In a Report published today by the Libertarian Alliance, the Belgian Government is accused of systematic human rights abuses similar in nature and extent to those in a post-Soviet republic. Journalists and homeschoolers are not safe in Belgium.
The Report – The Belgian State versus Home Schooling: The Persecution of Dr Alexandra Colen and Dr Paul Belien – by Professor John Kersey, is published by The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute based in London.
Professor Kersey finds:
* That Dr Paul Belien, Editor of The Brussels Journal, has faced official and semi-official intimidation over an article he published in favour of the right to self-defence;
* That Dr Belien and his wife, Dr Alexandra Colen (who is a Member of the Belgian Parliament), face a systematic attack on their right to educate their children at home.
Commenting on the Report, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, says:
"For a journalist, there can be few rights more fundamental than to freedom of speech. For parents, there can be no right more fundamental than of being able to bring up their children in what they consider the right values.
"We should all be shocked that these rights have been systematically violated in a country that is a member state of the European Union and of the Council of Europe – and that not long ago passed laws allowing citizens of other Western countries such as Israel to be put on trial for alleged offences committed outside Belgium.
"In other European Union member states, we should be particularly concerned. If homeschooling can be made illegal in Belgium, it can be made illegal in any other state. In Britain at the moment, parents have an absolute right to homseschool their children. The precedents set in the Belien and other cases may be applied here.
"As Director of the Libertarian Alliance, I have today written to the Belgian Prime Minister and to the Human Rights Commissioners of the European Union and of the Council of Europe. We require an assurance that the persecution of the Belien family will be at once ended.
"We encourage all others people who may be concerned about this denial of fundamental human rights to use the names and addresses supplied in the Report and to write letters of their own.
"The price of all liberty is eternal vigilance."
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
Professor John Kersey (Author of Report), +44 7005 982 684 (UK access code), firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Paul Belien (Editor, The Brussels Journal), +32 497 17 52 82 (Belgian access code), email@example.com
Dr Sean Gabb (Director, The Libertarian Alliance), +44 7956 472 199 (UK access code), firstname.lastname@example.org