2 International Students Win Case Against Belgian Authorities
Belgium Congo Morocco Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 24, 2023
A court has ordered the Belgian state to compensate two international students after unlawfully detaining them at the Belgian borders.
International students, one from Morocco and the other from the Democratic Republic of the Congo were arrested despite having valid visas issued by France and the Belgian embassy in Congo at the time of detention, Le Soir reported.
The Belgian daily newspaper further said that the justice system in Belgium recognized an excessive manifestation of power by the airport police in the case of two international students.
With the decision of the court of first instance in Brussels announced last Wednesday, the affected students will receive several thousand euros as compensation, Erudera.com reports.
The two students, Ouiam Ziti and Junior Masudi Wasso, were arrested at the end of 2021 and were held in the Caricole detention center (Steenokkerzeel) near Brussels Airport – Zaventem (BRU) for a period of 11 and 17 days, respectively.
During the hearing, both students claimed to suffer “non-material damage" mentioning the cancellation of their visas by the Belgian authorities, which they said had caused them great concern.
The student from Morocco, Ouiam Ziti, who lives in Romania, said that the police had criticized her for not keeping cash and a credit card. Her arrival at the Brussels South Charleroi (CRL) airport had been suspicious for the Belgian police, despite Ziti having a Schengen visa.
Meanwhile, the other student Junior Masudi Wasso who traveled to the country to pursue studies after being admitted to the Catholic University of Leuven was also seen as suspicious regardless of his enrollment. Doubts increased in particular after the student experienced a lot of stress during the interrogation.
Media reports say that the authorities’ suspicions may have been prompted by prior visa scams or several different forgeries with university admission letters.
Last month, the Canadian authorities had to issue deportation letters to over 700 students from India after discovering that students had falsified their admission offers. The fraud was only discovered after students submitted applications for Canadian permanent residence permits.
Fraudulent practices with work visas were also reported across the Schengen area. At the end of last month, Schengenvisainfo reported on the arrest of a scammer from Morocco, who had issued fake Schengen work visas to people who wanted to work in Europe.
During the operation, the police seized, among other things, several fake passports with fake visa stamps.
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