17/06/2014: Hongerstrike in Vottem

For six days, several persons have been on hunger strike, some on thirst strike, at the closed centre in Vottem.

Among them are people of Pakistani origin who fear for their lives if deported by force. Indeed, in Pakistan several political movements have become the targets of Talibans. They don’t hesitate to commit attacks and kill as we could see several days ago during an attack close to Karachi airport. Some of these Talibans are coming from Afghanistan.

We do not accept the very restrictive policy of the Belgian state in matter of asylum and immigration. 75% of the asylum requests are refused, which means that they now start to deport people to countries where there is war and insecurity, or dictatorships and authoritary regimes. At the end of last year, a young Afghan called Aref was shot dead by Talibans upon his return to Afghanistan.

Among the hunger strikers, some have been building their lives in Belgium for years, they have family and friends here, and they find themselves dismissed although they have been working, following trainings etc.

They all undertook that move because their lives would be destroyed by a deportation. Unfortunatley, now their lives is in danger here. One of them on hunger and thirst strike is already in a very worrying state.

For CRACPE, France Arets

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