Belgian prisons: prisoners mistreated

Arbeit Macht Frei.gifArbeitMachtFrei2.jpgThe minister of Belgian justice, Annemie Turtelboom (Open VLD, Liberal Party), says that the more than 10.000 Belgian prisoners have 'the right to work'.  

It is in this way that the minister and its political party, which preaches a 'zero tolerance against criminality', wants to attract large companies to prisons.

The companies need cheap labor forces without they have to pay social security costs.

The 'right to work' is almost the only right that Belgian prisoners will have. They don't have any other rights as a result of the fact that the so called prison law is not applied.  

There is no form of control about what is going on in prisons. And the authorities are not interested in prisoners' rights.

So most prisoners are systematically victim of abuse of power, inhuman treatment and arbitrary sanctions taken by the prison managers.  

There are so much prisoners in Belgian prisons that a part of them was deportated to the prison of Tilburg in the Netherlands.

In the prison of Turnhout (Flanders) where there is only room for 120 prisoners, there are 210 prisoners for te moment so that a part of them are sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

Many prisoners are only detained in custody.

Minister Turtelboom claims that she wants 'to fight the overpopulation in prisons' but at the same time, she and the chairman of the liberal Party Alexander De Croo, announced a 'zero tolerance against crime'.   That will increase the number of prisoners. The minister has already announced that she wants to build new prison cells.

Both the Minister and her party chairman said they are 'against impunity' but at the other hand they allow that the prison law is constantly violated and that prisoners, which don't have rights, are mistreated.

Photo: 'Arbeit Macht Frei' was the inscription on the front gate of Dachau. All camp prisinors passed through this gate and read the inscription. Translation: "work brings freedom" or "work shall set you free"