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Brussels (AP) —Five interracial women born in Congo when the country was under Belgian control, taken away from a black mother and away from African roots, condemn the Belgian state for crimes against humanity. I am suing.
Lea Tavares Mujinga, Monique Bintu Bingi, Noelle Verbeken, Simone Ngalula and Marie-Jose Loshi are finally in Belgium in the suffering of thousands of mixed-race children called “Metis” who were robbed of their families. I hope to recognize that responsibility. It was placed in religious institutions and homes by the Belgian authorities who ruled the area from 1908 to 1960.
Their case is being investigated by a court in Brussels on Thursday.
A statue of former Leopold II, who was accused of killing millions of Africans during Belgian colonial rule, was destroyed in Belgium as a result of protests against racial inequality in the United States, and some were removed. I did.
In 2019, the Belgian government apologized for the state’s role in bringing thousands of babies from African mothers. And for the first time in the history of the country, the King of the Monarchs expressed regret last year for the violence committed by former colonial forces.
A female lawyer said she was two to four years old when she was taken away at the request of the Belgian colonial government, in collaboration with local Catholic church authorities.
According to legal documents, in all five cases the father did not exercise custody and the Belgian government threatened to retaliate the families of Congolese children if they refused to let go.
The children, along with the sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, were placed in a religious mission in Katende, Kasai Prefecture. There, they lived in very difficult conditions with about 20 other mixed-race girls and indigenous orphans.
According to lawyers, the Belgian state’s strategy is to prevent interracial unions, isolate Metis children known as “children of shame,” and prevent them from claiming ties to Belgium later in life. It was intended to be.
After independence, legal documents claim that children were left abandoned by both the state and the church, and that some children were sexually abused by the militia. The women each demanded compensation of 50,000 euros.
“This is not for money,” said lawyer Michelle Hirsch. “We want a law that can be applied to everything so that we can recognize the crimes committed by Belgium and the suffering that the children of Metis have endured.”
Follow all AP stories about racial injustice and police atrocities at https://apnews.com/Racialinjustice.
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A woman taken by an African mother by Belgium seeks compensation | WGN Radio 720
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