LA News Release, "Belgian State Guilty of Human Rights Abuses" (June 2006)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
Release Date: Tuesday 20th June 2006
Release Time: Immediate
Professor John Kersey (Author of Report), +44 7005 982 684 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +44 7005 982 684 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting (UK access code), firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Paul Belien (Editor, The Brussels Journal), +32 497 17 52 82 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +32 497 17 52 82 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Belgian access code), email@example.com
Dr Sean Gabb (Director, The Libertarian Alliance), +44 7956 472 199 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +44 7956 472 199 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting (UK access code), firstname.lastname@example.org
"BELGIAN STATE GUILTY OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES", SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK
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."
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Note(s) to Editors
Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is also Deputy Director of the Truancy Unit at Buckingham University and author of Home Schooling: A British Perspective, published in Homeschooling in Full View: A Reader (2005) by Bruce S. Cooper (Editor)
Dr Gabb can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Professor John Kersey is an educational consultant and an advocate of private sector educational alternatives. Educated initially at the Royal College of Music in London, he earned his doctorate at Knightsbridge University, Denmark, and is now Dean and Visiting Professor of Music there. In addition to his work as a musician and music critic, he has held teaching and management positions at a number of independent colleges in the UK, and has been a private tutor for several homeschooled students.
Professor Kersey can be contacted for further comment on 07005 982 684 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Belien can be contacted for further comment on +32 497 17 52 82 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +32 497 17 52 82 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Belgian access code) or by e-mail at email@example.com
The Belgian State prides itself on its respect for human rights. A 1993 law, amended in 1999, gives Belgian courts the authority to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes regardless of the crimes' connection to Belgium or the accused's presence on Belgian soil.
Under this law, backed by the current Prime Minister, complaints have been filed in Belgium against a number of alleged human rights criminals including Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the former dictator of Chad Hissene Habre.