Protesters mobilize at Zaventem airport against the expulsion of Iranians: “They are really afraid”
This Monday, at Zaventem airport, the demonstrators were gathered to try to avoid at all costs that three Iranians are sent home. One of them, Mohsen Shekari, was due to board an 11:30 a.m. flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Because it is from Turkey, neighboring Iran, that they arrived three months ago. But the Foreigners Office has confirmed to us that “the person refused to leave” and was therefore returned to the center. “They have also received deportation notices from Turkey. So once they arrive in Turkey, they will automatically be sent back to Iran.”deplores Farnoush Edrisaraki, member of the support committee.
Two other Iranians were to be deported to Turkey on the 3:15 p.m. flight. According to our information, due to a refusal, they were not deported either and were therefore taken back to the detention center.
When the demonstrators learned that no departure had taken place, we witnessed scenes of joy. “Death row, we stayed ahead. We blocked it for the moment. And it’s really thanks to all of you”, one of them exclaims.
A few hours earlier, we had been able to reach Mohammadreza, one of the Iranians threatened with deportation, from the detention center. He admitted to having participated in demonstrations in Azali, in northern Iran. “They are really scared“, tells us a demonstrator who is in telephone communication with one of them. According to the two nationals, in Iran, they are in the process of “to execute everyone”.
We are talking about a country in the midst of a revolution
The two young people, aged 22, had received a summons from the Iranian police for “disorders of public order”. But the Belgian authorities considered that they were not in the conditions to obtain refugee status. A decision upheld on appeal. “We always understand that neither Belgium nor Europe can pick up the misery of the world, but today we are talking about a country in the midst of a revolution”notes Said Javaherian, member of the support committee.
But the Belgian authorities believe that they do not meet the conditions for obtaining refugee status. “The situation in Iran is worrying. But in Belgium, an asylum application is rigorously and independently assessed by the General Commissioner for Refugees (…) According to the general police station and the judge of the Litigation Council, there is no risk of individual persecution in this case”, argues Nicole De Moor, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration.
Iran has so far handed down 14 death sentences amid protests that have rocked the country since September. Four people have already been hanged.
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