So-called “ethnic profiling” victims reluctant to lodge complaints
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    So-called “ethnic profiling” victims reluctant to lodge complaints

    © Belga
    A Belgian mother of two who returned to the country from Syria has been conditionally released by a Bruges court. Credit: © Belga
    © Belga

    Individuals considering themselves to be victims of “ethnic profiling” by police forces involved in given cases, often hesitate to complain. This is reported in La Libre Belgique and La Dernière Heure today (Monday).

    The evidence comes from an investigation conducted by Belgium’s Human Rights League.

    Individuals questioned by the Human Rights League say the police often confuse belonging to a given religion and an ethnic group.

    Individuals affected confirm this to be the case and their evidence comes from remarks made by some police during checks.

    These individuals very much have the sense of being victims of so-called “ethnic profiling”. However, they are often reluctant to complain. They tend to consider that this is a pointless exercise.

    Those who do, and opt to seek redress through the courts, are only faced with a multitude of obstacles.

    The League has found that the first comes from the refusal of some police officers to record their complaint.

    The problem can go deeper. A complaint for racially motivated poor treatment is often followed by the production of a report for obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty. Moreover, it is difficult to demonstrate evidence for the existence of discrimination in such cases.

    Ironically, court actions are considered to be slow and costly for the section of the population which is so often affected by ethnic profiling.

    Lastly, some youngsters who are subject to checks, which are in their minds completed in an arbitrary fashion, are often not willing to report the facts of the incident to an adult.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times