Chapter 1: Refugees
Chapter 2: The Borderprison
Chapter 3: Daily life
Chapter 4: Medical care
Chapter 5: Protest
Chapter 6: Restriction of freedom
Chapter 7: Expulsions
Chapter 8: Intimidations
Chapter 9: Conclusions
This publication is a summary of the dutch texts that were (Autonomous Centre) published on May 5, 1993.
Chapter 8: Intimidations
When our Working Group Refuges was summoned on March 30, 1993 to leave the border prison instantly, this was followed by intimidations by the staff to force the refugees to make incriminating statements about us. On March 31, we faxed the governor the names of the seven refugees we had wanted to visit.
We asked the governor to let them know in a measure that they cannot receive a visit by us, that they can lodge a com- plaint. Subsequently the seven were all visited by the staff. This yielded five extor- ted statements, the staff spoke of seven. Two of the five refugees declared that they no longer wished to be visited by us. Both of them called us in the days after; they still wanted us to visit them. One of them told his lawyer that he made a statement against us, as he was put under pressure by the staff. He withdrew the statement. The other three only declared that they did not have a fixed appointment with us. We work with fixed hours. The refugees know that we drop by every Tuesday afternoon. These three also called us to say that they do indeed appreciate our visits. From their stories it appeared that they have been severely intimidated. On April 20 we heard that in principal we could resume our visits. In the week after it appears that the utmost was done to hinder us. One refugee called us before April 7 with the request to visit him. We explained that we are not allowed to visit and that we did not know when we should be able to come. When we called him later (after we were allowed to visit again), he was given our telephone number with the remark that it is of no use to call us, for we should not be able to help him. Another refugee also called with the information that he wanted us to visit him. At that time we were still barred from the prison. Shortly after the telephone call five guards came to him and told him that he must declare that he has never seen us. He also told Vluchte- lingenwerk Nederland (a refugee support organisation) that he wanted a visit from us. Finally he filled in a form, but subsequently nothing happened.
Mr. D. had been asking for weeks that we visit him. We had been visiting him for some time, he was also a victim of the prohibition to visit imposed by Justice. Finally his applica- tion for a visit yielded an appointment with us. The Justice Department then confirmed that we were no longer barred from the prison. This happened at the eve of the summary procee- dings against the state, which we subsequently withdrew. A journalist wanted to speak with him too. The staff promised to inform D. and noted the necessary data that D. can fill in a form. D. told us that he was never informed and before our appointment with him he was expelled.
Another refugee called us with the request to visit him. We made it clear to him that he had to fill in a form at the office. He went to the BSD where they told him that our Wor- king Group could do nothing for him and that a visit might have negative effects for him. It was said that the Working Group cannot enter the prison, while we had just been given permission by the Justice Department. He was also told that he must fill in data like age of the visitor. This is most cert- ainly not mentioned in the visit regulations, apart from the fact that a refugee does not have such irrelevant information about the visitor. He became afraid and was angry about the false information. Since March 30 he has been intimidated and he was one of the five who gave a statement under pressure.