18 December 2003
BRUSSELS – Fifty Iranian asylum seekers protesting in a University of Brussels classroom were expelled by police Wednesday morning after a three-month sit-in.
Police entered the ULB classroom where the group of Iranian immigrants were living at 6am and took them to seven open immigrant centres after being processed at Laeken police station.
“Before calling in the police, we were guaranteed that no protester would be expelled, imprisoned, or kept in a closed detention centre,” member of the ULB board Fabrizio Bucella told La Libre Belgique.
“The ULB closes at Christmas and there would have been no infrastructure left, nor a medical service,” he said.
Following a governmentl decision mid-November, 410 Iranian asylum seekers re-submitted their applications for asylum. Of these, 61 decisions have been made so far – 44 were rejected and 17 accepted.
The ULB sit-in will be remembered for the hunger strikes which took place during the autumn, in which one asylum seeker sewed his lips together.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Belgian news