Fight against terrorism: 112 people in prison after their return from Syria or for having attempted to go
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    Fight against terrorism: 112 people in prison after their return from Syria or for having attempted to go

    © Belga
    Koen Geens has made figures available regarding individuals returning from Syria and Iraq.
    © Belga

    Some 112 people were imprisoned following their return from a conflict zone or for having tried to go to such an area. This is according to figures supplied by the Minister of Justice, Koen Geens, in response to a written parliamentary question from Denis Ducarme (MR). Some 60 have been sentenced and 52 placed in pretrial detention. Two people are in prison abroad.

    The authorities are alerted as to everybody who visits a jihadist conflict zone, and all such people are arrested when discovered. The investigating judge can decide whether or not to issue an arrest warrant. In theory, there is a case opened for everyone returning from one of these two zones (Iraq and Syria).

    Up to now, two people have been sentenced on the basis of Article 140 of the Criminal Code, which makes leaving for these conflict zones a criminal offence. In the majority of these cases, prosecutions are brought on the basis of membership of a terrorist group. This data mentions 83 people who have tried to go to a jihadist conflict zone, but who have not reached the given location, whether or not of their own volition. In the meantime, a total of 26 people who fall into this last category have been sentenced.

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times