Interview of a man arrested at the airport of Brussels and imprisoned in the closed centre “Caricole” and then in the closed centre of Vottem. His asylum request was rejected in spite of all the evidence of persecutions he was the subject of in his country of origin. He finally got deported after two other attempts on August 18 2012.
In the closed centre of Vottem, the detention conditions were not very good, and seen the way people are treated in the centres, if Belgium really was a State where the Rule of Law applies, this would not happen, because this is not normal.
We were treated like criminals, we didn’t even have the right to express ourselves. They were doing whatever they wanted with us, if they wanted to bring us to an isolation cell, they were doing so, and frankly the conditions in isolation cells are not human.
Even in my country, in the remotest village of Africa, these conditions do not exist.
Concerning my deportation, it was a real nightmare, you are treated like an animal, and even animals are better taken care of! You are just like someone who doesn’t deserve the right to live. You are handcuffed and hooded. Your hands but also your feet are tied. Hands with handcuffs and feet with chains, and they drag you with their belt around the waist until the plane.
They had even put something in my mouth to prevent me from shouting and saying a word. When you reach the plane, there are two or three people leaning on you, holding you tight around the neck to the floor so that no one could see me and that I would not talk.
Once in my country of destination, they delivered me like if I was a criminal, someone who had killed people in Europe. It is really sad how they welcome foreigners and expats here.
It is really inhuman and I wonder if Belgium really is a country where human rights are respected. Honestly I don’t think so. It was a real nightmare. I am a citizen firts, I am a person, I also have rights there haven’t I? I have rights that must be respected.
At the airport they undress you. Naked, you must stay naked, can you imagine? It is really sad.
And have you recovered from all this?
No, not really, morally I am still down. When you arrive here in Africa, the way they left me at the airport, they considered me as a criminal, as a real bandit. There too, they treat you as they promised. First you have to go through jail and torture. For you to get free you must pay a lot of money.
Did you stay a long time in jail?
I stayed for four days. To get free, I had to pay 700 or even 800 euros. It is friends who collected money to take me out of there.
What I wanted to say still is that it would be good if Belgium changed its system. And also, I wonder what the Leage of the Human Rights is doing on the Belgian level, does it exist there or not? Because we tried several times to contact them but they said there was nothing they could do at that time. What’s their use if they can not do anything in such situations in a country of human rights?