Friday, 20 May 2016 - 13:30
Dutch prisoners at risk in Belgian jailers' strike
An ongoing jailers strike in Belgium is also affecting the about 100 Dutch prisoners in Beglian prisons, Reverend Uittenbosch of foundation Epafras said to BNR. The foundation provides spiritual support to Dutch prisoners abroad and has contact with 30 prisoners in Belgium. Dutch inmates in prisons in Brussels, Antwerp and Merxplas are living in poor conditions, according to the Reverend. "They have to wash with a bucket of water, there is a shortage of guards, they rarely go outside, there is an unclear course of justice and they are kept in custody too long", he said. Their safety may also be in danger - a prisoner was stabbed in the Waalse Lantin prison on Tuesday. According to Uittenbosch, such poor conditions are no exception outside Europe, "but that it happens so close to home is a worrisome matter." The Belgian Justice Minister and the unions are consulting on how to resolve this conflict. Uittenbosch thinks that political attention from the Netherlands could help speed things up.