Serb family to leave secure migrant facility

A Serbian woman and her four children that had been held at the secure migrant facility at Steenokkerzeel in Flemish Brabant awaiting deportation will now be sent to an open facility. The Asylum and Migration Service is legal obliged to release them from the Steenokkerzeel facility as they have now been there for four weeks the maximum period that migrants awaiting deportation can be kept in a secure facility.  

The family was the first in a number of years to be locked up in a secure repatriation facility. The practice was stopped a decade ago amid international condemnation. The Serbian family being locked up resulted in a storm of protest for organisations including Amnesty International.   

However "The retention period carries on running and the family will carry on being followed up with a view to their return”, the Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Theo Francken wrote on the social media platform Twitter.


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