Belgium Court Hands Down Landmark Victory for Scientology
In a complete vindication of the Scientology religion and Scientologists, presiding judge rules that entire case was a “serious and irremediable breach of the right to a fair trial.”
The Church of Scientology of Belgium and Scientologists everywhere salute today’s decision by the 69th Trial Chamber of the Brussels Criminal Court, which upheld the rights of Scientologists to practice their religion and unequivocally rejected the prosecution’s false allegations and fatally flawed and biased case.
“Justice prevailed again for Scientologists today,” said Rev. Eric Roux, Church spokesman in Belgium. “This is a very good day for justice and human rights in Belgium, and a relief for Belgian Scientologists unduly prosecuted for two decades. The Court put an end to 18 years of prejudice against the Church of Scientology and its members and strongly stated that Scientology should not be treated differently than other religions. With this decision, the Belgian judge expressed that any discrimination by the prosecutor’s office based on religious grounds cannot be tolerated in a state that abides by the rule of law.”
The Court categorically and emphatically dismissed all charges against two Churches of Scientology and eleven individual defendants while upholding the fundamental human rights of the Church and its members. The watershed decision rejects the biased charges brought by the prosecutor against the Church and its officials, and brings 18 years of religious discrimination fueled by investigative actions taken in bad faith by the prosecutor in this case to a complete halt. The decision makes it clear that the evidence does not support the prosecutor’s biased view of the case against the religion, the Church and its adherents. Justice and the rule of law have prevailed in Belgium.
Presiding judge Yves Regiment noted that Belgian authorities had unfairly hounded the Church of Scientology for years stating: “The entire proceedings are declared inadmissible for a serious and irremediable breach of the right to a fair trial.”
The Trial Court reached the same unequivocal conclusion as the Highest Courts in Italy, the United Kingdom and Australia as well as judicial and administrative bodies in many countries: that Scientology should not be treated differently than other religions, and that basing prosecution on religious beliefs is a violation of human rights. This is the underlying principle that drives the decision and which was ignored by the prosecution.
The Church of Scientology, founded in 1954, has millions of members in more than 180 countries. Its first Church in Belgium was established in 1974. The Church sponsors numerous social betterment campaigns, including its drug prevention campaign, its initiative for the betterment of the moral values beneficial to the individual and his family, its action to end psychiatric abuses, its human rights education program and its literacy campaigns.
Church of Scientology Media Relations
(323) 960-3500 phone
(323) 960-3508 fax