Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Scott is vrij (free)!

Written by Gael Masengi

The African teenager has finally been freed after spending days in refugee detention centre.

Reunited again, Scott with scouts

                                         Photo courtesy: vandag.be
After spending four years in the kingdom of Belgium where he arrived as a kid, settled in, does well at school and became youth scout leader. Ojong Scott Manyo, a young man of Cameroonian nationality was detained at the refugee detention centre of Merksplas for being an “illegal alien”. Over the past weeks the news of his detention had provoked an outcry from members of his community and public at large who staged marches and protestations against the decision taken by authorities to deport Scott. In response to pressure, this past Friday Maggie De Block, Belgian secretary of State on immigration confirmed to the press that Scott has been released and he can continue his studies in the country. The news of Scott’s release has come as relief to his school friends, community members and most of all to his foster parents.  However no word has been said yet as if what will happen after he finishes school.

 “After a long conversation with the director-general of the Immigration Department, Freddy Roosemont, we decided that it would be best for Scott to be allowed to finish his studies here in Belgium, given his special situation and file.” said Ms De Block.

Maggie De Block
Asylum and immigration is considered to be one of the toughest portfolios within the Belgian government as the country welcomes many refugees from different part of the world every day.  Members of the Belgian right wing believe tough decision must be made when dealing with this kind of problem, Maggie De Block, herself is a liberal. De Block’s first success came as it was revealed that more and more asylum seekers have returned voluntarily since her takeover. Sarah Smeyers , a member of parliament from the center-right n.va (new Flemish alliance) party stressed that the wide media coverage Scott’s case got may impact other similar cases.

Now the Scott Manyo’ saga has proved differently due to attention it had attracted, if it wasn’t for public and us, media and bloggers would the authorities decided otherwise?

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