Belgium: Hundreds of migrants go on hunger strike in government

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Hundreds of undocumented migrants on strike are in dire straits Brussels the last two months, with their request to be given the right of residence.

According to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency, they also began to refuse water, bringing themselves closer to death and the Belgian government closer to the risk of collapse.

In particular, about 400 migrants, many of whom have been in Belgium for years, are already ossified as they have been refusing food since May 23 and three-quarters of them decided on Friday to stop drinking water or saline.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which cares for them at two universities and a church, said they could die within days. MSF noted that many have lost all hope and are suicidal.

The Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexandre de Croix, has refused to make any exceptions to the normal procedures for immigration and asylum.

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However, two of the seven parties in his coalition, the Socialists and the Greens, say he is too rigid and meticulous in enforcing the law. also note that if any of these immigrants die, they will leave the coalition, making it impossible for the government to survive.

These migrants come mainly from South Asia and North Africa and some have been in Belgium for more than a decade.

Although they had managed to make a living, they now suffered disproportionately from the lockdowns imposed to stem the pandemic of the new coronavirus, forcing many cafes, restaurants and other businesses to close, and unable to claim compensation for not they have papers.

Sami Mahdi, Undersecretary of State for Asylum and Immigration, has appointed a mediator and a place where immigrants can obtain information about their rights and how to obtain papers.

“We will not pursue a separate policy for people going on hunger strike or occupying buildings,” Mahdi said.

“There are about 150,000 undocumented immigrants in our country and it would not be right to treat 400 people differently,” he added.

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