Dear Prime Minister De Croo and Minister Sammy Mahdi,
CC: Paul Magnette and Georges Gilkinet
The world is watching you.
As hundreds of undocumented migrants continue their hunger strike for basic rights and dignity in Brussels, they have growing support across the world.
Their demands are simple and reasonable. Some were born in Belgium. Others have lived in the country for decades. All they are asking for is the right to be regularised, and for there to be a clear process for regularising undocumented migrants. They want the right to live full lives - through which they will enrich the society they live in - in the place they call home.
So far, your government has rebuffed the hunger strikers with the argument that the government cannot make exceptions or reconsider the rules on the basis of a campaign such as this. But when the system fails and produces situations as inhumane as the one faced by these migrants, “rules are rules” is not a rational response but a refuge for cowardice.
In pursuit of their basic rights, and the rights of their fellow undocumented migrants, the hunger strikers have demonstrated a willingness to put themselves in danger and a courage beyond the comprehension of most politicians.
I am writing to you to ask you to show some basic courage and humanity. Let the hunger strikers live - and let undocumented migrants be a full part of society.
For more information on this case, see this open letter.