Man climbs on roof squatted building in Brussels Rue de Palais

Man climbs on roof squatted building in Brussels Rue de Palais
Asylum seekers seek shelter in Rue des Paleis in Schaerbeek as temperatures drop. Credit: Belga/James Arthur Gekiere

On Sunday afternoon in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek, a man climbed onto the roof of the building that has been occupied for some months by several hundred asylum seekers and homeless people, said the local police Brussels North (Schaerbeek/Evere/Saint-Josse-ten-Noode).

The police had closed the street to all traffic but in the meantime, the man had already descended from the roof. The exact reason for his action is still unclear.

For several months now, the building has been hosting several hundred people, most of them asylum seekers – including unaccompanied minors – who have requested asylum and are being denied the shelter they are legally entitled to.

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Several weeks ago, the Croix-Rouge de Belgique, the French-speaking branch of the Red Cross in Belgium, opened a mobile emergency clinic at the building. Doctors have already identified several cases of tuberculosis, in addition to worrying cases of cutaneous diphtheria and a very large spread of scabies.

Last Thursday, a Fedasil mobile team was finally sent to the scene to identify asylum seekers to transfer them to designated reception centres. 369 people staying in the building in the Rue des Palais were screened; 368 of them had applied for asylum. If the process of their application is still ongoing, they are legally entitled to shelter.

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