Home News Asylum seekers protest surprise expulsions

Asylum seekers protest surprise expulsions

Published on 17/08/2005

17 August 2005

BRUSSELS — Asylum seekers across Belgium protested on Tuesday against surprise deportations being carried out by Belgian immigration authorities.
In Brussels, some 100 protestors demonstrated outside the refugee shelter Klein Kasteeltje, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported on Wednesday. Asylum seekers have also stopped sleeping at the Brussels refugee centre.

The residents claim that more than 60 refugees with appeals still pending with the Council of State have been deported from other refugee centres since the start of August.

And some 50 asylum seekers staying at the refugee shelter in Jumet sought sanctuary in the Saint-Christophe basilica in Charleroi on Tuesday.

Among the asylum seekers seeking refuge were children, including a baby just several weeks old, footage from French-language broadcaster RTBF showed.

The asylum seekers abandoned the refugee shelter after police entered the centre last Friday to deport a rejected Togolese asylum seeker, newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported.
The man’s application for asylum had been rejected. Although he had lodged an appeal, policed deported him anyway.

A new agreement between the federal refugee agency Fedasil and the immigration service DVZ allows deportations prior to the Council of State hearing an asylum seeker’s appeal. The new measure has been in force since the start of this month.

And the immigration service DVZ rejected all criticism on Tuesday and stressed it was only applying Belgian law. It said appeals lodged with the Council of State cannot prevent deportations.

However, refugee lobby group VAK accused the DVZ of hypocrisy. “Why leave the possibility open to appeal if you eject people out of the country in the meantime,” official Ruben Vandevyvere asked.

Asylum seekers are opposed to the deportation procedures and are demanding that they be scrapped until such time as their application for asylum has been completely exhausted.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news