‘Rats crawling over his body day and night,’ detainee experience in Saint-Gilles prison revealed
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
According to the prison administration, there is no longer a problem with rats in Saint-Gilles. Credit: Wikipedia
For the first time, the government is the object of a complaint relating to the “inhuman treatment” of a detainee, a man of about twenty originally from Genk who was put behind bars in Saint-Gilles prison while awaiting his trial, Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen reported on Wednesday.
For the family of the detainee, on remand under suspicion of acts described as serious, it is the final straw: his sister asserts that conditions are “medieval”. Through the detainee’s lawyer, Frank Scheerlinck, she made a complaint, and an examining magistrate is investigating whether the conditions can indeed be said to be “inhuman.”
“There are rats crawling over his body day and night, eating his clothes and food. My client enjoys a presumption of innocence, but is, in fact, being tortured by the government. Furthermore, he is only able to shower once a week, if the good prison officer is present,” Scheerlinck stated.
This prison officer is said to be the only one who cares about the detainee. “The others refuse to speak in Dutch and my brother does not know a word of French,” the prisoner’s sister regretted.
According to the prison administration, there is no longer a problem with rats in Saint-Gilles.