By Tomáš Tengely-Evans
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Campaigners say ‘the border kills’ after Belgian cops shoot two year old

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Issue 2606


Borders kill
Borders kill (Pic: Jonathan McIntosh/Flickr)

Refugee support organisations in northern France have slammed the Belgian, British and French governments after a two year old refugee was shot in the face on 17 May.

Iraqi-Kurd Mawda Shawri died after Belgian police opened fire on a van that was carrying 30 people, including her family. Cops surrounded the van in a 40-minute standoff and then arrested those inside.

They are thought to have been trying to get to Britain.

Belgian authorities tried to deny that they were responsible, saying Mawda could have died from illness or a blow to the head.

“The little girl did not die as a result of police gunfire,” said the prosecutor.

Then the authorities admitted the two year old was shot in the face.

Mawda’s family had previously been deported from Britain. The refugee support organisations’ statement released last week said that those responsible are “smugglers and the Belgian forces of law and order”.

It added, “But it would be too easy to settle for just those. That would be to forget that the border itself kills, because it is a violent place and our governments are responsible.”


And they vowed to fight for immigration laws with refugee rights at their heart.

The racist immigration policies of the Tories and French president Emmanuel Macron mean that over 1,000 are trapped at Britain’s border in northern France. “The politics of exclusion and rejection have precisely made people live in deplorable conditions,” said the statement.

“They live in the undergrowth, are regularly moved on or, when they have a chance, stay in an overcrowded sports hall.

“And then they are thrown into the hands of people with no scruples.

“These policies, too often called ‘border security’ offer anything but security. They are exactly those which put people in a position where they must risk everything, even life itself.”

The only solution is to open the border.

And to do that we have to build a movement that’s big enough and strong enough to force the Tories to do it.

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