ADHRRF – On the evening of January 13th, 2018, nine groups and organizations, including the Coordination of Undocumented Migrants in Belgium (Coordination des sans-papiers de Belgique), No One Is Illegal (Personne n’est illegal), Movement against Racism, Antisemitism and Xenophobia (MRAX asbl), and Jeunes Organisé Combatifs Bruxelles, staged a demonstration in Brussels, calling on the government to respect human rights and demanding the Prime Minister to dismiss Théo Francken from his position as the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration.
About twenty associations and organizations responded positively and participated in the demonstration on that day. According to the local police, there were at least 6500 people. The public joined the demonstration spontaneously, demanded that Théo Francken resign, because he failed to comply with his duties, court decisions and legal rules: He repatriated immigrants, which made them be tortured and treated inhumanely; lied to the parliament and society; made racist remarks, collaborated with former Nazis and threatened public order and national security. Human rights activists demanded in their speeches that the government should respect human rights, take care and pay attention to undocumented immigrants’ work, house and residence status, and protect the rights of children.
After the speech, the march started around 14:30 and ended around 16:30. The march set off from Brussels North Railway Station (Bruxelles Gare du Nord), passed The Office of Foreigners (Intérieur Office des étrangers), Maximilien Park (Le Parc Maximilien), The small castle (Le Petit Chateau Fedasil Center), and at last finished at The New Grain (MarketPlace du Nouveau Marché aux Grains).
The organizations and protesters held signs with slogan such as “No one is illegal”, “Stop repatriation” (Arrêter le rapatriement), “Stop detention”, “We are not dangerous, we are in danger”, “Brussels welcomes refugees” (En avant Bxl-refugees Welcome), “Theo, respect human rights” (Théo, respecte les droits de l’homme), “For a government that respects human dignity” (Pour un gouvernement qui respecte la dignité humaine), etc., calling on the Belgian Prime Minister to dismiss Théo Francken from his position as the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration.
It was noted that Théo Francken still refused to comply with court decisions but repatriated Sudanese, even after the court has issued a ban on repatriation. Two expelled Sudanese were subjected to torture upon repatriation in December,2017. On December 30, more than three hundred people took part in the demonstration against Théo Francken’s migrant policy at Gare de Bruxelles-Central (Brussels Central Station) in Belgium.