Bart on Fri, 24 Jul 1998 19:37:31 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> sans papiers liberated


Tuesdayevening, 21st of july, national holiday in Belgium: people of the
Collective against Expulsions (a group based in the squatted Social Centre
in Brussels) have a peaceful torch-march at the closed centre 127bis in
Steenokkerzeel, near the aeroport of Brussels. The refugees inside start
to chant and scream. The warders react immeadiately by beating everyone
up, also women and children. The prisoners though don't let themselves be
intimidated, they fight back and block the doors of their cells. In the
tumult they smash a window, and some dozens refugees jump through.
Twenty-nine of them even manage to escape through the hole that has been
cut in the fence. They are free, we cheer.  But 17 activists got arrested
and locked up, first in the deportationcamp itself, afterwards transfered
to the federal police jail in Zaventem. They are accused of 'inciting fire
by night','band-making', etc. They face serious sentences.  We demand the
immeadite release of these people, who protested against the inhuman
deportation policy:=20


The concrete inducement for the action in Steenokkerzeel was another attemp=
to expulse SEMIRA ADAMU. Her story is one example of the inhumanity of the=
current refugee-policy (in fact an anti-immigration policy, that is: a=20
hunt-,  imprison-, and deportationpolicy).

S=E9mira Adamu is a young Nigerian woman who fled to Belgium some months ag=
She wanted to escape a forced marriage with a 65-years old man with already=
several wives . On her arrival in Belgium she is immeadiately imprisoned in=
the detentioncentre in Steenokkerzeel, her demand for asylum is refused. He=
solicitor makes an appeal for humanitarian reason, but this doesn't impede=
the Office of Foreigners in trying to deport her anyway. A first attempt=20
fails though, thanks to her courageous resistance and the action at the=20
aeroport by members of the Collective against Expulsions.

Tuesdaymorning, they make a second attempt. At 7 pm, they pick her off the=
bed, complete unexpected and without any comment, even without time to take=
some personal belongings, and bring her to the aeroport. They want to put=
her on the plane to Lom=E9 (Togo). Happily, at that moment some people of t=
Collective were at the aeroport and they can convince a passenger to=20
protest. As a result the pilote refuses to take her with. Semira is brought=
back to Steenokkerzeel. The same night the Collective protested before the=
fences of the detentium centre.
Result: 29 refugees free, 17 activists imprisoned.

We call everyone to act now
to demand:

- halt to all deportations
- closure of the camps
- abrogation of the racist laws
- regularisation of all people without papers
- return of the deported
- the immeadiate release of all the arrested activists

_______________   =20

the text above is a quick translation of the leaflet distributed by the=20
Autonomous Refugee Support Group-Gent and the Anarchist Black Cross-Gent, o=
n =20
wednesdayevening, 22nd of july, during the Festivities of Ghent, where=20
thousands of people are present.

Today, friday 24, the sitation is as follows:

Seven escaped sans papiers have been captured the same night (21st), the=20
other 22 are still free!!!
All 17 of the activists arrested have been released, 7 of them though are=
charged with 'infringement of article 77 of the law on foreigners' (famous=
"delict of solidarity"), 'damage to state-property', maybe some other=20
charges will follow. The charges of 'fire by night' and 'band-making' have=
been dropped (proved to be inventions of the police: there was no trace of =
fire, and the so-called radical commandogroup 'squat'(!) mentioned in the=
press, is too ridiculous to comment on).
The fact that they have all been released gives us hope that the authoritie=
don't want to push it too far. There was a lot of solidarity, big media=20
coverage, and they know very well that their policy is impossible to justif=

But the solidarity must not stop:

write to the Minister of Interiors Louis Tobback and to the Minister of=20
Justice Tony Van Parijs  to demand:
 the immeadiate release of Semira Adamu,
 the end of the deportationpolicy, regularisation of all the sans papiers,.=
 that all charges against the 7 accused be dropped

write solidarity statements (Centre Sociale, Av. de la Porte de Halle=20
2-4,1060 Brussel;

The Brussels Collective against Expulsions do have a homepage (in French),=
check out for more information, to sign the petitions...:=20

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