30 illegal immigrants in hospital after hunger strike

Some 30 members of "La Voix des Sans Papiers" (The Voice of People without Legal Documents), an organisation that supports those that lack the legal documents to stay in Belgium, have ended up in hospital. They had become too weak due to a hunger strike they had initiated in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek on 17 November. (archive picture)

The organisation represents 200 people, including 13 children and 40 women, from Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa. They presently occupy an old people's home on the Leopold II Avenue in Molenbeek that is no longer being used. The hunger strikers demand that all people living at the site be given the documents to stay here. 

On 27 November, 10 days after the hunger strike had been started, the municipality of Molenbeek issued a statement that it was "monitoring the situation". Burgomaster Françoise Schepmans (Francophone liberal) said that there was no reason to put a stop to the occupation at that moment, not for safety and not for hygienic reasons. She added that the municipality would look into the situation of each family to see whether they could receive new, temporary  accommodation.