The scene is actually nothing special for certain parts of Brussels: A group of young men from the Maghreb discovers a well-dressed man in his 30s who dares to go out on the street alone in their neighborhood. They like his smartphone, so they try to take it from him. On this occasion they drive their victim away for a while.
In this case, however, they caught a MEP: Mathias Vanden Borre, born in 1987 in Scotland, is a member of the liberal-conservative “New Flemish Alliance” in the Brussels Parliament. He films the hunt for him and calls the police, who arrive a short time later and, although they do not arrest the Maghrebians, they try to flee.
Vanden Borre, who has been beaten several times, is put on sick leave for three days by his family doctor. He puts his video recordings online and describes what happened to him on social networks:
“They kicked me and then hit me in the face. Then I ran away. They chased me for a while. One of them tried to block my way and grab my phone, but it didn’t work. I could call the police at the end of the street and they were there pretty quickly.”
The “New Flemish Alliance” has been so far reluctant to criticize the Belgian immigration policy. Vanden Borre, however, seems to have at least become thoughtful and writes on Twitter:
“I am very shocked. I live around here and I wasn’t expecting anything like this. Especially not in broad daylight. Hopefully they’ll catch up with them soon. Unfortunately, this is a daily reality in Brussels. I see it as my job to denounce that.”