Dries Van Langenhove not allowed to participate in VUB debate
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    Dries Van Langenhove not allowed to participate in VUB debate

    The VUB security service does not have the means to guarantee the serenity of the debate. Credit: Belga

    Dries Van Langenhove, the founder of the extreme-right youth movement Schild en Vrienden will not be allowed to take part in a debate organised by liberal student association LVSV at the VUB university.

    The VUB cannot guarantee the safety at the debate, said vice-rector Jan Dankcaert. Two other student activities that Van Langenhove was supposed to attend at the UGhent University were already cancelled.

    LVSV would invite politicians of varies parties to a debate on the university campus in Etterbeek on 10 October, but the school contacted the student association to point out the security problems, reports Het Nieuwsblad. The VUB security service does not have the means to guarantee the serenity of the debate, according to the vice-rector.

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    “Freedom of speech is very important, but we have to look at the practical aspects here,” said Danckaert, referring to earlier issues when a debate with former Secretary of State Theo Francken (N-VA) was cancelled in 2017, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

    This time, the debate will not be cancelled, but candidates from extreme-left and extreme-right parties will not attend, said LVSV chairman Emerick Asmus, reports Sudinfo.

    Van Langenhove is undergoing a judicial investigation after VRT documentary programme Pano made a report about his controversial student association Schild en Vrienden at UGhent.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times