Repatriation of Sudanese resumed on Tuesday

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 18:57
Repatriation of Sudanese resumed on Tuesday © Belga
A Sudanese national was deported on Tuesday to Sudan, Belgium’s Office of Foreigners confirmed, adding that a second expulsion, also scheduled for Tuesday, was blocked when the person involved refused to go.
“There were two attempts at repatriation without escort,” Geert De Vulder, spokesman of the Office, said. “With one of these persons the repatriation was done, but the other opposed it.”

The two Sudanese had not submitted prior requests for asylum in Belgium.

Tuesday’s repatriation is the first since the publication on Friday of a report on the fate of Sudanese sent back to their home country in 2017 by the Belgian authorities. The deportations had been suspended after the Tahrir Institute noted in a report that repatriated Sudanese had been tortured after arriving in Sudan. The Office of the General Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless Persons, CGRA, was then requested to clarify the allegations.

The CGRA’s report, published on Friday, concluded that there was no proof of acts of torture, although it did not rule out the fact that such acts could have occurred. The CGRA also expressed doubts about the reliability of the three main witnesses.

Based on the report, the Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, announced that the repatriations to Sudan would resume soon. This has now been done.

With regard to the fresh wave of deportations, the Office of Foreigners said a prior assessment had been conducted to determine whether Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been respected.  Article 3 stipulates that no-one may be repatriated if there is a risk of torture or ill-treatment.

According to the Office of Foreigners, 17 Sudanese are currently being held in closed centres.

Maria Novak
The Brussels Times
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