Following the start of the trial over the death of Mawda Shawri, protests are taking place in several cities on Monday morning. For example, action will be taken for the Justice Palace on the Poelaertplein in Brussels.
The Iraqi Kurdish toddler died on May 17, 2018, by a police bullet during a night chase on the E42 highway near Bergen. On Monday, the police officer in question is on trial for involuntary manslaughter before the criminal court in Bergen.
“It was murder”
Mawda’s family is pushing for a qualification for murder. “Point your weapon at a moving van, release the safety catch and then pull the trigger can hardly be called involuntary,” says lawyer Selma Benkhelifa. “Moreover, the entire Belgian migration policy is partly responsible for this.”
On Monday morning, citizens in various cities and municipalities in Belgium hang out clotheslines where people can hang children’s clothing and statements of support. Under the slogan “Justice4Mawda” they show their solidarity with the family of Mawda.
“We want to hang out the laundry”
“During the investigation, the police and the Belgian state made every effort to obscure their own crushing responsibility,” said spokesmen Mirjam Henkens and Sarah El Massaoudi. “We want to hang out with our action: in our so-called enlightened Belgium this is yet another fact of deadly police brutality. Undesired people are being dehumanized. We demand justice.”
A broad solidarity movement has meanwhile grown around the lawsuit. Dalilla Hermans, Aya Sabi, Els Dottermans, Sachli Gholamalizad and Marieke Dilles, among others, expressed their solidarity with Mawda’s parents. International figures such as film director Ken Loach, academic and activist Noam Chomsky, film-maker Mike Leigh, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and musician Peter Gabriel have already expressed their indignation this month.
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