Belgian judge rules against mandatory masks laws, acquits man charged for not complying
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January 27, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge in Belgium has acquitted a man who was charged for not wearing a mask in a market last summer, ruling that laws mandating masks in a public space are unconstitutional.
According to a local report from Le Vif, the tribunal took place in the police court Weimar District on January 12, as it is the lower courts who are tasked with minor charges, which the Belgian mask mandate falls under.
The judge ruled that he recognized that the COVID-19 crisis warrants a restriction of the freedom of movement along with some measures to help contain the virus.
But the judge said that a mandatory mask law in Belgium must be done by legislators in parliament. Currently Belgium’s mask laws, and other COVID-19 laws, have been enacted via a ministerial decree.
In essence, the judge ruled that the current law violates the country’s constitution.
"More specifically as regards the wearing of a mask, it is clear that the Minister regulates different situations in an identical manner, namely cases in which people find themselves alone in the street or, on the contrary, in a commercial artery in the company of many fellow citizens,” said the judge as reported by Le Vif.
“Different situations in an identical manner constitute a violation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination.”
Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden has appealed the decision.
According to a local report from Le Vif, the now acquitted individual was summoned before the court because he did not wear a mask at the local Anderlecht Abattoirs food market, which violated a June 30, 2020, ministerial decree in relation to COVID-19 measures.
Much of the European Union (EU) is currently under lockdown due to an apparent rise in COVID-19 cases, with most EU nations having some sort of mask mandate in place.
LifeSiteNews has a petition called “No to mandatory mask mandates,” calling on all governments to reverse mask mandates within their borders.
“Healthy adults and children should not be forced - by the state - to wear masks when the risk of infection is low and the benefit of wearing a mask is highly questionable,” reads the petition.