Several hundred illegal immigrants supported by European MPs as well as humanitarian NGOs, trade unions and students, demonstrated on Wednesday before the European parliament in Brussels in protest against the death of a Cameroonian asylum seeker in a closed centre.
The demonstrators, including many Africans, carried placards asking for the immediate closure of "detention camps". They also demanded the immediate release of illegal immigrants arrested on Tuesday while they were demonstrating in front of the Foreign Office.
European MPs joined the demonstration to protest against the adoption on Wednesday by the European Commission of the directive on immigration that authorises detention for at least 18 months of foreigners found to be in Europe illegally.
At a news conference, the Green European MP, Giasto Catania, protested against the directive which translates, according to him, into criminalisation of immigration while, according to official reports, Europe would need 20 million immigrant workers by 2020.
Following the death of the Cameroonian asylum seeker, the European MP asked for the opening of an enquiry into conditions in the 170 detention centres opened in Europe, describing the European directive on immigration as "the directive of shame".
For his part, the Belgian minister for Asylum and Migrations, who has been accused of being morally responsible for the death of the Cameroonian, announced that it will sign before 20 May the circular authorising the regularisation of illegal immigrants who meet the required conditions. Panapress .