The Abassi family from Pakistan, who should have taken a plane Sunday morning to go back to Islamabad, has not left Belgium, the RTBF reports. This information was confirmed by Zoubida Jeilab, a communal Ecolo (Green) councilor for Brussels. “The mother had a funny turn a few days ago, and fell into a diabetic coma a few hours ago”, she explained. “The doctors have said she can’t travel, but the family’s situation is now precarious”. An arrest warrant was issued for Mohammad Assim Abassi in mid-November. He was suspected of transporting a gun hidden under an avenue Louise coat, on the basis of a photograph. It was in fact a cricket bat he was protecting from the rain.
Afterwards, a rumour started in the media and on social networks that the young man’s father had lost his job with the Pakistani embassy because of these suspicions. It later emerged that Mr Abassi’s 4 year contract with the embassy had come to an end, and that the family’s return to Pakistan was normal procedure. It had nothing to do with misconceptions regarding the son. The family and those close to them contest this version of events and say their departure is due to the arrest warrant.
“On Saturday and Sunday, the embassy said they had to leave Belgium, but they have stayed”, explains Zoubida Jeilab. “The mother’s medical condition has become very worrying, and the children refuse to leave as they want to finish their school year. The family also want their name to be completely cleared”.
Now that the father’s contract has finished, the family’s visa will expire. They are afraid of becoming illegal residents, explains the councilor. “They need help more than ever. They felt beaten until yesterday, but our appeal has given them hope”.