I just received the following email from Bart Debie, the member of Vlaams Belang who was recently convicted of “racism” and briefly incarcerated. He gave me permission to post his account, so here’s the story in his own words:
Thank you so much for your support, articles, and email.
Yesterday I went to the “Vorst” prison at about 9:00am. When I arrived I immediately discovered that hardly anyone spoke any Dutch. French was clearly the language to know.
After I handed over my gevangenisbriefje — that is the official name, and means roughly “little prison letter”— I had to translate the reason for my conviction into the French language myself, as the clerk was not able to understand Dutch. Can you imagine this? An official letter from the Ministry of Justice and I have to translate it myself!
As I’m not all that familiar with the French judicial terminology, I had a problem. Luckily a police officer was bringing in another client who could do the translation for me; if not, I would have had to wait till the change of shift when a Dutch-speaking person could “enroll” me!
After that they locked me up in a small prison cell. I think it was about two by three meters [six by ten feet]. There was no window, it had an open toilet (which was disgusting), and it was very warm in there.
I was allowed to keep my book I brought with me — I am reading an interesting book about the relationship between crime and the media. After a few minutes the prison guard — a Belgian man who clearly had Moroccan roots — saw that I was reading and he switched of the lights. There I was, sitting for more than three hours in the total dark. I banged on the door two times but nobody came.
– – – – – – – – –
After these three hours the lights went on and they put a Moroccan man in the cell with me. He told me he was convicted for beating up female police officers. That was a very nice roommate for a former police superintendent! Anyway, he was not aggressive at all although he knew perfectly well who I was. He told me that he couldn’t live without his Hashish, and showed me how he taped a piece of hashish under his left foot. I then saw how easy it is to smuggle drugs into a Belgian prison.
An hour later they put a second Moroccan man into my prison cell. He was arrested during an armed robbery. He spoke hardly a word.
Shortly after that they put a third man in the small cell. We were now four inmates in that small room! The last one was a fifty-year-old man from Kosovo, who lives near Brussels in a town called Asse. He was arrested with an international restraining order from Italy. He was wanted for cocaine smuggling, human trafficking, and prostitution.
All the inmates had been incarcerated several times before in that prison, and they told me they were surprised to see the name “Bart Debie” on the billboard just outside the prison cell. “Normally we only see Mohammed or Rachid or something like that”, they told me.
At about 6:30pm I was released from prison. I was sitting in that very small smelly cell for more than eight hours. Now I am a free man, but soon I will get a visit from an assistant of the Belgian justice department who will provide me with a form of electronic house-arrest. It isn’t over yet, but at least I am out of that horrible place where human rights are just a joke.