(Is it better there to be criminal or illegal person?)
First I would like to say that I didn’t meet with any kind of torture from criminal inspectors in Basel. They had correct behavior when they couched/catch me (on the basis of denounciation of their citizen that I threatened to him at my trying to get (my) money from him. The only incorrect thing which they tried there, during keeping me in custody, it was giving to me some paper to sign it (to sign that I am agree that court make decision without my presence). I refused it. During 7 days of custody I enjoyed in loneliness and I took a rest from hard traveling and from crossing of border over fields. Cell was big more than 15 Quadra meters, with radio and 72 TV channels, shaving things I didn’t need to buy…in Serbia it would be unbelievable, but about Serbian custody I’ll write other time. My peace was disturbed only by prison guards who came to call me to go to walk and by other one who brought us food (he tried to keep/steal cake from me during weekend; Idiot). Swiss people can have big standard but they’ll suffer for more money always. They are learnt to think so.
From this cliché, exceptions are people from Hirscheneck café-bar. Although I am not sure, I think to them belong little restaurant beside café-bar in which people can get breakfast (and dinner) for free. Meals are really qualitative and vegetarian. So I can separate anarcho-punks from Basel like people who are the only ones that I saw to think in that way: people should get help, it is not everything in giving of (mostly theoretical) support, solidarity. People need help; they are not things for use/misuse in personal political fight. Kropotkin wrote about mutual aid even between animals with trying to show that’s natural instinct to help each other. My opinion is that human beings lost such instinct because of growing up in egoistic society.
After transferring/displacement to deportation prison, I had what to see there. First they put person in cell from which people go fast to deportation, inside of 5 days. Prison guarders/keepers are here worst. They try to make nervous imprisoned people. For example people get cigarettes but without fire, so they ask them 100 times for fire and they give after one or two days. After 5 days I was moved in block of cells (“station”) where they put people who wait longer time to be deported or free. There guarders have better behavior. Better for adapted persons but not for those who are not adapted. In all prisons unadapted person will have problem with guarders and with other imprisoned also. For example I refuse to work and other imprisoned will be angree because “I try to be somebody especial”. I was in station with Muslims, they don’t have tolerance for different (although people from Serbia are not better at this point than Muslim’s societies). Management of prison doesn’t like such behavior also because they are afraid that other can follow such behavior. It would be already financial damage for prison. How management succeeds to keep such mentality, except if they have co-operators, I don’t understand. I can notice that those who tried to make pressure on me to go to work were those who got freedom i.e. they were not deported. I suppose that their freedom was in question so management (police for foreigners also) misuse it to make pressure on them to cooperate. Many people spent more than 10 000 dollars in order to reach EU, so deportation is big problem for them.
On the other side, management of any prison can’t control situation if they don’t have their cooperators between prisoners. Because I read in German’s newspaper one statement/explanation of one ex-prisoner about unwritten rules in their prisons, I can notice that the same rules exist in Belgrade. If everywhere exists the same rules, it is not accidentally. Every management has interest to let individuals to become the main (chef in cell) and then they take such chefs for cooperators. Cooperators realize wishes of management in order to get, to keep, some privileges. In Belgrade privilege is to get warm water every evening for douche (washing of body). Will of all managements is to push “little” criminals (“little” are for me those who didn’t decide to do it whole life) to stop to break law because they will have fear to finish again in prison (they know that in prison they’ll be tortured again). So, first, cops beat people who broke the law, and later “bigger” criminals torture them in custody and in prison. So, “bigger” cooperate with prison guarders and with crimi-inspectors (outside) so together they make money. Therefore I think that even deportation in Sibir/Siberia was better than this today’s prisons. In Sibir/Siberia were deported intellectuals, political rebels, surrounded with other deported political rebels, so they could unite themselves, they could refuse to attack each other.
Except cooperants, prison guarders try to make problem to unadapted persons also. From stupidities like: you ask for something for hygiene 100 time inside of two days in order to get it; to more serious thing like: “Mr. Sasha, could we go into your office to make conversation?” and he show with his hand on my cell. For me, it is dirty try to create opinion at other that I cooperate with management or with police. In crimi-prison such try should be very dangerous so I would have to attack guarder in order to proof to the other that it is not so, but this was prison for deportation where mostly people are ordinary ones (mostly they are not crimi).
My opinion is that guarders didn’t like me because I didn’t adapt myself so I “created problems”: I didn’t say good day to them anytime, I asked/demanded written two times for my rights in prison (to get cell with one bed because of too little space)-it was refused, two times I wrote to get conversation with social worker-they never invited me because they knew that there I’ll speak against them)…
My opinion is that crimi-prisons in Swiss are 100 times better, about living conditions, than this one for deportation. In crimi-prison, after 8 hours of work person has 600 SFR (400 euro) monthly so it is important for poor foreigners, there are sport’s activities (sport’s fields, body building place, etc). In deportation prison people can work 2,5 hours for 15 SFr (10 euro) daily, 3 days weekly & activities doesn’t exist. Person can walk 2 hours daily in place large 20m x 25m. In this walking place exist tables for stoni-tennis and for stoni-football (for basketball also but ball is from sponge (!) so nobody use it). TV exist in every cell, kable-tv with 23 channels (in crimi-prison exist 72 channels), but later management took from us remote-controls (nobody understood why). Radio could be rented for 10 SFr monthly (in crimi-custody it was for free). Newspaper I could order only one time weekly, only from their listing of newspapers (only European edition of Serbian “News”), while in crimi-prison people can order all newspaper and magazines everyday, which exists in their shops (condition is to have money to buy it). Arabs and Russian didn’t have chance to order it because there were no their newspaper on listing created by management. The only channel from Ex-Yu was Slovenian one although people from Slovenia don’t finish in prisons for deportation (beside it, Serbo-Croatian can use mostly people from ex-Yu republics/states; Slovenian speaks mostly only people in Slovenia). Prison listing for ordering of food was not better. Some cigarettes, cakes, mineral water, some things for hygiene… while in crimi-prison people can go in shop and buy everything, from shoes to food…I had to order cake with crystal sugar although my stomach don’t accept it. Problem is that we are from different cultures so our needs about food are different also. Swiss people eat very little bread, so we got 3 little bread daily, plus every day some spaghetti and such cheapest food, so I was always hungry. Because I couldn’t buy anything other, I had to buy cakes with crystal sugar in order to get energy. They kept me there 5 months & they can keep people there 3 months plus one year. Their answer, excuse is always: people don’t stay here so long like in criminal prisons so therefore everything is limited. Even medical help. I was sick of breakfast which was the same every day 5 months: micro-butter (fat) with micro-marmalade (with crystal sugar again). Doctor fills out wishes management and not of imprisoned people i.e. he put by (sparen) money of the state. Therefore foreigners can not get adequate medical help, as I said with excuse that “people don’t stay long time in prison for deportation”. Cells are all with two or four beds, beside it in every station exist one cell with one bed and one with 8 beds. First 5 days I was in cell with 8 beds and rest of time in cell with 2 beds. Cell was 9 Quadra meter plus 2 Quadrate meter toilet (with douche/shower). EU Convention about prisons says that cell should have minimum 8 cubic meters per person, but it can be misused always with building of high instead of widely cells. Therefore I say my cell is for one person but they set up inside two beds. I read in German’s newspaper that 2 persons got money from court/state because judge decided that they lived in too small cell in custody (they lived in inhuman conditions). I don’t have money to set a charge or to pay alone lawyers, but it would be good because if I would win other could follow my example and it would be big financial damage-it could bring authorities to such situation that they let rather people to be free instead of pushing them in prisons which are not built/constructed for so many people. In any case, I demanded written two times to get cell with one bed but I was always refused. At this point exists mentality (in Belgrade also) which is good for management of prison: everybody “must” accept (like “real man”?) conditions of life in prison and to accept way of living in it, like other do it. It means, person shouldn’t be rebel and shouldn’t demand anything especial for himself. When you try to move other to demand, at once it comes skeptic answers and trying to convince you that you’ll not succeed in it.
Therefore rebellions in prisons can be created/produced only from the main criminals (leaders in cells) because everybody follows them. Nobody has courage to be different in prison, everybody fast adapt himself (in unwritten rules), that’s so in custody in Belgrade also (12 people live together in 30 Quadrat meter cell).
So, toilet had shower with always warm water and with veil instead of the door. While it is only one meter from bed, you can hear everything, so we didn’t have intimae-life. Ventilation was fortunately strong but who sleep at bed which is up he will feel ventilating and he will hear larm. Except no privacy, person fall down in common life with people from other culture: Chechen was hygienic person but patriarchal Muslim (he couldn’t accept that I walk in cell without T-Shirt) and we hardly spoke because he can’t speak foreign languages; man from India was good person; man from Bosnia was totally “counter”, nervous always so I lost my peace beside him, he was always on the side of management and he was always “smartest”. Mostly people in prisons for deportation (in custodies also) are nervous because of their unsure situation, they don’t know what will be with them and they spent big money to come in EU. As I said, toilet was with warm water so if you don’t buy mineral water you must wait till opening of cells in order to take cold water for drinking. We got meals always in cells, after closing of it, although in House Order is written that people eat in common room for it and after washing of dishes they should close cells. In this way we were closed half hour earlier every time, and we could wash dishes after opening of cells (it means whole night cell stinks on food till morning when they open cells). If somebody wants to visit doctor, social worker, etc, he must fill out blue paper. They didn’t set up it that we take when we need than we had to ask for it. Later, they limited our time to ask, so we had to ask exactly at 11 a.m. before or later it was not possible to get it. Beside it, at 11 a.m. they give lunch in cells, so it is harder for guarders to bring food and papers in the same time, but management decided so. Books in Serbo-Croatian didn’t exist there, except of Bible. At visitation, person can get books, magazines, Discman, money which goes to konnto in prison…
Of course, even such situation is better than Serbian custody or prison, but it is much worst than crimi-custody or crimi-prison in Swiss. In crimi-prison people can have instruments, PC, etc, and I heard in Denmark DVD can be rented, especial channel on TV can be rented also, if person don’t work he get 30 euro weekly…so question can be: is it better that person in Swiss become criminal instead of illegal? My opinion is that in Swiss is much better to be criminal than illegal. Prisons for deportation are simply worst than criminal ones although people are only without visa or without document.
For the end, I can add that governing-courts (Verwaltungsgericht), who decide about staying in deportation prisons, fill out wishes of police for foreigners. They fabricate, create, any stupidity if they want to keep some person in prison. Mentioned part of police realizes right-wing politics about foreigners. Securities, who lead person from prison to airport, use violent methods often. In Zurich, they beat person when they didn’t succeed to deport him. They tried to deport one man from Algeria 3 times, but he cut his hand before flying of airplane, so they didn’t succeed to deport him and therefore they beat him very much (although he didn’t attack security). I got info from one organization that this man in the end got freedom & it is very good news (he was good person). Although freedom means that they let you to go out alone from Swiss, if they catch you again they put you in prison again (although they should send such person in common house for asylums/refugees).
Criminal courts realize discrimination of foreigners also; it means these courts break human rights of foreigners much more than ones of domestic citizens. For example, they made for me judgment without my presence, although I was extradited against my will (they said it is readmission-deportation of illegal person, so in that way they didn’t give me my rights to make complaint at their federal court, what is obligation at extradition) with Serbian cops in airplane. So, I was stopped against my will to come at court termin. Beside it court sent judgment in German’s language (instead in Serbian) at address of my brother, with time-limit for complaint (10 days). But letter-complaint needs minimum 7 days to come from Serbia to Swiss. Even assault/threat was not proved because it came over anonymous remailer to email of this person who sent me cops. But they say that I sent it, so court take assumption like proof/truth because I am foreigner and he is domestic citizen…Beside it people who ask for asylum are under competency of police-military department, so it is proof that discrimination of foreigners is so big that Swiss authorities make assumption that all foreigners are potential terrorists. Military department can spy people (without problem because of it), so they can break human rights very easily and surely they do it.
That’s all for this time, soon I’ll send text about situation in Serbian custody in Belgrade, where I finished after arriving in Belgrade.
Sascha, Belgrade 15. August 2005.
p.s. if you have better info about crimi-prison, if you think that I wrote here untrue info, send it in comment.