We reproduce the denunciation that the Campaign for the Closing of Detention Centres for Foreigners has announced, in view of a very serious situation of human rights violation, happened in Centre of Zona Franca (Barcelona).
Barcelona, May 11, 2012. - David Bakrazde and ShalvaThurabelizde, citizens of Girona with Georgian nationality, were deported on the last Tuesday, May 8th, in the morning. David was arrested on March 8, 2012 and Monday 7th suffered 60 days of incarceration, maximum time in a detention centre. Both inmates are strongly rooted in the Catalan society, as their lawyers, „Síndic de Greuges“, have pointed out and have informed various media. David has lived in Girona for 7 years along with his two children of 12 and 2 years and his partner, who has a residence permit. David and Shalva began a hunger strike in response to the abuse that David had suffered in retaliation for demanding medical treatment for another inmate. David lodged a complaint of abuse in the Court of Instruction No. 18, which, despite having requested that David makes statement urgently because he could be deported at any time, has not taken his statement nor the statement from the witnesses of the abuse, also deported.
On the morning April 26, David and Shalva, in desperation from the fact of having to separate from their families, of seeing how their life projects get broken, they injured themselves by cutting themselves on their arms and abdomen. They were taken to the hospital and within hours they were confined in the Detention Centre again. At 18:00 the same day David’s lawyer came to visit him and stated his serious physical condition as he could not remain seated and he writhed in pain. Despite their dreadful health, it was decided to transfer them to Madrid the same night from 26 to 27 April by car to expel them from there. When they had driven for half an hour, they injured themselves again and were taken to hospital. A measure so extreme and desperate as their self-harm avoid them being deported on a plane chartered by the Government.
A large number of people who have known the situation of David and Shalva have been mobilizing, requesting the Government not to deport them and appealing to a humanitarian solution. „Síndic de Greuges“ requested from the Home Secretary by letter to consider the revision of the expulsion order by appealing to minors interest and proved settlement.
However, on the morning of May 7, according to what the Director of the Detention Center has informed his lawyer, both have been deported, ignoring the requests of „Síndic“, various Human Rights organizations and the Orthodox Religious Community in Girona. Just two hours after arriving in Georgia, David has spoken with his lawyer by telephone and has explained him the circumstances under which deportation had happened: "When they have managed to open the cell there were many police officers, about 15. Before they came in we cut us on our arms, in different parts of our body. Many police officers have came in and have beaten all of us, they have beaten us a lot, all over the body. I have the entire body bruised. Then they handcuff our legs and our arms, and they put us insulating tape all around our body, immobilizing us completely. We have not been taken to a hospital despite the injuries we had. A doctor has treated some of our wounds, but we went on bleeding. We were carried as bags of potatoes. We have been gotten into vans, we looked like pigs in there. On the way before getting into the van we were beaten repeatedly. When we arrived at the airport, there were many police officers, such as 40. I have been forced to get on the plane, as if I were an animal, they hit me, I was still immobilized. We have been put in a government plane. We were few people, such as 15 or 20 on the plane".
In view of this situation, we express to the public opinion that:
It is absolutely unacceptable that the Government has finally carried out the deportation of these two people despite their deep-roots in Catalonia, and that it has not heard the complaints of „Síndic de Greuges“, or social organizations, for them not to be deported.
Home Office has proved through the management of the situation of David Bakrazde and Shalva we express that, despiteThurabelizde that the announcements about changing of model of the Detention Centres are merely window-dressing to change attention of public opinion and of national and international Human Rights organizations. These have reported constant human rights violations that have happened in the state-owned Detention Centres and in carrying out the expulsions. Likewise, despite there is an open investigation for abuse, police authorities instead of opening in-depth investigation, have tried to delegitimize not only the inmates but also organizations and people that strive for the respect of the Human Rights in Detention Centre of Zona Franca. Once again it shows that there is no political will to take on the situations of rights violations that happened in the Detention Centre.
We consider unacceptable that the Court of First Instance No. 18 of Barcelona has not called urgently David Bakrazde to give evidence in DP 1670/12-D to testify before the Court and to grant powers "apud acta", although this had been requested 10 days before deportation. We understand that this inaction helps impunity in situations of abuse in the Detention Centres for Immigrants.
We demand that the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the „Sindic de Greuges“ and the Ombudsman carry out an investigation, so that the situation that two Georgian citizens who have been deported have faced, under an alleged situation of serious abuses as one of them has testified, can be clarified. In this sense, we announce that a formal complaint to the „Sindic de Greuges“ and the Ombudsman has been made showing the serious situation.
Likewise, we express that, despite the current opacity, we will continue reporting the violations of the rights of inmates in the Detention Centre for Immigrants in Zona Franca and we will work for them to be respected. However, we remind that the only step that will definitely ensure the effective guarantee of fundamental rights of people detained in the Detention Centres is and will be their closure.
Acción de los Cristianos para la Abolición de la Tortura (ACAT)
Asociación Catalana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos
Asociación Memoria Contra la Tortura
Asociación Papeles i Derechos para Todos
Campaña por el Cierre de los Centros de Internamiento de Barcelona
Comision Catalana de Ayuda al Refugiado
Convergencia de las Culturas
Comisión de Defensa de los Derechos de la Persona i del Libre Ejercicio de la Abogacía del Colegio de Abogados de Barcelona.
Coordinadora Catalana para la Prevención de la Tortura
Grupo de Investigación y Acción sobre Fronteras y Controles
Observatorio del Sistema Penal y los Derechos Humanos
Contact for medias:
Andrés (34 638336383), Sandra (34 636183953).
@CIErreZFranca #CIE #CIEsNO
Translated to English by Luz Justo Prado