Dutch suspects no longer transferred to overcrowded Belgian prisons
Recent rulings in Amsterdam have stopped Dutch suspects from being transferred to Belgian prisons after the presiding judge cited a European report which criticised overcrowded Belgian prisons for “inhumane and degrading treatment.”
As reported by the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad on Thursday, a judge in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is choosing to no longer transfer suspects in cases where a Belgian prosecution might wish to try them, due to the poor treatment that is common in Belgium's overcrowded prisons.
To justify the choice, the judge drew on a recent report by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which has shed light on the problem and identified a lack of space as a main reason for increased acts of violence.
Furthermore, the report criticised the fact that prisoners must stay 23 hours in their cells due to staff shortages leading to a decrease in activities being organised for prisoners.
As a result, two rulings in an Amsterdam court on 14 December also barred a Dutch suspect from being transferred to a Belgian prison, which is normally a formality. Alongside the aforementioned arguments, the ruling judge argued that there was a risk that the suspect's human rights would be violated.
© BELGA PHOTO JOHN THYS