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Belgium Correctional Court Oudenaarde (Correctionele Rechtbank te Oudenaarde) 2013 Belgium / Correctional Court Oudenaarde / Public Prosecution v. V. Ismael and T. Francis Frans Francois Ethnic origin Foreigners The case concerns physical violence based on racist motives. Three men, V. Ismael, T. Francis and M.R. Joao were involved in a fist fight. M.R Joao, who is of foreign origin claimed that the other two had inflicted personal injury on him based on racist motives. The victim, M.R. Joao and the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism were civil parties to the criminal proceedings. View more
Belgium Court of Appeal Gent (Hof van Beroep te Gent) 2013 Belgium / Court of Appeal Gent / City and Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism v. V.D.V. Marc Frans Gustaaf Ethnic origin Foreigners, Migrants The case concerns incitement to hatred and discrimination. In 2005, the local magazine of a political party in Sint-Niklaas published an article in which it accused young persons of foreign origin of desecrating graves. The article stated “(..) is that the perpetrators, all of them young teenagers, were of foreign ethnicity. A culture that has no respect anymore for the dead or the symbols of another religion is a deranged culture.” The case was brought to the Court of First Instance, which… View more
Belgium Court of First Instance (Tribunal de première instance de Dinant) 2013 Belgium / Court of First Instance of Dinant / X. and the public prosecution v. X Ethnic origin Black people or of African origin, Migrants, Third country nationals The case concerns physical violence with racist motives. In 2009, the defendants, who had been drinking, physically assaulted a person on the basis of ethnic origin. They were charged with intentional infliction of personal injury motivated by racism. View more
Belgium Court of First Instance of Antwerp (Rechtbank van eerste aanleg van Antwerpen/Tribunal de première instance de Anvers) 2014 Belgium / Court of First Instance of Antwerp / No. AN56.LB.48751-12 Ethnic origin EU citizens & nationals with migrant background The case concerns a suspended punishment for racism and discrimination. A couple had been refused to rent a property by a real estate agency because of their origin (which was evident from their names). According to the couple, this was explicitly mentioned to them by a staff member of the agency. The agency manager denied the accusations. He argued that the apartment was rented to someone else who was on a waiting list. However, the existence of a waiting list could not be confirmed and the… View more
Belgium Tribunal of First Instance of Brugge (Rechtbank van Eerste Aanleg te Brugge) 2015 Belgium / Tribunal of First Instance of Brugge / BG43.L5.5987-12 -DJ Ethnic origin, Race Migrants In 2015, the Tribunal of Bruges convicted a person for incitement to hatred based on the victim's ethnic origin. The victim, a migrant, was assaulted by two men and racially insulted by a third person. On the basis of the police report of the incident, the Tribunal considered that the accused intended to incite hatred. View more
Belgium Tribunal of First Instance of East-Flanders section Gent (Rechtbank van eerste aanleg Oost-Vlanderen afdeling Gent) 2015 Belgium / Tribunal of First Instance of East-Flanders section Gent/ GE56.L2.3657/14/sw3 Religion Muslims In 2015, the Tribunal of Gent convicted a man for harassment and discrimination because he ordered and distributed flyers, the painting of slogans on the road, and the hanging up of posters with discriminatory messages such as "STOP ISLAM", "NO JIHAD IN OUR STREET" and "STOP THE RITUAL HALAL SLAUGHTER = 100% BARBARIC". The defendant invoked his freedom of expression, but the Tribunal argued that such freedom is limited by the respect of the constitutional freedoms… View more
Belgium Tribunal of First Instance of Brussels (Tribunal de première instance de Bruxelles) 2016 Belgium / Tribunal of First Instance of Brussels Nationality Third country nationals In 2016, the Tribunal of Brussels convicted a person for incitement to hatred and violence based on the victim's nationality. The accused had posted public messages on Facebook containing racist insults towards the Turkish victim and her son and calling for her murder. The Tribunal considered that mere insults do not constitute incitement to hatred; however, in this case, the call for murder demonstrated there was an intent to incite violence. View more
Belgium Tribunal of First Instance of Gent(Rechtbank van Eerste Aanleg te Gent), 2016 Belgium / Tribunal of First Instance of Gent Race Third country nationals In 2016, the Tribunal of Gent convicted a person for incitement to hatred. After fighting with a Somalian man, the accused shouted various racist insults such as "dirty black" and "go back to your country" while the Somalian man was describing his account of the event to a policeman. The tribunal considered that the accused clearly had the intent to incite bystanders to violence and hatred towards the victim. View more
Belgium European Court of Human Rights, ECHR 2017 Belgium / ECtHR / Application no. 37798/13 / Judgement / Belcacemi and Oussar v. Belgium Religion Muslims The case concerned the ban on the wearing in public of clothing that partly or totally covers the face. Ms Belcacemi and Ms Oussar present themselves as Muslims who have decided on their own initiative to wear the niqab on account of their religious convictions. On 26 July 2011, Ms Belcacemi and Ms Oussar brought actions for the suspension and annulment of the law before the Constitutional Court. Their cases were dismissed by that court. View more
Belgium European Court of Human Rights, ECHR 2017 Belgium / ECtHR / Application no. 4619/12 / Dakir v. Belgium Religion Muslims The case concerned a by-law adopted in June 2008 by three Belgian municipalities (Pepinster, Dison and Verviers) concerning a ban on the wearing in public places of clothing that conceals the face. In August 2008, Ms Dakir, presenting herself as a Muslim who had decided on her own initiative to wear the niqab applied to the Conseil d’État (Council of State) for the annulment of the ban. She claimed, among other things, that the provision expressly concerned the Islamic clothing worn by her and… View more
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