A group of Brussels residents has decided to do something which, according to them, Belgium is not doing: bring Syrian citizens to Belgium with a humanitarian visa. Grouped under a banner reading “One visa, one life”, they hope to send a political message and help people currently in danger, explains Mo* magazine. 45 Brussels residents decided to vouch for Syrian refugees financially and morally and to help them migrate to Belgium. The refugees can only become asylum seekers once they have entered the country illegally, so activists are trying to help them take the legal road by asking for humanitarian visas.
Thus, with the support of this group of Brussels residents, the Allouch and Asfoor families applied for humanitarian visas at the Belgian consulate in Ankara (Turkey) last Friday. 4-year-old Haifa Al Allouch has a serious heart defect and needs an operation, whereas 5-year-old Marwa Asfoor was injured during an air raid and suffers from partial paralysis of her left leg. She also needs surgery.
“Granting a humanitarian visa is a favour, not a right. The process should take place under competent authorities, in this case Secretary of State Theo Francken, who can exercise his discretion,” adds Mo*. 55 positive decisions and 51 negative decisions were made in 2013.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)