European Court: conviction of Belkacem is upheld
Fouad Belkacem is not exonerated by the European Court: his video messages in which he, among other things, calls for fighting against non-Muslims do not fall under freedom of expression. The ruling of the European Court is good news for Unia. In the past Unia has repeatedly filed complaints against Sharia4Belgium, and we were a civil party in the case in the criminal court of Antwerp.
The spokesman of the radical Muslim organisation Sharia4Belgium that was dissolved in 2012 was convicted in 2012 for incitement to hatred and violence. He appealed and then also challenged his conviction in appeal in the Court of Cassation. That appeal too was denied.
Belkacem then turned to the European Court of Human Rights. The European Court has now confirmed that incitement to hatred and violence is involved and has upheld the conviction.
"We are pleased with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights," says Unia. "The boundaries of freedom of expression were exceeded by Sharia4Belgium. There was clearly incitement to hatred and violence and that can never be accepted. We therefore saw no other way than to have the statements judged by the court."
Conviction for administrator of Facebook page of ‘Vlaamse Verdedigings Liga’
The administrator of the Facebook page of the Vlaamse Verdedigings Liga [Flemish Defence League] has received a ten months’ suspended sentence. According to the Antwerp court he incited his followers to racism. Unia was a civil party.
What is the Achbita case?
In 2006, S. Achbita was fired when she started wearing a headscarf at work. The case came before the Labour Court of Antwerp (2009), the Court of Cassation (2015), the Court of Justice of the European Union (2017) and the Labour Court of Ghent (2020). Below you can find a full chronology.
A new project to improve the collection and processing of equality data in Belgium
"Improving equality data collection in Belgium" (IEDCB) is a Belgian project co-funded by the European Commission's Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme. It is carried out in partnership by the Equal Opportunities Team (FOD Justitie - SPF Justice) and Unia.
The ban on full-face veils and the Covid-19 pandemic
From a human rights perspective, the decree on face masks is particularly interesting, especially if we take into account the fact that in some European countries wearing full-face veils in public spaces is prohibited by law and can lead to sanctions (i.e. fines, prison, administrative fines).