Three people arrested for setting fire to police station at Brussels riots
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Three people arrested for setting fire to police station at Brussels riots

Credit: Belga

Two adults and one minor were arrested for arson during a riot following the demonstration for the death of Ibrahima Barrie (23) after his arrest by the Brussels police.

They were judicially arrested for deliberately setting fire to the police station on the Place Liedts in Schaerbeek, according to the Brussels public prosecutor’s office.

The lab and a fire expert went to the scene, and the clothes and mobile phones of the suspects were confiscated, they added.

Based on the results of further investigation that are currently being carried out, the public prosecutor will decide what will happen with the suspects next, within the 48-hour deprivation of liberty period.

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Additionally, a fourth person, a minor, was also placed at the disposal of the public prosecutor’s office for acts of rebellion.

The public prosecutor stressed that, at this stage, this is “a provisional state of affairs” that could still change as the investigation continues.

While about 500 people initially demonstrated peacefully on Wednesday afternoon, some commotion broke out around 4:00 PM after the demonstration was coming to an end, and people started smashing windows and throwing stones at the police.

A task force will be set up, composed of members of the six Brussels police zones, the federal police and the Brussels public prosecutor’s office to identify as many culprits as possible.

In addition to these four judicial arrests, 112 others were also administratively arrested, 30 of which were minors, during the riots on Wednesday.

Barrie died on Saturday 9 January about an hour after he was arrested by the Brussels North police. Upon arrival at the police station, he lost consciousness and the present police officers called the emergency services to take him to the hospital, where he died soon after.

In the meantime, the results of the autopsy, revealed by the family’s lawyer, have shown that Barrie died of heart failure.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times