Belgian citizens disconcerted by the arrests of migrants around Maximilien Park and nearby Brussels-North station have protected 150 to 200 migrants in the past three days by sheltering them in their homes at night, Mehdi Kassou, a member of the Citizens Platform for Refugee Support, said on Thursday. For more than 10 days now, the Platform has been appealing to citizens to shelter migrants in their homes at night. “The raids have moved people to take in migrants and the figures have increased exponentially,” Kassou said. “We were at 10-15 in the beginning, then we increased to 30, 50…. We placed 60 people on Monday night, 50 on Tuesday and 87 last night.
“Some of them were invited to stay two or three days, others for a week. Most left the homes during the day. There must only be a dozen persons left at the Brussels-North station.”
The Platform has just sent a letter to municipal, regional and federal political officials as well as trade unions, pointing out that Belgium had made a commitment to take in more than 3,800 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece, but had accepted only about 900. It also recalled that Hungary and Slovakia had been condemned earlier this month by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The Platform is asking Belgium to activate the sovereignty clause contained in the Dublin Agreements, to stop sending the asylum seekers concerned back to Italy, and to examine their situation in Belgium.