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    Syrian returnee stripped of Belgian nationality

    Three men who took turns raping a woman during her first night out as transgender were sentenced to five years in jail. Credit: © Belga

    A Flemish returnee fighter from Syria has been stripped of his Belgian nationality and handed a heavy prison sentence following a ruling on Wednesday by Antwerp’s court of appeal.

    The court handed the man a 28-year prison sentence, topped off by an additional 15 years of “mise a disposition,” which would put him under judiciary surveillance after he serves his jail time.

    Upon his return to Belgium in 2013, the man was charged with murdering a hostage in Syria after the family failed to pay the ransom.

    Wednesday’s ruling struck down an appeal by the 26-year-old man against two initial rulings in 2017, in which he was sentenced to a combined 38 years detention and surveillance for terrorist acts, according to local media reports.

    Originally from the Flemish city of Vilvoorde, the man, referred to as Hakim E., left for Syria in 2012, where he joined a group called Sharia4Belgium.

    He returned to the country in 2013 after being injured in the head by a grenade.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times