Belgium’s highest appeals court on Wednesday ordered a new trial for an activist who was convicted of violating the country’s civil commitment law in 2015, but the court’s president rejected his appeal.
The lower court said the lawyer should be held accountable for the crime of violating a civil commitment statute, but President Pierre Nihoul appealed against the decision.
He called the decision a judicial coup, a reference to the current state of affairs in Belgium, where he was convicted for inciting racial hatred after leading a march against the construction of a mosque in the Brussels suburb of Zaventem in 2015.
Nihoul was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
He appealed against his conviction but the ruling is still pending.
Belgium has seen a rise in attacks and violence against Muslims, as well as a crackdown on protests and demonstrations by Muslims.
The country’s highest court has already ruled against the government’s plans to impose a ban on burkinis and face coverings in public places.