GAMS Belgium stands in solidarity with the Member of the European Parliament Pierrette Herzberg-Fofana

Following the communication from the European Network End FGM (End FGM EU) in solidarity with Dr. Pierrette Herzberg-Fofana, the Group for the Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation (GAMS) Belgium, a founding member of the network, shares the following statement.

On Thursday, June 16th, Dr. Pierrette Herzberg-Fofana, Member of the European Parliament and Black woman, was subjected to violence by members of the Belgian police. Pierrette Herzberg-Fofana shared her experience during the opening of the June plenary session where Members of the European Parliament were debating racism, discrimination, and police violence in the presence of representatives from the Council and the Commission.

Dr Herzberger-Fofana est une politicienne ayant fait carrière avec succès en Europe et en Allemagne : elle est la première eurodéputée allemande de descendance africaine et la co-présidente de l’Intergroupe antiracisme et diversité du Parlement européen (Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI)).

On Tuesday, June 14th, Member of the European Parliament Herzberger-Fofana was leaving Gare du Nord when she witnessed the harassment of two young Black men by nine police officers. As she began taking photos to document the incident, she was targeted by the police and forcefully pushed against a wall by four armed officers, who also violently took her phone and bag. Despite presenting multiple forms of identification and her European Parliament badge, clearly identifying her as a representative of the European Union, the police refused to believe she was an MEP.

Following the death of George Floyd in May in the United States, thousands of people protested, demanding justice for the countless Black individuals who have succumbed to police violence, including Black men, women, transgender individuals, and Black Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC). End FGM EU strongly expresses solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities, as well as all protesters regardless of race, occupying streets worldwide, demanding justice and calling for an end to systemic racism and oppression.

Racism, discrimination, and police brutality are significant issues in Europe. As highlighted by Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Values and Transparency, during the plenary session on June 18th, only 15 Member States have currently implemented specific strategies to combat racism. The right to equal, non-discriminatory treatment is a fundamental right enshrined in EU treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and must be fully respected. As such, EU institutions and Member States must do more to counter structural racism, a persistent problem affecting hundreds of thousands of people in Europe, including MEP Herzberger-Fofana.

“End FGM EU adopts an intersectional approach in its work and reiterates its commitment against all forms of discrimination based on gender, age, color, religion, sexual orientation, as well as institutionalized racism,” concludes Chiara Cosentino, interim director of End FGM EU. “We demand justice for all acts of police brutality in Europe and elsewhere, and we wish to express our deepest solidarity with all affected individuals, including MEP Herzberger-Fofana.”


  • End FGM EU Secretariat
  • End FGM EU Board of Directors: Sokhna Fall Ba, Toks Okeniyi, Valentina Fanelli, Hayat Traspas, Stéphanie Florquin, Sonia Duarte Lopes, Gwladys Awo