Parents of toddler killed by police bullet given leave to remain in Belgium indefinitely

The parents of a three-year-old girl that was killed by a police bullet fired at a van they were travelling in have been given leave to remain in Belgium permanently . The couple and their children were among a group of illegal immigrants that were been transported by people smugglers through Belgium on their way to the UK. 

Now, almost 2 years and 9 months later the Federal Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Sami Mahdi announced that Mawda’s parents have been given a permanent residence permit enabling them to live legally in Belgium for as long as they wish. Mr Mahdi has used his discretionary authority as Secretary of State to grant the residency permit.  He confirmed that he had done so in an interview with our colleagues from the Francophone public broadcaster RTBF on Friday morning.

"The decision was made in December. Previously the parents had temporary residency, and this had to be extended annually”.

Mr Madhi believes that given the circumstances (Mawda is buried here) the decision to grant the girl’s parents permanent residency is highly justifiable. 

"These parents have gone through a trauma. Their child is buried here. I think that it is normal to allow them to be able to grieve in peace”, Mr Madhi said.

Later on, Friday, the Criminal Court in Mons (Hainaut) will give its verdict in a case brought against two Iraqi people smugglers and the police officer that fired the shot that killed the 3-year-old girl.


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