hearing on the custody of foreigners

the border-prison: 'Grenshospitium'

Removal (Deportation) Camp Ter Apel

judicial complex Willem II in Tilburg

Amir from Iran, a personal story

Makun'a', a personal story

"Everything O.K.?", a personal story


This is a story about Makun'a' a refugee from liberia. He wrote poems while he was imprisoned in the detention centre for illegal refugees. Makun'a' was suddenly released unto the street in november after nine months of imprisonment in the illegal refugee detention centre. The hurry the justice department had to put him unto the street was something new, they had not bothered to display any hurry during his nine months stay in the detention centre while he was waiting for nothing. The mobile surveillance stopped him and another black driver in februari 1995 at the border. He was arrested for crossing the border illegally. He spent about one week in a cell at the police station. After that he was transported to the detention centre in tilburg and later to amsterdam where he spent his last few months. The last transfer took place because Makun'a' was "not fit to function in a group" according to the detention centre in tilburg. In the centre in amsterdam you spent most of your time alone in your cell. A more probable reason is that in tilburg they thought that he was getting used to the situation. During all these months in the centre nothing happened except for a fast presentation at the nigerian embassy who sent him away. After 7 months of imprisonment the justice department had a new trick, they fabricated a so called "covering letter" this is a letter in which the dutch government guaranteed to take Makun'a' back when Nigeria would not accept him. The dutch government clearly had doubts about expelling him to nigeria but they nevertheless announced to try it anyway. After that another two months in which nothing happened passed by. We visited Makun'a' in prison and tried to strenghten him in his tactics for survival. He wrote short poems to express his feelings. Some off these were read at a demonstration at the glasmoorprison in germany. "I try not to have any fear. Fear is a bad counsellor, to me it now seems that I have passed my test of live. I was pushed in the corner but I managed to look over the wall".
Makun'a' spent some time in isolation like many other refugees during some time of their detention. The first time because he did not follow up an order given by a guard, the second time because he got involved in a disturbance of order. Isolation is usually given for a one week period. The regime in isolation is even worse than usual: "In isolation to get through the minutes and hours is the toughest part. Days, weeks and months pass relatively easy".
When Makun'a' was dumped on the street he was quite put out, he could not believe it, he did not know if he should be sad or happy. He was quite disoriented and needed some time to act normal again. Now he is forced to live as an illegal alien. "Once I had a dream that I would live in a country where I would not be judged by the colour of my skin but by the contents of my personality".