AAGU
Anarchistische Anti-deportatie Groep Utrecht


Electric fences and motion detection around 'child friendly' immigration prison Kamp Zeist

English translation of: Schrikdraad en bewegingsdetectie rond 'kindvriendelijke' vluchtelingengevangenis Kamp Zeist

The department of justice is planning to replace the fence around detention center Kamp Zeist in Soesterberg, according to reports in the municipalities of Zeist and Soest early May. The current fence, standard mesh fencing with barbed wire, and behind it a three stacked rolls NATO-wire (so-called Razor wire), will be replaced by a prison fence with electric wires and motion sensors.

The part of Kamp Zeist which is now in use as a refugee shelter (the barracks, which had previously also been used as a detention center) will be stripped of fence, according to an earlier report. This is consistent with longstanding plans to limit to the part of the site that is the detention center within the high walls and a small piece in front of it, towards the main gate (map).

The question is what this new typical prison fence will contribute to 'child friendliness' and 'reduced prison experience' on this location at Kamp Zeist, as announced widely by the government . On the other hand it is unlikely that the trapped children are ever to see this fence, since they are already locked up behind a similar fence surrounding the family prison and behind it the surrounding five meter high wall.
Imprisonment is by definition not child friendly. The new family prison (GGV) is a cheap, but sadly swallowed by many, trick from former Secretary of State Teeven to continue the much-criticized jailing of refugee children.
The alleged 'child friendliness' of the current temporary location was further brought down by the findings of AAGU during the occupation of the wall surrounding the detention center in November 2014. The past months Defence for Children also criticized (1-2-3-4) the family prison and the continued detention of children strongly.

The job will be performed by the company Smits of Burgst, based in Oosterhout and Zoetermeer. An old acquaintance: it previously designed an integrated security plan for Kamp Zeist and is part of the consortium DC16 that built and operates Rotterdam Airport detention center. The company also provided security technology for various 'ordinary' prisons and other correctional institutions. Smits van Burgst is also part of the consortium Pi2, that builds the new mega-prison in Zaandam (Zaanstad PI).

Because of its involvement in the construction of detention Rotterdam Airport Smits van Burgst was the target of actions several times. As part of the campaign "Stop DC16 'of the Working Group Stop Deportations noise demonstrations at the facility in Zoetermeer took place in June and October 2009. An action group named "Betonrot” (in English “concrete rot”) painted the slogan “Stop DC-16” on the house of the director the same year, smearing his car with red paint as well.

The situation regarding the construction plans for a permanent family prison at the time of this writing is not entirely clear. There has been a tender, but contrary to expectations, there is no contract award announced. However, a building permit has been applied for at the municipality of Zeist.
In mid-June, the government stated that the plan stilll is that the structural provision will be completed by the end of 2015. AAGU already announced to campaign against the builder(s) of the family prison.

Meanwhile, from answers to parliamentary questions ( question 23), it shows that 52 families have been incarcerated in the current temporary family prison at Kamp Zeist in the period period October 2014-April 2015. The government writes further: "The average stay of these families was 6.7 days. 30 families have been forced to depart from the GGV. In 21 cases, the detention was lifted, because for instance families started a new asylum procedure. Furthermore , until April 4 AMV (unaccompanied minor refugees) are placed, as a last resort in order to realize departure. Of these three left. One AMV has been forced to depart and in two cases the detention was lifted. The average length of stay of unaccompanied minors over that period was 13.3 days. So far no families have been put in the GGV that were refused at the Schengenborder and have applied for asylum. These families are all placed in the open asylum procedure. Furthermore 4 families with minor children who have arrived at another airport than Schiphol, being Eindhoven, but who do not have asked for asylum, were placed until April 1st. Since there is no same day return flight available and Eindhoven Airport does not have a lounge like Schiphol where these families can stay, these families have been housed in the GGV for a short period(mean 2.9 days)."

The government also announced (question 23) that 0.8 million euros from the budget of Foreign Trade and Development for 2015 have been transferred to Prison Service (DJI) for the family prison.

According to AAGU it is clear that the new fence around Kamp Zeist is another step in the increasingly hermetic confinement of refugees, including families with children, for the purpose of deportation, or if that fails, to kicking them on the streets.
Resistance remains necessary against the detention and deportation policies of the capitalist west. Check the website of AAGU regularly for news about the campaign against the new family prison and for announcements of actions. Join this or other actions or organize something yourself, don't let the degrading practice of European migration policy continue undisturbed. For a free, inclusive and humane world without borders, freedom of movement and an end to oppression and exploitation by the state and capital!

AAGU - July 2015