Expatica news

Peaceful end to Zaventem’Iranian’ plane protest

11 March 2005

BRUSSELS – A standoff at Brussels airport that saw 60 protesters of Iranian origin refusing to leave a plane ended peacefully on Friday morning.

The protesters left the plane at around 4.30 am on Friday after the Belgian police threatened to arrest them if they did not disembark.

The saga began on Thursday when around 60 passengers on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt refused to leave the aircraft.

The passengers had EU passports but told the Belgian authorities they were of Iranian origin and that they were staging their on board sit-in as a protest against the current regime in power in Tehran.

French news agency AFP reported that a young Iranian based in Brussels, who identified himself as Ramin, said he was speaking on behalf of the protesters.

He explained that protest had been planned for for five months by a London-based Iranian monarchist group called “Azarakhsh”.

“We all ask the leaders of the European Union (not to) support the regime in Iran,” the spokesman said.

Passengers not taking part in the protest were allowed to leave the plane normally and the Belgian police, while cautious, did not seem concerned at any point that the protestors were dangerous.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news