The 50 protestors on hunger strike in a disused building in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean since last November 17th, were on their 53rd day of fasting on Friday. According to a doctor monitoring their health, the strikers are now at the most dangerous point of their protest, and risk impaired renal function, hypertension, irreversible brain damage, breathing difficulties and coma. The 50 hunger strikers are part of a group of 200 undocumented immigrants who have joined forces within the Voix des Sans-Papiers organisation and who is calling for them to be granted residency.
“There is a definite risk of people dying now. More and more are being hospitalised and some are refusing rehydration via a drip. They are getting weaker by the day and damage will be irreversible, especially for the liver and kidneys,” explained Jean-Marie Piersotte, a former union member who came to support the hunger strikers.
“On Wednesday, a conversation took place with Freddy Roosemont, director of the Immigration Office. He indicated he could not facilitate their request for an across-the-board granting of residency for the undocumented immigrants from the Voix des Sans-Papiers. The strikers were hugely disappointed and are now even more determined to see their protest through. We are terrified as they say they have nothing to lose,” he added.