Lawyer accuses Belgian Immigration Office of illegal detainment of asylum seekers
Thursday, 15 March 2018
A Moroccan asylum seeker will file a complaint on Thursday against the Immigration Office claiming that she was held unlawfully in a closed center. According to her lawyer, Zouhaier Chihaoui, the office has systematically ignored several court decisions ordering it to release asylum seekers.
“Since August 2017, the Immigration Office (Office des étrangers) has to justify the need for the detention of asylum seekers, but it hasn’t applied this practice,” says the lawyer.
As a result, during the months of January, February and March, many asylum seekers challenged the decisions ordering their detention in a closed center and won their cases in the court system.
The current case concerns a Moroccan woman, who should have been released according to her lawyer. But the Immigration Office immediately took a new decision to keep her in a closed center.
Since then, her lawyer has managed to get her released following the threat of a penalty of 1,000 euros per day of additional confinement. The woman, however, doesn’t want to stop there and will file a complaint against the office.