Dries Van Langenhove welcome in Ghent University Library

The leader of the radical right-wing organisation Schild en Vrienden, Dries Van Langenhove is to be allowed to enter Ghent University Library under strict conditions. However, the 25-year-old who needs to complete his thesis in order to get his law degree will only be allowed into the library for 8 hours a week under conditions to be specified by the university.     

After an edition of VRT News’ documentary programme Pano revealed a darker hidden side to the organisation Dries Van Langenhove set up and led, the Rector of Ghent University suspended the law student. He was denied access to the university property. The card that gave him access to the university was blocked and his university e-mail account was removed. He was also removed from the board of the university where he sat as a student representative.       

Dries Van Langenhove took legal action against the university. His lawyers demanded that the university’s disciplinary measures be revoked and that he be given unlimited access to the university buildings and digital infrastructure again and be given back his seat on the university’s board.  

The also demanded that a gagging order be imposed on the university regarding the Pano report as they feared their client would be subject to “trial by media”. A penalty payment of 25,000 euro/euro was also requested if the university failed to comply. .

The judge decided that no penalty payment should be imposed. However, the university’s disciplinary measures were judged to be disproportional. Dries Van Langenhove will be able to complete his studies and will be able to spend a maximum of 8 hours a week in the university library in order to do so. The university will be able to choose when Dries Van Langenhove is welcome in the library. Other areas of the university remain out of bounds to the founder and leader of Schild en Vrienden.