By Oliver Lane
A 16-year-old Afghan male claiming asylum in Belgium has been stripped of his asylum seeker status by the government after he raped an employee at a Red Cross shelter in Menen, West Flanders.
Although the identity or age of the victim has not been revealed by Belgian police, she has been described as “young service staff” of a catering firm contracted to provide food to the migrants at the Menen Red Cross shelter. Flemish Television (VTM) reports the rape took place in the cellar of the centre for young migrants on Wednesday 10th of Feburary, where the woman had gone to fetch supplies.
he girl has filed a complaint for prior verbal assault, and for rape. Because the migrant man is only 16 years old, he will be tried in a Belgian juvenile court, where if found guilty he would receive a significantly shorter sentence and be imprisoned in more comfortable conditions.
A short spell in prison is not the only consequence for the perpetrator if found guilty, though, as the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration has made a robust response to the accusations and has vowed to deport rapists. He told Belgian television a new law passed last summer could be used in this case, as where “serious offences are committed against the public order, and rape is clearly an example, then no [refugee] status will be given to the individual concerned.
“He will not be recognised and will not receive residence on Belgian territory. One consequence will be his deportation to Afghanistan, where he came from.”
The attack came very shortly after the young man had received training on how to treat women with respect, in line with Western cultural norms. The programme of lessons for migrants, given in a bid to reduce the number of rapes visited upon native hosts by recent migrants, was first instituted in Belgium after the migrant sex attacks in Germany on New Year’s Eve, reports Belgium’s De Standaard.