Mawda, 2 years old, shot in Belgium.
A 2 year old girl has died in Belgium in the early hours of Thursday 17th May following a police chase.
She was in a vehicle with around 30 other people, including her family. The Guardian has reported that the police gave chase and opened fire on the van in order to stop it. A bullet is believed to have penetrated the vehicle and hit her in the cheek. This was followed by a 45 minute stand-off while the situation was assessed, while the girl’s mother screamed for help. In short, a 2 year old girl has died at the hands of the police in Western Europe.
Investigators have confirmed that she was killed by a bullet, but have not confirmed that she was shot by the police. The family are concerned that the cause of their daughter’s death will be covered up with nobody being held to account.
She will be buried on Tuesday 22nd May 2018.
On Thursday, the Kurdish community in Dunkirk held a protest on the A16 motorway near where they are sleeping. It was a peaceful protest, with families and children forming a human chain across the highway, stopping traffic for around 30 minutes until they were moved on by the CRS. 20 people were detained in the aftermath of the protest, and drivers on the road remained sadly oblivious to the nature of it. The atmosphere in the community has been understandably sombre, and we stand in solidarity with the young girl’s family, their friends and community, and the volunteers who support them each day. Mobile Refugee Support, the Refugee Women’s Centre and Refugee Community Kitchen provide support, solidarity and aid on a daily basis to the community affected by this horrific situation.
Mobile Refugee Support posted this update:
“Yesterday a two year old child was shot by Belgium police forces. We do not wish to sensationalise or dramatise these events, a child has been killed and people must know the truth of what is happening here.
This afternoon in Dunkirk the atmosphere is sombre, with both refugees and volunteers alike still reeling from the news.
The Kurdish community in Dunkirk is one that ourselves, the Dunkirk / Dunkerque Refugee Women’s Centre and the Refugee Community Kitchen work particularly closely with.
This tragedy should never have occurred and no parent should ever have to experience such a thing. How many more people will needlessly lose their lives here?
Follow the inquest, write to your local MP and push for change. Speak out against bigotry and this inhumane treatment that is happening everyday at our border.”
Mawda, 2 years old, killed in Belgium on Thursday 17th May 2018.
This is heartbreaking. This is devastating. This is unacceptable. This is Northern France, right now.
[Update 21/05/18] A response from the incredible Women and Children’s Centre:
We are shocked and sickened by the killing of 2 year old Mawda this week, a member of our community here in Grande Synthe gymnasium. She was a daughter, a friend, a human life.
The community around are shell-shocked and reeling. Both those who knew Mawda well and those who did not are traumatised and angered.
Mawda’s family demand justice. Alongside them we are appalled at the Belgian police’s attempt to immediately deny wrongdoing, releasing a statement that the cause of death was unknown. Mawda was shot through the head by a Belgian policeman as they tried to stop the car she and her family were in. Many witnesses were present.
We stand in solidarity with Mawda’s family and community as we come to terms with her death and seek justice. To protest the killing, the gymnasium community formed a human chain across the motorway on Thursday. Mawda’s young friends are expressing their horror through drawings.
Mawda, we mourn you. Your vigour, your force, your youth. We stand in solidarity with your family and your community.
Your death will haunt us, bearing the name of brutal immigration policies and violent borders. Your friends’ hearts lie heavy.
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Written by Chris Afuakwah