Expatica news

Discipline charges droppedagainst asylum death police

8 December 2004

BRUSSELS – Disciplinary charges have been dropped against two of the four Belgian police officers charged with the death of asylum seeker Semira Adamu.

A similar amnesty is expected for the other two officers in the near future.

A spokesman for the federal police told the Wednesday editions of Flemish newspapers Het Nieuwsblad, Het Volk and De Standaard  that “legal procedure had been respected and followed.”

Four out of five police officers implicated in the suffocation of Adamu were given suspended prison sentences on 12 September 2003.

Twenty-year-old Adamu died during attempts to forcibly expel her from Belgium in 1998.

Her face was pushed into a pillow when she resisted attempts to strap her to a seat on a plane returning her to Nigeria.

She later died of a brain haemorrhage in hospital, sparking a national outcry and forcing Interior Minister Louis Tobback to stand down.

Three of the five officers were accused of involuntary manslaughter and assault and two, who were supervising the operation, faced charges of negligence leading to involuntary manslaughter.

Adamu had been forced to leave Belgium when the authorities rejected her claims that her family was trying to make her marry a 65 year old man with other wives.

She had already resisted five attempts to deport her.

Her death aroused a great deal of public emotion, and sparked police protests, who staged a show of support for their colleagues.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news