‘Torture of prisoner in Antwerp after argument over tobacco’

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'Torture of prisoner in Antwerp after argument over tobacco'

A day before he was tortured in a cell in the Antwerp prison, victim Roy Janssen (41) had gotten into an argument with his four cellmates because he smoked their tobacco. The Gazet van Antwerpen made a reconstruction based on an internal account of the prison’s facts. It shows that Janssen refused to be transferred several times.

Everything OK

There were five detainees locked up in cell 1311. One day before the explosion of violence, Roy Janssen got into an argument with his fellow detainees over tobacco. It was known that he suffered from multiple personality disorders. But he is also a man who easily makes contact with detainees and guards.

After a report on Saturday, guards in his section of the prison asked Janssen whether he wanted to be placed in another cell. Janssen says everything is okay. On Sunday, a guard visits the cell and notes that there appear to be no mutual tensions.

Nothing wrong

Around midnight, a guard hears noises that sound like a fight. According to safety protocol, he is not allowed to open the door and looks through the window. A cellmate of Roy Janssen comes to say that nothing is wrong. There had been a heated discussion, but ‘everything was settled’. The guard also sees a second cellmate with a cell phone in his hand. The jailer can only draw up a report, after all, the door is not allowed to open.

An hour later, a guard notices that there are five people sitting at the table. “The victim was sitting at the end of the table with his head down.”

‘Out of fear’

Early on Tuesday morning, Janssen was lying in his bed during a check-up, but was not fully visible. In the afternoon he was also in bed and when asked if everything was okay, he gave him a thumbs up.

That afternoon, prison staff were told that Roy Janssen was in a serious situation in his cell 1311 and had allegedly been tortured. Rumors are circulating among the detainees. A report of this will be placed in a pile that will not be viewed until Wednesday morning.

Around 5 p.m., director An Janssens takes a look in the cell and makes the discovery: Janssen has been seriously injured.

The various cellmates have all made a statement about the facts. Particular attention is paid to torturer Filip T. as a major driving force. A cellmate says he did not intervene ‘out of fear’.

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