Belgium to pay compensation to asylum-seeker

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Belgium must pay 5,000 euro moral damages to an Afghan asylum-seeker. Friday’s edition of the daily ‘De Morgen’ reports that the 29-year-old Afghan had refused to be put on a plane to Athens and was detained by the authorities in early 2010.

Four days later his barrister succeeded in convincing magistrates that he should be released. However, as the Aliens Office lodged an appeal with the Court of Cassation, the man was held in custody for four months.

Normally, the Court of Cassation should rule on criminal cases within 15 days. However, the Court doesn’t respect this when dealing with cases involving asylum-seekers.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Belgium should pay the man 5,000 euro in moral damages.

The Brussels human rights lawyer Zouhaier Chihaoui told ‘De Morgen’ that “Strasbourg has ruled that Belgium contravened article five, paragraph four that states that anyone held in custody must have speedy access to a judge who will decided on the legality of their detention.”