US territorial access restrictions: Human Rights League calls upon Belgium to refuse Trump access
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    US territorial access restrictions: Human Rights League calls upon Belgium to refuse Trump access

    © Belga
    Credit: Belga
    © Belga

    The Human Rights League (HRL) and the European Association for the Defense of Human Rights (EADHR) is calling upon Belgium to respond to Trump’s anti-Muslim executive order or so-called “Muslim-ban” with a “Trump-ban”. This would take the form of a measure placing a moratorium on the new US President’s access to Belgium. The organisations would like it to apply as long as the moratorium on nationals of the seven predominantly Muslim countries entering the US is in force.

    These states are Yemen, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Iraq.

    Following the example of Pakistan which has cancelled its invite to President Trump and the British Labour party which has launched an appeal to this end, the HRL is taking a similar line.

    It is requesting that the Belgian government renounces its invitation to US President, Donald Trump, for bi-lateral discussions. The HRL’s view is that he should be banned from entering Belgium, even if he is invited by an international organisation headquartered in Belgium. It believes this should be the case as long as Trump’s executive order remains in force.

    In a joint communiqué yesterday (Tuesday) the HRL and the EADHR note that this anti-immigrant executive order has “serious potential consequences” on a number of European and Belgian nationals. “Indeed, our fellow citizens with dual nationality, Belgian on the one hand and a national of one of the countries targeted on the other hand, can no longer come into the US as a result of this presidential act.”

    Both associations nevertheless see the “reactions of indignation, demonstrations and legal measures” which have multiplied in many parts of the world, after Trump’s decision, as a measure of reassurance. The organisations reacted, “Even the Justice Minister recommended that federal prosecutors should not apply an illegal order! The result was not long in coming. She has been dismissed by the President.”

    The HRL was delighted by the Prime Minister, Charles Michel’s reaction, “having clearly affirmed, in the name of Belgium, his disagreement faced with this iniquitous legislation.”

    The associations say that what we have come to call our very democracy is under threat. This is why it is important to act to “affirm unambiguously the rejection of such Islamophobic and xenophobic policies.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times