A demonstration took place in Brussels on Friday to protest at the actions of two government ministers, the N-VA colleagues Jan Jambon (home affairs) and Theo Francken (secretary of state for asylum and migration), whose policies are blamed for the death of a two-year-old Kurdish refugee killed after a police chase in the Mons region. The prosecutor’s office of Mons-Tournai has confirmed that the child died by a bullet fired from a police weapon.
The child was one of the passengers on board a van containing a number of migrants, who are thought to have paid traffickers to bring them to Belgium. An investigation is continuing, but it is assumed they were ultimately heading for the UK.
The van carrying the migrants was involved in a police chase, which ended when shots were fired. The circumstances of the death of the child were at first not clear, but the Mons prosecutor’s office later confirmed that according to the autopsy carried out on the girl, her death was due to a police bullet causing a gunshot wound to the cheek.
Some 200 people held a demonstration outside the Service for Foreigners in the area of the Brussels-North station, organised by a number of associations. They called for a more humane policy with regard to refugees.
“They talk of a stray bullet, but if you deliberately shoot at a van with people in it, you can no longer speak of an accident,” said Vincent Cornil of Mrax, one of the anti-racism organisations involved. “There were other ways to bring that vehicle to a standstill.”