Expatica news

Belgian news in brief, 25 July 2005

Belgium condemns gay hanging

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht has condemned the hanging of two homosexual boys in the north Iranian city of Mashhad last week. De Gucht said it was a “barbaric act” and has summoned the Iranian ambassador to a meeting on Tuesday. The 16-year-old Mahmoud Asgari and the 18-jarige Ayaz Marhoni were hung last week after being convicted for the rape of a 13-year-old boy, alcohol abuse and sparking unrest. They also received 228 lashes. The two boys said they didn’t know homosexuality carried a death sentence. The sharia, or Islamic law, bans homosexuality and allows the death sentence for boys aged 15 or older and girls aged nine or older.

Flightcare talks to resume Tuesday

Safety procedures at the Zaventem Airport baggage handling Flightcare were to be inspected on Monday. Negotiations to end the industrial dispute with unions will resume on Tuesday. The arbitrator had previously secured a temporary ceasefire in the dispute on Friday, when union ACV agreed not to carry out any protest actions until Tuesday. However, Flightcare’s sacking of union official Maria Vindevoghel for alleged breaches of safety regulations remains a sticking point.

Police discipline declining 

The police supervision committee has said police should focus more on discipline. The Comité P said discipline, accuracy, deontology and professionalism have recently declined among police officers. Many officers are escaping unscathed for misconduct because they are not prosecuted, the committee said.

500,000 letters and cards sent for free

About 500,000 cards and letters were sent for free on Belgium’s Independence Day on 21 July. The Post Group delivered the letters for free to mark 175 years of Belgian independence and 25 years of federalism. The offer was limited to hand written envelops and cards for delivery within Belgium.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news