Plan to combat Islamic radicalisation in prisons

5th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 December 2005, BRUSSELS — The Belgian security service VS is currently working with the prisons directorate to combat the radicalisation of Muslims in the nation's jails.

5 December 2005

BRUSSELS — The Belgian security service VS is currently working with the prisons directorate to combat the radicalisation of Muslims in the nation's jails.

VS director Koen Dassen said there is no doubt that prisons are a hotbed for radicalisation, having repeatedly pointed to examples in the Guantanamo Bay prison.

"Jails form a very concentrated environment where extremists come into contact with each other. Moreover, the punishing effect of prisons means some detainees reject society even further," Dassen said.

He said over a period of time this could lead to the radicalisation of prisoners such as in Guantanamo Bay, newspaper 'De Morgen' reported on Monday.

However, Dassen refused to reveal definite details about the anti-radicalisation plan. Instead, he said justice authorities will finalise the plan later this month so that it can be implemented at the start of 2006.

"We must first detect dangerous elements and then draw up action programmes together with the prisons," he said.

An example of prison radicalisation is the convicted killer of Theo van Gogh, the Islamic extremist Mohammed B., who is currently being detained in a Dutch jail.

B. recently succeeded in sending extremist documents out of the prison and has twice been caught for spreading subversive material. His attacks on moderate Islam were sent to Muslims in Amsterdam who further spread the text among the Islamic community.

In Belgium, the case of the convicted Tunisian terrorist Nizar Trabelsi has sparked the concerns of security services. He has achieved cult status among prisoners at the Lantin jail.

However, Dassen has refused to confirm whether the crackdown will allow exceptional search operations. Other sources have said the security service VS can only tap telephone calls to combat radicalism is prisons.  

However, proposed amendments by Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx granting police and justice authorities extra powers have already come under fire.

Criminal law professor Damien Vandermeersch has warned the minister's plans undermine constitutional rights, such as the right to defending oneself in court.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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