A Syrian national speaks after his Dublin deportation to Madrid by Charter Flight on 3rd September.
I was in a detention centre in the UK from 18/8. They gave me an appointment with a lawyer after 8 days, on the 26/8.
The lawyer asked me two questions. Why did I leave Syria? And why I didn’t want to go to spain. They did not ask many details. Of course I wanted to leave Syria, I could not stay. My friends were killed there. I am wanted for conscription to the army. I did not give my fingerprint in Spain, I refused to give fingerprints for asylum. I told this to the lawyer.
I had travelled through Spain on my way to the UK. When I was there, I was in the street for 15 days in spain. The police made me give my fingerprint. I explained all this to the lawyer in the UK. And the lawyer said i shouldn’t worry.
He said I won’t be deported, he reassured me. Because I had a ticket to Spain for 3/9, but the lawyer told me I wouldn’t travel.
I was a victim of the lawyer.
He didn’t do anything for me. He didn’t change anything regarding my ticket
Our deportation date was on 3/9. The night before, they came and told me that I was travelling. I told them that I had a case to stay.
They told me i had to leave. I didn’t want to leave. I have family here. I have an Aunt in the UK, my brother in law, cousins and friends. I know no one in spain. I will return to the streets there.
At 2am on the 3/9, the officials came and told me I had to go to the immigration office. I told them I had a lawyer, they told me that I could talk about it at the immigration office. They told me I had time to tell them everything. I was surprised. I left without my stuff. There were a lot of security guards. They told me I had to get in the van. I told them I don’t want to go to Spain. I want to talk to a lawyer so i don’t get deported. They asked me if I was refusing to go and I said yes, I refuse. But they put handcuffs and a seat belt. When i left the prison there were 5 police officers making sure i stayed where i was and I didn’t talk to anyone. They handcuffed me and stayed with me in the van.
We stayed in the van, and came to the immigration office. I told them I want to speak to a lawyer. I said, this is unjust, I want to talk to someone. They told me it’s done, you are leaving. I wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone. I tried to call the lawyer and he wasn’t answering.I sent him a voice message. He didn’t reply.
I stayed in the van, even at the immigration office. They told me I would have time to talk at the office but no one gave me time. They didn’t let me get out of the van. The same van took me to the plane. I was in the van between 2 and 7am. I didn’t get out even once until I went on the plane. I was scared. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t move even a tiny bit. I was scared. It was not just. I don’t speak English, no-one spoke Arabic. I didn’t know what would happen to me. No-one could help me.
There were planes at the immigration office – there were not a lot of planes there, it wasn’t a normal airport.It looked like a cargo airport. With police to your right, to your left, above you and below you. There was nothing there but police.
They took me to the plane. I told them that I didn’t want to get on the plane. I told them that I refused. There were five officers guarding me and I couldn’t do anything. They put me on the plane. We cried, we tried to tell them. I have family, I am the victim of my lawyer. I talked and poured my heart out. But that was it, we were on the plane. Someone on my left and someone on my right and someone in front. I was handcuffed, I couldn’t move.
We were 11 people. All taken from the detention centre, Brook House. But we didn’t come in the same van. Each person was in a different van. The same police who were in the van were in the plane were in the place with us. There were a lot of security. I was surrounded by police. Everyone who was deported had about 3 people with them and we were handcuffed. We told them we are not criminals for you to treat us like this. We are not terrorists. We told them if we didn’t like this country and have relatives here we wouldn’t have come. No-one listened or helped us with anything.
The UK authorities told us the spanish authorities will sort our stuff out for us in spain. They said they would treat us well. We arrived around 10am. There were 3 spanish police there, they put us in a bus, took us to the airport. We were in a hall in the airport, waited about 15 minutes. They took the deportation papers that we had with us and stamped them and returned them. One of us spoke some english and helped us translate. They stamped the papers and sent us outside. Noone asked us or told us anything.
We stayed outside the airport till the evening. No food, no water, nothing. The videos speak for themselves, you don’t have to explain anything. Didn’t you see the videos? We were in the street. We’re still in the street into the evening. Nothing changed. How can a human person stay 12, 24 hours in the street with nothing, no food no water. There’s no humanity in that.
One of us is 17. He is a child.
When we left the airport we were about 3 hours without knowing anything. We walked about, hoping to get on a train to the centre, to find a place to stay. Three of the group passed the barriers, the police came and took them. They beat them, and broke one of their phones. We left the train station and went back to where we had been at first.
We didn’t all sleep in the same place. I was with four people. We didn’t have beds/mattresses. Some of the others slept in the street. It was an abandoned house. No furniture, nothing. 5 slept in this abandoned house, 6 in the street. Some people passed by those in the street and laughed and took pictures. They were making fun of us, mocking us. If we had died in our country it would have been more dignified.