Prison officers across Belgium are on strike as a female guard fights for her life in hospital.
It is alleged she was stabbed by an Iranian prisoner last night. Another guard and three other people were injured, one a critically-ill prisoner who went to her aid .
Their attacker was shot dead.
Prison officers’ unions say they are being hung out to dry in overcrowded jails.
“We are really concerned. One of colleagues is still on the danger list after being operated on three times. It makes us realise how many risks there are in our profession,” was one union organiser’s opinion.
The Iranian inmate was serving a 22-year sentence for the attempted murder of a doctor last year.
Belgium has a prison capacity of eight thousand but currently detains over 10,000 people. It wants to rent a jail in the southern Netherlands to help relieve the overcrowding problem and hopes to sign the deal on Saturday.