On Tuesday, the Antwerp Court of Appeal decided to withdraw Belgian nationality from Fouad Belkacem. The former leader of the terrorist group, Sharia4Belgium, was seriously falling short of his obligations as a Belgian citizen. Mr Belkacem now only has Moroccan nationality.
Liliane Verjauw, the lawyer for Fouad Belkacem, stated, “I am now going to examine with him the possible courses of action he could take. Appeal to the Court of Cassation is possible, then the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECHR’) in Strasbourg.” Me Verjauw fears Mr Belkacem being made a public example of, and his deportation to Morocco now being the only next available stage in the process. “That would be a disaster for him and his family in equal measure. In countries such as Morocco, democratic values are not always respected. I will do everything within my power to avoid his deportation.”
Fouad Belkacem has now been in prison for five years. He has been convicted several times. In January 2016, he was, in particular, sentenced for 12 years, the longest prison term he received, for being in charge of the terrorist organisation, Sharia4Belgium.