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    Holsbeek woman-only detention centre not ready

    © Belga

    The woman-only detention centre for single women who have just submitted their asylum request is not yet ready, said mayor Hans Eyssen (CD&V).

    The new centre will create 50 new spaces at Holsbeek (Flemish Brabant). The fire department has said it is not yet ready for people to move in. The centre was officially opened on the 7th of May by ministers Maggie De Block (Asylum and Immigration) and Koen Geens (Construction and Buildings).

    “The fire department’s report says there is still more work to do, such as replacing a fire-door and installing a sprinkler system in the kitchen. Certificates of conformity still have to be provided. This is not an insurmountable obstacle or because of structural defects”, the mayor said.

    He said the bedrooms could start being used in June.

    The opening of the new centre is part of the detention centre plan approved by the government in May 2017. It is in a former hotel which had already been used as an open centre. It will only take in single women: up until now they had been held at Bruges or Steenokkerzeel, where they had to share bathrooms with men. Moving them to Holsbeek will free up spaces for men who are at the end of the asylum process in Bruges and Steenokkerzeel.

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times