Philippe Mortiaux, one of the barristers representing the Togo native, Daté Houedakor, announced yesterday (Monday) that interlocutory proceedings have been filed in the Brussels Regional Court. These were against the potential deportation of his client.
His client lives in Herstal but is currently being held in the “Caricole” closed centre, close to Zaventem.
On Monday morning, the Foreign Office confirmed its decision not to allow him into Belgium.
This comes despite the DNA test results, which prove that he is indeed the father of four children of Belgian nationality.
The man, aged 38, who is opposed to the political system in Togo, fled from there seeking asylum in Belgium.
He obtained a resident permit, which was valid until 2017.
However, in May 2016, he briefly returned to Togo in the hope of obtaining a passport. This was required both for his marriage in Belgium and to legally recognise his children in Belgium.
His partner, a Belgian of Togolese origin, with whom he had already had two children, was at the time pregnant with twins, who have now been born.
The man, however, claims that Togo never provided him with a passport.
He then requested, from the neighbouring Ghanaian authorities, travel documents to be able to return to Belgium, which these authorities gave him.
However, once at Zaventem, he was placed in the closed centre with a view to being turned back.
The argument used was that he had travelled without a Togolese passport. Owing to this, pilots had twice refused to take off, despite his protests.
Me Mortiaux is also concerned that despite Mr Houedakor’s requests, he has not received any psychological assistance.
As well as the interlocutory proceedings, Me Mortiaux will also file a further asylum request. He deplores the system saying, “However my client may be turned back at any moment, even without warning.”
On Sunday afternoon, a demonstration took place in Herstal, mobilising around sixty people.
The mayor and federal depty, Fréderic Daerden, confirmed that a meeting will take place today (Tuesday) for an in-depth analysis of the situation.