European Court: conviction of Belkacem is upheld

20 July 2017
Area of action: Internet
Grounds of discrimination: Religious or philosophical beliefs

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." 

Read the full ruling of the EU Court here.