The news that another 14 members of the IS terrorist group had been stripped of their Belgian citizenship appeared in Friday morning’s newspapers. All of them failed to attend their trials and almost all have no known abode. Consequently, the only way the authorities had to inform them that their Belgian citizenship had been taken away was to publish an announcement in the newspapers.
The 14 convicted members of the terrorist organisation all had dual citizenship. Although convicted terrorists with duel citizenship have seen their Belgian citizenship revoked in the past it is the first time that such a large group has been stripped of Belgian citizenship at the same time.
The group includes jihadi from Antwerp, Vilvoorde (Flemish Brabant) and Limburg Province. In the case of most of them, the Judicial Authorities believe that they have been killed in fighting in Syria. However, as their deaths have not been officially confirmed they have been convicted and sentenced in their absence.
One of the 14, a woman from Vilvoorde, returned to Belgium with her children a couple of months ago. She is currently in prison awaiting a new trial. She will then be able to request that the decision to strip her of her Belgian citizenship be revoked. The 13 others can also appeal if they so wish.