Brussels cop in custody for striking female Indignant: force

14th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Brussels police have suspended and placed in custody an officer accused of striking a female 'Indignant' protester in the face while she was handcuffed, a force spokesman said Friday.

"We regret more than anyone this type of behaviour," police spokesman Roland Thiebault told the Belga news agency.

Charged with the Belgian equivalent of assault, the officer will appear before a magistrate on Saturday -- as Indignants who have marched from across Europe demonstrate in the EU capital on an international day of action.

"As soon as we saw the footage from the scene, we reacted immediately," Thiebault said.

Police interviewed the female protester, after a statement issued by Indignant organisers camped in Brussels for the last week said a man in civilian clothing struck the woman Wednesday after her arrest outside the headquarters of Dexia, the first bank to need bailing out amid Europe's debt crisis.

A clip showing the incident can be seen at

The young woman, named only as Niki, says: "He hit me in the face while I had my hands tied behind my back and I sat on the ground."

Saturday's Indignants marches are expected to draw huge crowds in Rome and Madrid, and are being linked to the Occupy Wall Street movement stirring anti-capitalists and respected policymakers alike in New York.

© 2011 AFP

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