Expatica news

Belgian anti-terror law mooted

30 April 2004

BRUSSELS – Two Belgian parliamentarians have put forward plans for a law that would make inciting terrorist acts a crime in Belgium, it was reported on Friday.

La Derniere Heure newspaper said the two French-speaking socialist (PS) members of parliament want to see Belgium adopt similar anti-terror laws to Spain, France and the UK.

At the moment there is no specific legislation in Belgium that outlaws terrorist groups or punishes people who incite or support terrorist acts.

But under the planned new legislation, which analysts say is likely to worry civil liberties supporters, it would become an offence to “defend terrorism or incite terrorist crimes.”

The law would also ban activities that risk “perturbing public order by intimidation or terrorism.”

Anyone found guilty under the new law could be sent prison for between eight days and a year and could face a fine of up to EUR 200.

The two parliamentarians say their planned law would allow the Belgian police to crack down on people who publish ‘pro-terrorism’ propaganda, either in printed form or video and audiocassettes or websites.

One such Belgium-based website cited by La Derniere Heure apparently said, “terrorism is permissible in certain conditions. You must be sure to hurt the enemy, by killing him, injuring him or destroying him.”

The planned law is unlikely to be debated by the Belgian parliament before next month’s regional and European elections at the earliest.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news