Expatica news

Afghan refugees stop hunger strike

13 November 2007

BRUSSELS – The 18 Afghans that have been on hunger strike in Brussels for 55 days have stopped their protest. Pol Van Camp, one of the spokespeople for the Afghans, has announced this. The Home Affairs department says seven or eight of them will be issued temporary residence permits.

On Monday the hunger strikers spoke with the chief of staff of the Home Affairs minister’s office, the commissioner general for Refugees and Stateless Persons and the director general of the immigration service.

Now it has emerged that hunger strikers who come from areas in Afghanistan where their safety cannot be guaranteed will be granted one-year residence permits. These will be issued pending further investigation. They will be given their permits on the basis of the permanent evaluation of the situation in their countries of origin.

The hunger strikers have suspended their protest until they are granted their permits. Only then will they stop definitively with the strike. Pols Van Camp, a spokesperson but also a fellow striker, says everyone is pleased but sad at the same time. “Because this does not offer a solution for the fundamental problem of people without papers and of all Afghan refugees in particular.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news