Paul Belien, Brussels Journal, Aug. 9, 2006
This morning the police came to my door again to question me about allegedly racist articles on The Brussels Journal. I was not in. Tonight the local police phoned to “invite” me urgently to the police station. In Belgium any leftist or totalitarianist can lodge a complaint against “internet racism” through a Belgian government website and the judiciary starts an investigation. Apparently someone in Ghent has lodged a complaint against this website. I am not allowed to know who this person is, but I am requested to come to the police station to be interrogated. I told the officer that I refuse to justify my writings for anonymous complaints. “I am not living in the Soviet Union,” I told him (though I fear I am).
As a matter of principle I will not go to the police station. I defend the freedom of the press, which implies the right of journalists not to be questioned by the authorities about articles and opinions that they write or edit. I told the officer that if the police wants to question me they will have to arrest me. The Belgian authorities are clearly intent on intimidating us and closing down this website.