The Italian government is lodging a formal complaint with the Belgian authorities after one of its European Members of Parliament was arrested during a demonstration against the “Islam-isation of Europe”. The rally had been banned by the Mayor of Brussels for fear it would threaten public order. Among those detained was Italian Northern League member Mario Borghezio. He was arrested along with other European politicians.
Italy claims his arrest violated his right to diplomatic immunity. Borghezio challenged the decision of the Belgians to stop the protest in the first place: “It doesn’t seem normal to me that on the 11th of September, in a European capital, a demonstration involving European parliamentarians, against fundamentalist Islamic terrorism, can be banned.”
The European Union’s top justice and security official, Franco Frattini, also said the protest should have been allowed in the name of free speech. But a total of 154 people were arrested. They were released after a few hours.