EU should take notice of use of force against Afghan asylum seekers in Europe

On May 31st, Denmark deported 5 Afghan asylum seekers back to Afghanistan. All of those deported had passed several months in Ellebæk detention center. One of those deported had spent 17, 5 months in detention center and was supposed to be released after two weeks, but was deported before he could get out of the center, in accordance to the European law. The rest had spent, 16, 11, 7 and 12 months in the detention center.

We met them in our office in Kabul and provided them with relevant information and advice to help them find their ways in to the society and referred them to relevant organizations for support. However, they were all complaining a lot about the way they were treated in the center and when they were being tested for corona, or being deported to Afghanistan. They told me the police in the center would put them in to solitary confinement simply for asking a questions from them, or asking them for some help. The police would put the deportee in a solitary confinement and take them back to their room after few days.

One of the deportees said he was even afraid of asking a questions or demand something fearing he would be put in to isolation.

Corona test

According to the deportees, they faced the worst mistreatment during the compulsory corona test. Since they were being deported, the police had asked the deportees for a corona test. They all said, they were forced on the ground by several policemen and a test sample was taken from their mouth by force. One of the boys said he was handcuffed and a test was taken from him. He had repeatedly requested the police to release his hands and he doesn’t need to give a corona test because he doesn’t have any symptoms, but the police hadn’t listened to any of the deportees and had forcefully taken a test.

We had a copy of the corona test for all the deportees and they all were negative.

Before deportation

On the day of deportation to Afghanistan, the boys were taken in to a room to wait until the plane was ready. In that room, all the other boys were free except (JOHN). So he had requested the police to release his hands too and he wouldn’t create any trouble. He had told the police it doesn’t look good for him to be handcuffed in front of 4 others facing deportation. After the police rejected his request, he said he couldn’t control his temper and started resisting and swearing at the policemen.

The police then tied his legs too, since his hand were already handcuffed. They had started using excessive force and beating John. He said, at one point all the police were sitting on the chairs in a circles and were kicking him from one to another, like they were playing football. John’s mental health situation is too bad, that he was speaking of committing suicide when I first met him after what he had faced and the overall outcome of his migration process.

Today, on 13th of June I met all the 5 deportees again. John’s mental health situation has got worse and he has lost his appetite to eat and could hardly talk due to low energy. It is hard to confirm if the mistreatment and torture has brought and physical damage to him, but this is for sure that is has brought a lot of mental damage to him. Every time, including today he talked about his time in detention, he couldn’t control his tears and starts rubbing his hands.

Europe needs to take notice of such harsh treatment in their territories and stop behaving with asylum seekers like they are something unworthy. Despite the fact that Ellebæk detention center has already been declared “unacceptable for people” by the committee called the centre at Ellebæk in North Zealand during a visit they made to the detention center last year, but seems that nothing has changed but has got worse.

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