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600 protest in Brussels against police shooting of two-year-old
Demonstrators hung toys and children's clothes from a washing line outside Brussels' Justice Palace in a protest against the killing of a two-year-old Kurdish girl during a police chase.
About 600 people gathered on Place Poelaert on Wednesday evening to condemn the Belgium federal government's migration policy, according to a police estimate.
Protestors carried signs calling for the resignation of interior minister Jan Jambon and migration minister Theo Francken and a minute's silence was held.
Two-year-old Mawda Shawri died after being hit by a stray police bullet last week. The shooting occurred during a police chase with a van operated by human traffickers on the E42 motorway between Namur and Mons.
Some 29 Kurdish migrants were found in the back of the van. They were heading for the UK.
Mehdi Kassou, from the Citizen's Platform for the Support of Reguees, said his organisation had provided housing and counselling to the bereaved family.
Gulistan Ozer, a representative of the Kurdish community in Belgium, told reporters: "Mawda did not die under a shower of bombs in Iraq. She did not drown in the Mediterranean. She died under the bullets of the Belgian police.
"During their long and painful journey, her parents never abandoned her. Now they are asked to leave their daughter's body in Belgium and exit the country. Today, I am ashamed to be Belgian."
Photo: Ophélie Delarouzée/Belga