Prison director, 24 guards, to appear before Brussels Council Chamber

A director of the Forest Prison and 24 penitentiary guards are scheduled to appear before the Brussels Council Chamber, the Office of the Public Prosecutor (OPP) of Brussels said on Thursday, confirming a report in Dernière Heure daily, which said the OPP wanted the group indicted for allegedly illtreating detainees.

The OPP had initiated an investigation, some time ago, into a group of prison warders who had been working for years in Aisle D of the prison. The members of the group were nicknamed the SS because of the insults, provocations and humiliations they inflicted on prisoners. They also reportedly organized bets on the number of inmates they would send into solitary confinement on a given day, and would switch off power in a cell to cause incidents between prisoners.

The investigation was launched following complaints lodged by detainees for repeated acts of violence. The issue was taken up by an investigating judge at the end of 2014. In December of the same year, the OPP had also opened investigations into other, similar, cases. In June 2015, three prison warders were arrested and charged.

The OPP’s investigation has now been completed and the 24 prison warders along with the director are to appear before the Brussels Council Chamber on the 3rd of October.

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