More than 100 arrested in Belgium after in-custody death

An in-custody death over the weekend has set off violent clashes between demonstrators and police

dpa, Berlin

BRUSSELS, Belgium — More than 100 people have been arrested in Belgium following clashes between protesters and police after a man died in police custody at the weekend.

A Belgian man died on Saturday after he was apprehended for attending a gathering in northern Brussels that allegedly broke coronavirus regulations. Belgian rules allow for a maximum of four people to gather.

On Wednesday afternoon, clashes broke out between protesters and police, with stones being thrown and police using water cannon to disperse the crowd.

The protests escalated in the evening with a police station reportedly briefly set on fire, windows broken and six police cars being damaged, according to media reports.

There were also reports that at one point King Philippe's car was briefly caught up in the protests.

"Under no circumstances can we accept what happened today in [the Brussels district of] Schaerbeek. Investigations are in full swing. More than 100 people have been arrested. Rioters will not walk free," Belgian Justice Minister Vincent van Quickenborne said late Wednesday on Twitter.

On Saturday, the man had fled the scene during a police check, but was apprehended after a police pursuit. He lost consciousness upon arrival at the police commissariat and died in a hospital shortly after.

According to media reports, the 23-year-old man is believed to have died of heart failure.

(c)2021 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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