Amnesty International on Thursday organised a demonstration on the Brussels-Charleroi Canal to draw attention to the deaths of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.
Amnesty activists wearing orange life jackets travelled along the canal on five boats before landing at the Quai des Péniches, where they recalled that “the human drama continues”.
Vous avez entendu parler de la #WorldRefugeeDay2019 aujourd’hui? Moi pas beaucoup… @amnestybe était sur le pont, sur le canal de #Bruxelles pour rappeler que des vies sont toujours perdues en mer 👉🏻 https://t.co/hfZf64kmrN pic.twitter.com/6V7rIvg2Qv
— Valérie Michaux (@valmich0) June 20, 2019
Dozens of people took part in the protest, organised to commemorate World Refugee Day. Before the boats arrived, some participants placed life jackets on the quay in memory of over 60 migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean last month.
“By preventing migrants and refugees at all costs from reaching the coasts of Europe, particularly by building the capacity of the Libyan coastguards, the governments of EU member States condemn thousands of human beings to a cruel choice: death by drowning or torture in Libya,” said Philippe Hensman, director of the Francophone Belgian section of Amnesty International.
Amnesty called for an end to these policies “with catastrophic consequences” and addressed a new petition to the Prime Minister urging Belgium to use its influence within the European Union to ensure that no cooperation that leads to human rights violations is established. It also insisted on the need to guarantee respect for the human rights of migrants prior to the conclusion of any agreement with third countries.
The Brussels Times