Nine asylum seekers on cranes in latest protest

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Nine asylum seekers have joined in the latest protest by climbing onto three different cranes to demand for regularisation.

28 July 2008

BELGIUM - In the area of the de Brouckère square in central Brussels, at least nine asylum seekers have climbed onto three different cranes.

The so-called sans-papiers want to put pressure on the local and federal authorities as they demand a regularisation.

The crane protest is the latest in a series of other crane protests and hunger strikes as an increasing number of sans-papiers are staging protests, especially in Brussels.

Their actions are linked to the government's indecision on asylum matters. Last week, key ministers went on holiday without reaching an accord on the matter. Flemish and Francophone ministers are divided on the matter.

Asylum seekers are also continuing their actions as only Sunday, 39 illegals who had gone on hunger strike in a church in Vorst were granted a temporary residence permit.

The latest crane protesters include five people from Morocco, one person from Algeria and one from Rwanda. Some of them went on hunger strike five weeks ago. Police have now closed the area around the cranes to prevent other sans-papiers from following their example.

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