On Wednesday, 100 undocumented migrants, members of Ebola, the organisation representing undocumented migrants from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, protested in Brussels near the office of Theo Francken, Secretary of State for Asylum, Migration and Administrative Simplification. They wanted to voice their condemnation of the deportation of a native of Guinea back to his homeland, where the Ebola epidemic is still raging. Protesters also demanded an official end to deportations to countries affected by haemorrhagic fever. “On Tuesday, Belgium authorities, the Immigration Office and the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration signed off the deportation of a Guinean migrant. Observing increased requests for asylum from Guinean natives, Mr. Francken thinks they are taking advantage of the catastrophic medical situation in their country to try to achieve legal status. We demand that subsidiary protection be granted in view of the humanitarian situation in their native countries,” revealed Alexis Andries, spokesperson for the non-profit organisation Pigment.
“We also ask for an official stop to deportations to these countries until the World Health Organisation) declares them ‘Ebola-free’. Forced deportations of migrants from Belgium to African countries hit by the Ebola epidemic were interrupted last August to protect police officers in charge of escorting those being sent home. Authorities are hiding behind this temporary measure to avoid taking responsibility and put an end to the deportations,” he added.
The Ebola organisation plans to organise other protests near Mr. Francken’s office in coming days.