Picture showing a group of masked and armed policeman preparing for an anti-terrorist operation
  An antiterrorism operation in Brussels in June. The mere suspicion of engagement in terrorist activity can now mean deportation. Photo credit: Olivier Hoslet/European Pressphoto Agency on The New York Times' website

Belgium’s New Deportation Law Raises Red Flag With Civil Rights Groups

Article in The New York Times
11 March, 2017

Belgium’s Parliament has quietly passed legislation giving the government extraordinary powers to deport legal residents on the mere suspicion of engagement in terrorist activities, or for “presenting a risk” to public order or national security, without a criminal conviction or the involvement of a judge.

The law applies only to foreign residents, not to Belgian nationals or refugees, part of a toughening of domestic security laws that has begun to worry human rights groups and ordinary citizens as a threat to civil liberties. Besides counterterrorism concerns, supporters of this law have been motivated by anti-immigrant sentiments, which they feel are widely shared not only in their country but across the European Union and even in the United States.”

This Belgian legislation probably foreshadows the future of human rights and the Rule of Law in Europe. Sadly, it is utterly discriminatory. We’ll have to see whether the judiciary – either at national or at European level – is strong enough to withstand the onslaught, whether they can and will defend the principles of liberty and equality for all, as well as support the Rule of Law, i.e. the capacity of anyone, whatever their status, to ask a judge to rule on the legality and opportunity of a measure that affects their human rights.

To read the full article, please click on the following link.

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