Muslim preacher Jean-Louis Denis has just been released from the prison of Ittre. He was sentenced for five years because he recruited young people for the fight in Syria. Denis made a brief statement when he left the prison.
“Today Muslims are in jail because they are Muslims”, Denis told the journalists who were present when he stepped out of the prison of Ittre after 11 o’clock. “They are in prison because they say things that you do not like. I spent five years in this department (the department in prison where radicalized prisoners reside, ed.). It is an environment where people are psychologically tortured and destroyed. This only strengthens their conviction. It delivers the opposite of what you want to achieve.”
Denis also waved a 20-euro note. “Today there are people who sacrifice their lives just to have a little money,” he says. “Well I am willing to devote my life to Allah and to explain to the people, that Islam is not in conflict with democracy. I wish my brothers and sisters in prison today a lot of strength in their ordeal.”
The Correctional Court in Brussels originally sentenced Denis to ten years in prison because the judge found that it was also proven that Denis led a terrorist group, but in appeal that was reduced to five years in prison. The Court of Appeal ruled that it was not proven that he was the leader of the group but only a member, hence the milder punishment. After his release, he plans to live in Londerzeel with his mother.