New searches conducted in Schild & Vrienden investigation
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    New searches conducted in Schild & Vrienden investigation

    New searches have been conducted under an investigation into Flemish extreme-right movement Schild & Vrienden, Het Nieuwsblad reported on Wednesday, quoting the office of the public prosecutor of Eastern Flanders. GSM phones and computers were seized in about 15 searches, most of which targeted students.

    A TV report on Schild & Vrienden published by the Flemish VRT channel had placed the spotlight on racist, sexist and anti-semitic comments exchanged in chat groups on secret lines. The Office of the Public Prosecutor launched an investigation and, soon after the VRT programme, a search was done at the premises of the association’s president, Dries van Langenhove.

    Van Langenhove was expelled from the University of Ghent and many candidates for the municipal elections withdrew from the polls. Four members of the Flemish Youth Council were also obliged to resign.

    A demonstration against Schild & Vrienden is scheduled for Tuesday 25 September at the University of Ghent. A similar event in early September had attracted 600 persons.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times