A Djiboutian migrant living in Europe has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for ripping out the eyes of one of his political rivals. (EPA-EFE/JOSE COELHO)


Djiboutian migrant gets 15 years for gouging out countryman’s eyes in Brussels


A Djiboutian migrant has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for gouging the eyes out of one of his countrymen in Brussels, apparently over a political disagreement.

Idriss Awaleh was convicted of “torture resulting in the loss of an organ” by the Brussels Court of Appeal for his attack on fellow national Liban Moustapha Hassan in 2016.

According to news outlet AFP, police first learned of the incident early one morning after a taxi driver found an injured Hassan lying on the ground near Porte de Namur in Brussels.

He was reportedly bleeding heavily from his eye-sockets and was taken to a local hospital.

Hassan survived the attack but was left blind.

Awaleh later appeared at a hospital in Brussels with cuts to his face and loose teeth, seemingly as a result of the altercation. Police are said to have then arrested him at the medical facility.

Hassan has previously told Belgian media the attack was inspired by a political argument, with Awaleh allegedly accusing him of insulting his uncle.

“They wanted to finish me off,” Hassan said. “But only God finishes people.”

He also vowed to keep up his political activism, both against the ruling Djiboutian Government and what he called his rivals in Brussels.

“I hope that I will always continue to say – I won’t even be able to write – everything that I have the right to say and I will not allow harmful people to disorient the Djiboutian youth here,” he said.