Migrants desperate to work occupy Brussels church

Sixteen-year-old Mohammed Amine has been sleeping inside St. John the Baptist Church at the Béguinage, in the center of Brussels, for almost a month.

Amine, originally from Morocco, isn’t homeless — he’s one of up to 200 undocumented migrants who have occupied the 17th-century church since the end of January. The migrants are hoping to raise awareness about their lack of rights in Belgium, and are calling on the government to grant them legal status. Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi has described their actions as “blackmail.”

On the door of the church hangs a makeshift sign: “Liberté, égalité, dignité,” or “Freedom, equality, dignity.”


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