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In Pictures: Belgium's Afghan asylum seekers
Hundreds of Afghan refugees and their supporters held a three-day protest march calling for asylum.
Last updated: 15 Jan 2014 14:08
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For the second time in less than a month, hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers and their supporters held a three-day protest march in Belgium.

The 70-km march started on January 11 in Brussels and ended in Ghent. The aim was to publicise the situation of Belgium's Afghan asylum seekers, and put pressure on the Belgian government to provide protection and legal residency.

After the first march, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo expressed some sympathy for their situation. But Maggie De Block, the secretary of state for asylum and migration and for social integration, has taken a tougher line. During the march, the protesters stopped in front of her home and left her a symbolic bus ticket to Kabul, Afghanistan's capital. 

Many of the participants had been denied asylum despite the fact that Afghanistan is still insecure. Some Afghans have even been deported. The group of Afghan asylum-seekers, some of whom have lived in Belgium for years, began protesting last year after some of them were denied asylum. Two hundred of them, including women and children, have been occupying a church in the center of Brussels for the past four months - where they have access to only two toilets. 

Belgium has had a military presence in Afghanistan since 2003, as part of the NATO operations there. Around 2.7 million Afghans continue to live in exile from their home country, and some 600,000 are estimated to be internally displaced. 


/Anne Paq/Activestills

The 70-km march from Brussels to Ghent was escorted by the Belgian police.



/Anne Paq/Activestills

Police members in front of the house of Maggie De Block, the secretary of state for asylum and migration and for social integration, where the protesters left a symbolic bus ticket to Kabul.



/Anne Paq/Activestills

The march continued despite heavy rains and winds.



/Anne Paq/Activestills

An Afghan asylum seeker distributed leaflets explaining their plight and demands.



/Anne Paq/Activestills

A Belgian woman looked outside as the march passed in front of her home.



/Anne Paq/Activestills

The march passed through cities, villages and the Belgian countryside.



/Anne Paq/Activestills

After three days, the participants arrived in Gent



/Anne Paq/Activestills

Protesters marched through Ghent, shouting slogans.




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images:
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captions:

The 70-km march from Brussels to Ghent was escorted by the Belgian police.

;*;

Police members in front of the house of Maggie De Block, the secretary of state for asylum and migration and for social integration, where the protesters left a symbolic bus ticket to Kabul.

;*;

The march continued despite heavy rains and winds.

;*;

An Afghan asylum seeker distributed leaflets explaining their plight and demands.

;*;

A Belgian woman looked outside as the march passed in front of her home.

;*;

The march passed through cities, villages and the Belgian countryside.

;*;

After three days, the participants arrived in Gent

;*;

Protesters marched through Ghent, shouting slogans.

Daylife ID:
96cc455a35a6209b15f00f08ff9d6788
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Anne Paq/Activestills;*;Anne Paq/Activestills;*;Anne Paq/Activestills;*;Anne Paq/Activestills;*;Anne Paq/Activestills;*;Anne Paq/Activestills;*;Anne Paq/Activestills;*;Anne Paq/Activestills
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Afghan Asylum seekers in Holland http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_en-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:15:47 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/d0e47522eab158f5c47a3d33298420c4

The march going through cities and villages is escorted by the Belgian police.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/d0e47522eab158f5c47a3d33298420c4Anne Paq/Activestills

The march going through cities and villages is escorted by the Belgian police.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/b1b1c19a7f81cee6df9646bdd7754436

Police members in front of the house of the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration and for Social Integration, Maggie De Block, where the protesters left a symbolic bus ticket to Kabul.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/b1b1c19a7f81cee6df9646bdd7754436Anne Paq/Activestills

Police members in front of the house of the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration and for Social Integration, Maggie De Block, where the protesters left a symbolic bus ticket to Kabul.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/a6f710a30228efce5e3be914e2b294f6

Despite heavy rains and winds, the participants continue their march.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/a6f710a30228efce5e3be914e2b294f6Anne Paq/Activestills

Despite heavy rains and winds, the participants continue their march.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/17fc3eab0f36f962214c87bd9873073a

An Afghan asylum seeker distributes leaflets explaining their pflight and demands.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/17fc3eab0f36f962214c87bd9873073aAnne Paq/Activestills

An Afghan asylum seeker distributes leaflets explaining their pflight and demands.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/771fa75330f3ed48a50e9100032e9d14

A Belgian woman looks outside as the march passes in front of her home.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/771fa75330f3ed48a50e9100032e9d14Anne Paq/Activestills

A Belgian woman looks outside as the march passes in front of her home.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/a426e1f912ada19296c83c87139a6c4d

The march went through cities, villages and the Belgian countryside.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/a426e1f912ada19296c83c87139a6c4dAnne Paq/Activestills

The march went through cities, villages and the Belgian countryside.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/e8fbf75eab5accf028c9717a5b36dfd8

After three days, the participants arrive in Gent

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/e8fbf75eab5accf028c9717a5b36dfd8Anne Paq/Activestills

After three days, the participants arrive in Gent

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/17397b835403f8006b957c3ef2af7e64

Protesters marching through Gent, shouting slogans.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Afghan_Asylum_seekers_in_Holland_/slideshow/no-caption/17397b835403f8006b957c3ef2af7e64Anne Paq/Activestills

Protesters marching through Gent, shouting slogans.



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