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Firefighting recruit files complaint following racist incidents

14:55 29/10/2019

A recruit in training has filed an internal complaint with the Brussels fire brigade following racist incidents. The department has launched an investigation into the harassment as well as disciplinary procedures.

Last week, the man who filed the complaint found his firefighting helmet covered with several racist words and phrases such as ‘monkey’ and ‘go back to Molenbeek’. Then this week, he found a slice of ham and a beer in his locker, both of which are forbidden under Islam.

“We have opened an investigation into the incidents and started up internal disciplinary procedures,” Walter Derieuw of the Fire Brigade and Emergency Medical Service told Bruzz. “This could lead to someone losing their job.”

Derieuw also said that the victim is receiving personal support within the service. “This is the first time that such a thing has happened,” he said. “It is fortunately an isolated incident. The Fire Brigade is a mirror of Brussels society. There are Flemish people, French-speakers and people with immigration backgrounds. There is a healthy level of cultural diversity here.”

Photo: Hatim Kaghat/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw