Mayor blames parents for race clashes
25 November 2003
BRUSSELS – Antwerp’s Mayor, Patrick Janssens, has blamed children belonging to ethnic minorities for the city’s weekend riots, and is asking their parents to act more responsibly.
Janssens’ comments came after police clashed with immigrant youths on Saturday on what was the first anniversary of the allegedly racially motivated killing of a Moroccan-origin schoolteacher.
Up to 35 youths were detained by police after an afternoon of street clashes in the city, where 10 percent of the population is of North African origin.
Janssen said the parents of the youths in question were partly to blame for the unrest for not keeping a tighter reign on their children and not teaching them to act more responsibly.
Earlier, the mayor’s office had refused a permit request for a demonstration to commemorate the death of 27-year-old teacher Mohammed Achrak.
Achrak’s death led to mass rioting last year; a 66-year-old retired Belgian teacher was later charged with Achrak’s murder, with whom he allegedly had a long-standing feud.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Belgian news