Immigrant hunger strikers stop drinking
27 April 2006, BRUSSELS — Some 24 illegal immigrants who started a hunger strike on 7 April in Saint-Gilles in Brussels also stopped drinking on Wednesday night.
27 April 2006
BRUSSELS — Some 24 illegal immigrants who started a hunger strike on 7 April in Saint-Gilles in Brussels also stopped drinking on Wednesday night.
Support organisations have raised grave concerns about the desperation and hardening of the protestors' action.
The 24 illegal immigrants come from Mauretania and Algeria and are campaigning under the slogan '[Residency] papers or a death certificate'.
"What is happening in Saint-Gilles is very serious," a spokesman from CRER, the group demanding an amnesty for illegal immigrants and protesting against their expulsion.
"Whoever stops drinking water can die in three days' time."
CRER spokesman Oscar Flores said the sit-in protestors at the Saint-Gilles church believe their protest is not yielding results.
"They are desperate and have decided to harden their hunger strike," he said.
Another spokesman Thierry Delforge said the situation is dramatic and two or three people have already been admitted to hospital.
"They are prepared to go through to the end and request a meeting with the Minister of Interior Affairs or with an official from the immigration service," he said.
Church sit-ins are taking place at various locations across the country in protest against Belgium's immigration laws.
Several hunger strikes have also been carried out in recent weeks, but this is the first time that protestors have stopped drinking.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news