Judge – “I would therefore ask you to impose a heavier prison sentence on my client. A much heavier one. The heavier, the better, I would almost say. “
The judge looks at the lawyer with increasing amazement. The request of the counselor is bizarre. Bizarre but understandable for those who know the entire story of the man who is sitting on the suspect bench with tears in his eyes.
“Morocco is a strange country for me. Just as strange as it is for you. I have been away from that place for 28 years. I don’t have anything there. I do not know anyone. No one.”
That is why Mourad (35) simply came back after he was forced to leave the Netherlands. He managed to survive for half a year in Morocco. Through his contacts in the Netherlands, he received addresses where he might be welcome. Nephews, friends of former neighbors, all of which he did not know. Nothing felt like home. Whatever his passport might claim, he did not belong there. He missed his family and friends. He missed the Netherlands. The country where he was no longer welcome. The country where he was an ‘unwanted foreigner’.
“But I grew up here, ma’am. Here. I belong here Mrs, I belong here. Here!”
Mourad points emotionally to the floor under his feet. Dutch territory. His plea seems sincere and he delivers it in perfect Dutch without an accent. Considering him exclusively as a Moroccan just seems wrong. He was not born here, but he is probably more Dutch than many others with such a passport will ever be.
At the age of seven Mourad moves with his parents from Morocco to here. He goes to school here and grows up here. He watches Dutch television, he follows Dutch football and he has Dutch friends. The one thing he does not do? comply with Dutch law.
When he starts using hard drugs, his criminal record really explodes. Thefts, robberies, threats, open violence. Twelve pages long. Several judges offered him numerous opportunities, but Mourad does not grab any of them. And because he still has a Moroccan passport and therefore does not have the Dutch nationality, the solution is simple.
‘Undesirable foreigner’ stamps a judge on his file one day. Mourad is deported once and for all to his ‘homeland’. He will appeal the decision but has to wait for the outcome in Morocco. A so-called ‘entry ban’ must prevent him from coming back.
Mourad has violated that entry ban. The 35-year-old was discovered during a routine police check. That is two months ago now. Since then he has been in detention at Schiphol, awaiting today. But he would rather stay there. The verdict of his appeal will wait at least another month. Suppose his preliminary imprisonment is lifted today, the Police will send him back to Morocco in no time. What should he do there? He would rather wait in a Dutch prison cell for a few months. Then he won’t have to beg for a place to stay.
With fear and trembling, Mourad waits for the verdict, but he knows quickly enough where the judge’s judgment goes. To Marocco. She understands his situation but an even higher prison sentence would not be in proportion. Moreover, it remains to be seen whether the ruling in the appeal comes next month. That can also take much longer. The judge keeps it at the two months in prison the man already served. In a few, days Mourad is a free man. Locked in Morocco.
Click here to read lasts weeks; in front of the judge – My wife is worse than al Qaida!