else. I didn’t have any psychological support after the trauma I had experienced. My uncle was very strict and unloving and at 16 he kicked me out of his house. I was left on my own and fell into delinquency. I was arrested and sentenced four times by the courts. I spent several periods in prison. And in 2016 the Office of the Refugee Commissioner withdrew my refugee status, concluding that I was dangerous and that I should be sent back to Rwanda. I was then incarcerated in Lantin and I lodged an appeal against this decision. Paradoxically, it was in prison that I had my first contact with psychologists with whom I was able to work on myself and elaborate on my tragic past. I was released from prison in 2017, 14 months before the end of my sentence. I was then on parole and I completely changed my life. I left the city of Liege to live in Marche-en-Famenne with my sister. I started training in Namur. When I finished my training, I started working and took a flat. In 2019, the Aliens’ Council confirmed the withdrawal of my refugee status, even 
though I had been on the right track in my life for over two years. Some time later the Aliens Office gave me an Order to Leave the Territory. One of the conditions of my release was to respect any decision of the Aliens Office. Moreover, with this Order to Leave the Territory and my withdrawal of residency permit, I could no longer work and I lost my flat. A year later, I was arrested again and imprisoned for not respecting the conditions. I served the remaining 14 months of my sentence and when I got out the Aliens Office put me in a closed centre. To this day, I am still there and they are trying to send me back to Rwanda despite the fact that my family was persecuted and hated there, that none of my family members live there any more, everyone lives in Belgium or France, and despite the fact that all my family members who stayed there have been murdered. The court has ordered my release five times in the last ten months. But nothing happens, the deportation procedure is still ongoing. That’s why, in desperation, I decided to go on hunger strike, hoping for a better outcome. Thank you for listening to this recording. 
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