printer printer Click on the green icon on the right
Semira Adamu 1998: They killed a woman, not her fight
by Coordination Semira Adamu 2018
21 May 2018

On September 22, 1998, during a sixth attempt to eviction, Semira Adamu was killed, suffocated with a cushion by gendarmes who acted in accordance with state-imposed expulsion techniques.

A rejected asylum seeker, Semira was twenty years old. From the 127bis detention centre where she was imprisoned, she played a role of whistle-blower in connection with the Collectif contre les expulsions : she testified about the functioning of these prisons and informed of deportations scheduled for her fellow detainees.
In her own way, Semira embodied women’s struggle for dignity and resistance against inhuman asylum and migration policies. State authorities were anxious to silence her.

Semira embodied women’s struggle for dignity and resistance against inhuman asylum and migration policies. State authorities were anxious to silence her.

Some will still remember how indignation was general. Every one of us swore “Never again”.

Yet, twenty years later, Belgium persists and remains entangled in a cynical and deadly policy towards migrating people. She expels to countries at war and collaborates with dictatorial regimes. She makes life ever more precarious for undocumented persons and even arrests them within the premises of supporting organizations. New detention centres are being created, the government plans to incarcerate families again as from summer 2018. The asylum policy still takes no heed of the specific situation of migrant women. European migration policy privatises or subcontracts the control of Europe’s external borders to neighbouring countries, which makes access to the territory of Europe and protection for those who need it ever more problematic.

However, opposition to these inhuman policies does not falter. First concerned are of course the undocumented people who reject them and fight collectively for their regularization. Moreover, thousands of people oppose them through demonstrations, helping undocumented persons and their occupation movements, sheltering migrants, defending those in their immediate or more distant surrounding who are threatened with deportation, or simply claiming their right to showing solidarity. We also claim that right.

United within the Coordination Semira Adamu 2018, we want both to pay tribute to Semira Adamu and her fight and recall the “Never again” of 1998, and to expose the alignment of Belgium on a European migration policy that has resulted in tens of thousands of victims at its doors and on its territory within the last twenty years.

In order to counter those unbearable policies, we want to fit our actions within the following claims :

- regularization for all undocumented people, whilst awaiting an effective freedom of movement with equal rights for all
- stopping of deportations and suppression of detention centres
- systematic condemnation of violence, whether racist, patriarchal, police or State exercised.

Besides actions all along the year, the Coordination plans for September 21, 22 and 23, 2018:

- a time for reflection on issues related to migration and structural racism, migration policies and their alternatives
- popular, cultural, festive and committed events
- actions on sites emblematic of the deportation policy, as well as public artistic and activist contributions
- transmission of the history of Semira Adamu in various forms, and demand that a street be dedicated to her memory and to that of all those lost in migration.

Any person, collective, organization, network, institution, cultural centre… in Brussels, Flanders or Wallonia that shares these concerns and wishes to actively support this commemoration, is welcome to join the Coordination Semira Adamu 2018.

We encourage each and everyone to develop their own communication about the different aspects of Semira’s fight and to initiate militant actions in the line of the consensus adopted by the Coordination Semira Adamu 2018.

The Coordination hopes that links established in view of September 2018 may later persist in order to ensure the rights of all migrating people.



Coordination Semira Adamu 2018