Belgium bars police anal searches

Terrorism suspects claim that police ordered them to ‘genuflect’

BRUXELLES, Belgium (AFP) — A top Belgian court on Monday prohibited the authorities from making defendants at the trial into the 2016 Brussels terror attacks kneel for strip searches.

Six suspects had filed a complaint after refusing to attend the hearings into the suicide bomb attacks that killed 32 people in protest at the anal searches conducted by police.

The appeals court in Brussels backed a preliminary decision in December by ruling there was no legal basis for making the subjects “genuflect” during searches as they were being transferred from prison to court.

The ruling, seen by Agence France-Presse, ordered the Belgian state “to put an end to this practice.”

Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne’s office said it would “take account” of the decision.

“Where the strip search applies today, it will still be carried out tomorrow, but differently,” it added.

Nine defendants are currently facing justice over the 22 March 2016 bomb attacks claimed by the Islamic State group that hit Brussels airport and the city’s metro.

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