Semira Adamu

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Semira Adamu (1978–1998) was a 20-year-old asylum seeker from Nigeria who was suffocated to death with a pillow, by two Belgian police officers during her [1] expulsion. She first fled Nigeria because of a forced marriage.[2]

On 12 December 2003, four police were held responsible for this incident in the trial that followed. The Belgian state was ordered to pay compensation to the relatives.[3][4]

Adamu's death sparked a huge debate in Belgium and led to the Etienne Vermeersch report on the practice of expulsion. In September 1998 Louis Tobback, the Belgian Interior Minister, resigned after a wave of public protests against Adamu's death.[5]


  1. ^ "Belgium: Semira Adamu's case an opportunity to further review expulsion procedures".
  2. ^ "Belgian police tried over asylum death". September 10, 2003 – via
  3. ^ "Statewatch News online: Five police officers on trial over the death of Semira Adamu in 1998".
  4. ^ Four police officers convicted Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Butler, Katherine (26 September 1998). "Refugee death minister quits". Independent. Retrieved 10 August 2019.

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