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Sarah Ganty and Dimitry Kochenov on the Belgian Constitutional Court

The Belgian Constitutional Court has “recently condoned the torture of an innocent citizen putting the very right to life on the line in a blunt attack against the overwhelming political consensus,” our researchers Sarah Ganty and Dimitry Kochenov write in Knack.

The court suspended a prisoner exchange between Belgium and Iran to protect “procedural right to life” of the Iranian opposition activists who could be targets of a failed attack by an Iranian spy convicted in Belgium, they write, adding that the court did not take into consideration the life of Olivier Vandecasteele, a humanitarian worker, who was kidnapped and tortured by the Iranian security apparatus.

“The Belgian Constitutional Court deployed an obscurantist misinterpretation of the ECHR and use of its powers preventing the Belgian legislator and the government to comply with their duty under Article 2 ECHR to make sure that an innocent citizen is not subjected to torture and not be deprived of life. The position of the court makes saving Olivier Vandecasteele much more difficult, if not impossible,” they argue.

Read the article (in Dutch) here, in English on Verfassungsblog here.

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