Belgium has granted asylum to two stowaway airline employees who hid in a cargo of flowers on a flight out of Ethiopia.
Federal Belgian migration minister Sammy Mahdi’s office confirmed refugee status for the two men to The Brussels Times after a CNN investigation relayed pictures from the hold during the daring escape.
“I can confirm two persons with Ethiopian nationality arrived in Belgium. They were granted asylum. The CGRA decides on their status and their refugee request,” the official stated in reference to the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons.
The pair were among several staff at Ethiopian Airlines that claim to have fled State oppression targeting a regional Tigray minority under emergency laws that ran from November to late January as conflict raged.
According to the US broadcaster, the pair took off undetected from Addis Ababa on December 4 .
They detailed fears for safety saying family members had been killed or detained.