Belgium’s police have opened an internal investigation following the leaking of information on plans by Interior Minister Jan Jambon to question undocumented foreigners, Jambon said on the Ter Zake programme of the Flemish public broadcasting network, VRT. “The officers are bound by professional secrecy,” Jambon said. “It’s unacceptable for actions to be made public in advance.”
News that the police would be intercepting migrants for questioning on Sunday had been circulating since Friday. The citizens’ platform for the reception of refugees reacted by forming a human chain of almost 3,000 persons around the Maximilien Park and the Gare du Nord.
On Sunday evening, the president of Belgium’s human rights league, Alexis Deswaef, welcomed the action by the “whistle blowers” within the Federal Police, while the mayors of the communes concerned said their local police would not be involved in the action.
The operation was finally conducted in Brussels stations and on trains that operate in the capital. It resulted in 17 people being questioned, four of whom were taken to a closed centre.
Jambon did not feel that his policy has been undermined by his own services. “That’s a bit of an over-simplification,” he said. The police, as an organization, is much stronger than someone who organizes leaks.”
On Friday, Médecins du monde presented many testimonies of migrants who had been victims of police brutality. An investigation had been opened into the matter, Jambon explained.