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51 arrested at banned far-right gathering in Brussels

20:23 15/09/2019

Police arrested 51 people for attempting to join an unauthorised far-right march in central Brussels on Sunday.

The 'March on Brussels' was banned by the city's mayor Philippe Close, who refused to grant a permit for it to go ahead - but organisers announced they planned to take part anyway.

The protest had been called against the cordon sanitaire in force against the extreme-right Flemish party Vlaams Belang. The party has been left out of government formation talks, both in Flanders and at the federal level.

Most of the arrests were made around the Place d’Espagne, near Central Station. All 51 cases were administrative arrests, which are made when someone is suspected of disrupting public order, or if there is reasonable grounds for police to believe that the person might go on to commit an offence.

A Brussels-Ixelles police division spokeswoman said: "We carried out identity checks and searches. It turned out that many of the people arrested were already known to police for previous acts of rebellion and violence."

There was no reported violence and no judicial arrests - leading to possible prosecution - were made.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by The Bulletin