Justice minister calls for calm around Sanda Dia verdict

Justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne has called for calm following the verdict in the trial of the KU Leuven fraternity involved in the death of Sanda Dia.

The judgment in the trial against the 18 members of the Reuzegom student club sparked outrage and criticism of the punishment of community service and a fine. Well-known Belgian YouTuber Acid posted a video in which he named some of the Reuzegommers.

"A judgment of 118 pages cannot be summarised in a tweet, nor does it warrant doxxing, which is punishable," Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) said in the Chamber on Thursday to a question from Raoul Hedebouw (PVDA).

During questioning, Van Quickenborne said he had spoken to the brother and sister-in-law of 20-year-old engineering student Sanda Dia, who died after an extreme hazing ritual in 2018. He praised their "calm and dignity" and called for the same calmness to be shown, especially in parliament, after Hedebouw referred to "class justice".

"We should not be tempted into TikTok justice."

He warned against doxxing, the practice of publishing personal data of an individual or organisation, usually with malicious intent. "In this hemisphere, in the house of democracy, we should not be tempted into TikTok justice where people, like Romans in the arena, condemn people with a thumbs up or down."

He said politicians should not simply ignore people's outrage. "But I do not accept, Mr Hedebouw, your misuse of this indignation for your class struggle issue. That is nonsense," said Van Quickenborne. "Play your part as a member of parliament in a state of law, not an authoritarian regime."



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