Brussels. Belgium. On Wednesday, January 13, several hundred people gathered in front of the Gare du Nord police station in Brussels, responding to calls made on social networks by the relatives of Ibrahima, 23, who died last Saturday after being arrested by the police.
If the police tried to cover up the case by declaring that Ibrahima had been arrested for not respecting the curfew, and that he had died of a sudden illness, we now know that he was arrested around 7pm while he was filming a police check with his phone, and that doctors found several bruises on his body.
After the deaths of Adil, a young man from the Anderlecht district (Brussels) who was killed four months ago by policemen (who were acquitted in November), and Akram, a 29-year-old from the Molenbeek district (Brussels) who died following his arrest last summer, Ibrahima is the third victim of the Belgian police since the beginning of the lockdown.
It is therefore in a context of increasing cases of police killings in Belgium, and echoing the international mobilizations that have shaken the United States, France and Albania in recent months, that protesters took to the streets this Wednesday in the Belgian capital to the cry of “Truth and justice for Ibrahima!”, “Police everywhere, justice nowhere!”, “Police killers!”
In response to the intervention of riot police against the demonstrators, the first clashes broke out around 4:30 pm and continued for several hours in the vicinity of the Gare du Nord train station. Baton blows, water cannons and flash-ball shots from the police were answered with stones, molotov cocktails and fireworks shots from the demonstrators. The car of the Belgian King, recognizable by its license plate, was targeted as it passed the demo. The police station on Liedts Square and at least one police car were set on fire before the police gradually regained control of the situation in the early evening, increasing the violence and arrests.
Long live mass self-defense! Truth and justice for Ibrahima, Adil, Akram and all the others!
On the evening of January 9, Ibrahima, a young 23 year old from Brussels, died in hospital after a police arrest near the Gare Du Nord station.
The police waited several hours before contacting the victim’s family, around 2:30 am, without giving the name of the hospital where the young man was.
The police explained that Ibrahima was arrested for violating curfew and then collapsed. However, he was reportedly arrested before 10:00 p.m. According to the newspaper La Capitale, Ibrahima was arrested while filming a police checkpoint. Filming the police in Belgium is however a right. At the Saint-Jean hospital, doctors explained to the family that he had several hematomas on his body and that he had died of cardiac arrest.
Ibrahima was in good physical health, it is unlikely that a heart attack shook him for no reason. We have no further information at this time. The police have yet to comment on the matter. Our thoughts are with Ibrahima’s relatives.
Source: the sister of the victim #justicepouribrahima