Belgium. In order to qualify Belgium for the monetary
union EMU, the Belgian government implemented a austerity
policy, which gave rise to several hostile demonstrations at
the beginning of the year. One of the larger demonstrations
also formed into a manifestation for the victims of the
pedophilia leg revealed in 1996 and against the sexual
exploitation of children.
Countryaah, the pedophile scandal of 1996 thus had repercussions also
in 1997. Marc Dutroux, the head of the so-called pedophile,
was indicted at the end of January for the murder of the two
girls Ann Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks. He had previously
been charged with kidnapping them and six more girls during
the period June 1995 to August 1996. A few weeks before
that, the Supreme Court had announced that it reopened the
preliminary investigation against Deputy Prime Minister Elio
di Rupo, who is accused of having sexual relations with
minors but wiped clean by a lower court in December 1996.
The parliamentary commission commissioned to review the
pedophile business presented its report in mid-April. In
this, the police and judiciary were accused of incompetence
and grave negligence, which may have contributed to some of
the children's deaths. However, confidence in the Commission
was disrupted when one of its members, MP Patrick Moriau,
published a memo book in which he reproduced some of the
testimonies submitted in confidence to the Commission.
As part of Edward Snowden's revelations in the summer of
2013 by the NSA's global Internet and telecommunications
surveillance, it emerged that British intelligence GCHQ had
infiltrated Belgium's telecommunications giant Belgacom and
that the UK and US were listening to all incoming and
outgoing communications from the EU headquarters in
Sexual aggression against women is a serious problem in
Belgium. In 2013, an average of 8 rapes and 10 other sexual
assaults were reported daily. In 44% of the rape cases, no
charges were raised; in 56% of these because of "lack of
evidence" and in 17% of cases because the perpetrator was
unknown. Therefore, the rapist is rarely sentenced. The 13%
sentencing rate is below the EU average.
Belgium is the observation list of states that violate
the Convention against Torture and degrading treatment. This
is because the chronic overcrowding in the country's prisons
(typically 50% overcrowding); the failure to deal with
prisoners with mental health problems; Russia and the United
States where they have subsequently been subjected to
torture, murder of detainees and mistreatment. Jonathan
Jacob died in police custody in 2011, and three years later,
no official investigation into the circumstances had yet
The May 2014 parliamentary elections became a disaster
for the right-wing Vlaams Belang, who lost 9 seats and had
to settle for 3. The second loser was the ruling Social
Democracy, which lost 3 seats and had to settle for 23. Its
voting share was 11.7%. The big winner was the liberal,
conservative nationalist Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA),
which went 6 seats up to 33. It thus became the largest
party in the 150-seat parliament. It took 5 months to form a
new government. It was made up of the 4 civil parties CD&V,
Open World, MR and N-VA. The price N-VA paid to form a
government was that Charles Michel of the smaller party
Mouvement Réformateur (MR) became prime minister.
Following the attack on the satire magazine Charli
Hebdo in Paris in January 2015, Belgian terrorist
forces carried out an action against a suspected "terror
cell" in Brussels. Two were killed.
In June 2015, the European Court of Human Rights handed
down judgments in Belkacemi and Oussar vs. Belgium. The
verdict held that the 2011 law against total obscurity
violated the human rights of the two women. The legislation
against veils that has been implemented in several European
countries besides Belgium is thus contrary to the European
Convention on Human Rights.
Parliament adopted several rounds during 2015 of
"terror-related" austerity measures under the Penal Code
that violated the Human Rights Convention. The option was
imposed to deprive a person of Belgian citizenship or
refugee status if the person was convicted of a
«terror-related» crime. Furthermore, new measures were taken
to combat "violent extremism". As with previous tightening
of the legislation, no examination was made of the points at
which the tightening was contrary to the conventions.
Following the Paris attacks in November, the Prime Minister
announced further tightening of legislation. Several of the
assailants had lived in the Brussels district of Molenbeek.
The detention period for suspects was extended from 24 to 72
hours; arbitrary searches can be carried out without a
verdict in «terror-related» cases; finally, a database of
Belgian nationals or residents who had tried to travel to
join armed conflicts or fight for armed groups characterized
by the government as "terrorist groups" was established.
However, the subsequent events were to show that the
introduction of police-like methods - aimed at Muslims in
particular - could not stop criminal acts. On the contrary.
In March 2016, IS completed attacks on Brussels airport and
a metro station in the city. A total of 35 were killed -
including the 3 assailants. The attacks were retaliation for
Belgium's participation in the war against IS. Since October
2014, Belgian planes had bombed IS in Iraq, and in November
the Iraqi government warned members of the US bomb coalition
that IS would retaliate against members of the coalition.
After the assaults - the bloodiest in Belgium's post-war
period - three days of national grief were decreed. Belgium
was already the country in Europe that had relatively
delivered the most "volunteers" to the civil war. 440 had
departed until December 2013. million. residents. Denmark
was in second place with 27 pr. million residents.