Tortures at the 127bis closed centre
On 23/08/2018 H had an argument with a guardian concerning the food they get at the 127bis closed centre. He was placed in confinement. The day after, several guardians came to his cell. He says they handcuffed him, hands behind the back. They put him a black hood, then a policeman put his knee against his back and beat him for long. Then they took his feet (also tied) to his head and twisted his back . He also says he had the impression to get electrical shocks in his handcuffs. His torturers blamed him for having too many contacts with the outside, notably with the media. H came out of confinement on 26th August to be placed in medical confinement. He could hardly move, he was not able to stand and had burn marks on the wrists. He was confused and panicked. He feared that they would come to pick him up at night to throw him on a plane ‘like a bag’. He was finally transferred to the closed centre of Vottem on 29th August.
Deported because major in Belgium, recognised as minor in Italy
Elsa was deported to Rome with an escort. When she arrived there the Italian authorities declared that they considered her as a minor. Belgium was giving her the age of 21, based on bones tests of which the reliability is denied by many scientists. Many European countries do not practice these unreliable bones tests anymore. In Belgium, the Foreigners Office continues to use these tests systematically, on the principle that all lie about their age, and very proud to be able to declare them major and deport them thanks to these tests of which the margin of error is of 2 years.
Phone reporting by Elsa from Rome :
– She was searched and then tied (hands to the body)
– Escort of 7 policemen
– She was on the plane well before the passengers, they placed her at the back of the plane and she could not see the other passengers (behind a curtain probably)
– She was crying. The police told her to stay quiet. Passengers asked why she was crying but then the police laughed very hard (to hide the cries and make others believe it was laughters)
– The police told her that she was obliged to go to Italy because there she had the right to asylum.
Hunger strike in closed centre Brugge
20/08 : the retainees of 2 wings of the closed centre of Bruges had consulted each other to start a hunger strike in order to protest, some against the retention conditions, others against the existence of these centres and against their deportations.
They had decided to start this protest movement on 21st August. In the morning of that day, at least two of them who were considered as ‘leaders’ were placed in confinement and then transferred to another centre. The protest movement faded away…
23/08 : the retainees in the women’s wing in Bruges refused to have lunch. Three women were placed in confinement during 2 days then transferred to other centres. They were claiming for their release!
Resistance to deportations in the centres
01/08 : call from the 127bis: the retainees didn’t sleep well last night. They heard loud cries by retainees who were resisting their deportation. They were 2 who cried for 2 hours. Finally, the police came and took them away. The other retainees could not see anything, they had been locked in their rooms.
Arrests at the airport
In this time of holidays, many people come to Europe to visit their families.
The airport police take advantage of that to select those who have the right to access the Schengen area and those who don’t.
A few examples among others:
On 9th August, a couple, the man from Morocco and the woman from Poland, go to Poland with a valid visa for Poland. They have a stop in Charleroi. He was arrested and taken to the Caricole closed centre in view of his deportation to Morocco. She continued her journey to Poland.
22/08 : Call at 12 a.m. An Armenian couple and their two children living with valid residence permits in France go to Armenia for holidays. On their return, on 22nd August, they have a stop in Brussels airport at 5 a.m. The woman is arrested and brought to the Caricole closed centre because she has a ‘non-compliant Russian passport’ although she has been travelling with that same passeport for years! Today (3rd September), she is still being retained in the Caricole. She got a ticket for a repatriation to Armenia which her lawyer managed to cancel. She was supposed to resume work in France. Her boss can wait for 1 more week, not longer.