Coronavirus: Belgian prisoners uneasy over new measures
Wednesday, 18 March 2020
Belgium’s inmates have demonstrated that they are unhappy and worried about the government’s new coronavirus (Covid-19) measures.
A group of inmates in Mechelen prison briefly refused to return to their cells following a walk outside on Tuesday evening. While all inmates eventually returned to their cells, police stood by until midnight as the situation remained unclear.
“We are going to discuss the situation in detail on Wednesday, but at the moment it appears the measures already taken will be enough and that we will not have to strengthen them,” Kathleen Van De Vijver, the prison administration’s spokesperson said yesterday.
“This means that inmates, like civilians, will still be able to go outside in small groups. They will still be allowed to work in the workshops because inmates cannot work from home. They will, of course, have to keep the necessary distance. Many prisoners are worried at the moment, but it’s the same throughout society.”
The prisons in Hasselt and Nivelles had also seen some unrest among inmates.