Dibussi Tande, Scribbles from the Den, Friday 2nd May 2008
Belgian Politicians Call for a Moratorium on Expulsions
Merksplas 32-year old Ebenizer Folefack Sontsa, the Cameroonian national whose violent repatriation caused a mini revolt last Saturday on a Brussels Airline flight to Douala and led to the arrest of Serge Fosso, a passenger on the flight, committed suicide yesterday at the Merksplas refugee center (picture) in Belgium.
According to news reports, Ebenizer, who was placed in isolation after Saturday's failed expulsion attempt, used bedsheets to hang himself in a bathroom. Police had to be brought in to quell the ensuing riot by other detainees.
Ebenizer's lawyer, Maitre Alexis Deswaef, holds the Belgian government responsible for his client's death and reveals that his client was tortured by police during the first expulsion attempt. Officials at the Merksplas detention center have confirmed that when Ebenizer returned to the center on Saturday, his body had signs of trauma (thereby confirming Fosso's story). Two Belgian cabinet ministers and political parties have called for a moratorium on expulsions until such a time when they can be carried out in a more conventional and humane manner.
May his soul rest in peace.