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Fourteen transmigrants arrested at North Station

15:30 21/12/2017

Federal raid police took 14 migrants into custody on Wednesday night in Brussels North Station. The group of men were transmigrants, passing through Belgium on their way to somewhere else.

Thirteen of the group had no papers that allowed them to stay in the country, while the other is being held for being in possession of illegal drugs, a police spokesperson told Bruzz. So far, eight of the 13 without permission to stay have been transferred to a refugee centre. One of them is a minor.

Police were also present last night at Maximilian Park in Brussels, where migrants gather to sleep and receive aid from the Plateforme Citoyenne, a group of volunteers who try to find temporary housing for transmigrants. No arrests were made, but the volunteer group expressed concern over their presence.

“It looked as though they were going to try to block us from accessing the park,” Mehdi Kassou of Plateforme Citoyenne told Bruzz. A police spokesperson said they were present because they had been warned about problems in the park over the last few days. “We had been told that people wanted to go into the park and cause trouble for the migrants.”

According to interior minister Jan Jambon, is has been two months since arrests have been made in a sweep of migrant groups in Brussels. Médecins du Monde, however, reported earlier this week that migrants regularly face violence at the hands of police in the capital.

Photo: More transmigrants head to North Station when cold weather hits
© Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Marc Slonik

"No arrests were made, but the volunteer group expressed concern over their presence."

Maybe it's just about the wording, but the presence of police in any place of the city should never be a concern. Especially in public places like parks. In some countries there are no-go zones and that's the last thing we would like to see here.

I've read about the "Médecins du Monde" report that points out police violence against the migrants. That's another story. This should never happen, but from what I read in the article this was not the case this time. The complaint is about mere presence of policeman - to me that's just another extreme.

Dec 25, 2017 10:02