Belgian Guantamo

The functioning  if the INADs centre 127ter in Steenokkerzeel,   replacing 127bis is detailed in  Charlotte Lebbe Masterthesis: “De terugkeer van de grenzen. Een biopolitieke blik op Fort Europa”. It was rewarded with the ‘Karel Verleye Price’ but is kept out of the public eye.

Her research is one of the rare scientific inquiries into the practices of the guards of the affluent society. The architect who drew the originals of the new centre and delivered them to Charlotte Lebbe for scanning required her to sign a contract before allowing her to scan the plans. This contract mentioned  that the copies of the plans could not be published  under any circumstances. Why is it hidden?

Inadmissible refugees, when stopped at the border, are incarcerated in the new centre close to the airport of Zaventem, on international enclave territory,  even before they can request asylum. So they never enter Europe in a legal sense and can be returned without notice.

But also those that succeed to enter Europe are mostly refused asylum. Only 21,4% of asylumseekers were granted shelter in Belgium in 2010, the remaining all receive a command to leave the territory? They are hidden for the public  in 127ter before they are forced on an airplane for deportation .

The result Lebbe’s research draws parallels between the inhumane  situation at <a href=”The result Lebbe’s research draws parallels between the inhumane  situation at Ceuta and Melilla, the only land border between Africa and Europe and Steenokkerzeel. In this posting you can find a sketch of the Ceuta and Melilla fences in Fig. 4.” target=”_blank”>Ceuta and Melilla, the only land border between Africa and Europe and Steenokkerzeel. In this posting you can find a sketch of the Ceuta and Melilla fences in Fig. 4.

The new building is structured like a panopticon. The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the incarcerated being able to tell whether they are being watched, thereby conveying what one architect has called the “sentiment of an invisible omniscience (source: Wikipedia).

In her thesis Charlotte points plenty of times to Didier Bigo, who pictures the whole situation as a Ban-opticon,  guarding watching and making invisible those that are banned while remaining invisible as guards. The idea is also that one can be inhumane as long as nobody notices it.

Extra Resources

Frontex Explode

Fig. 1

Southern Border of European Union Schengen Zone

Southern Border of European Union Schengen Zone

Fig.2

Frontex at the Miditeranean

Frontex at the Miditeranean

Fig.3

Ceuta And Melilla Spanish Enclaves

Ceuta And Melilla Spanish Enclaves

Fig. 4

De geplande Afsluiting in Ceuta en Mellilla na 2005

Planned Fence in Ceuta and Melilla after 2005

Fig. 5

African Migration Routes to Europe

African Migration Routes to Europe

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