Fugitive soldier manhunt: Marc Van Ranst blames Vlaams Belang

Fugitive soldier manhunt: Marc Van Ranst blames Vlaams Belang
© Belga

Virologist Marc Van Ranst on Saturday blamed Flemish right-wing nationalist party, Vlaams Belang, and other right-wing politicians, for stirring up a negative atmosphere on social media vis-à-vis Van Ranst, and his recommendations of how to handle the pandemic.

Marc Van Ranst was taken to safety six days ago by police, following threats made by fugitive extreme right-wing soldier Jürgen Conings, who still remains at large.

However, death threats are regularly voiced on social media towards Marc Van Ranst. "I always file a complaint with the police," Van Ranst said, putting much of the responsibility on Vlaams Belang for creating the situation.

According to Van Ranst, Vlaams Belang and other right-wing supporters created a “slippery slope” where threats against the virologist became somehow acceptable. The message was: "you can insult virologists, you can do anything to them," he said.

Still in hiding, Marc Van Ranst made it clear that he will not let himself be intimidated. “Not much is changing at the moment. I can continue to work from where I am.”

The Brussels Times

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