Sunday, June 13

The Belgian COVID researcher who was attacked and lives under threat from a far-right sniper


Heavily armed soldiers participate in an intensive sweep of an area on the edge of the Hoge Kempen National Park in Maasmechelen on June 4, 2021, in search of Jürgen Conings.

Image source, Getty Images

Caption,

The search for the fugitive Conings began when he eloped in mid-May.

For almost three weeks, Belgium’s top virologist has been locked up in a safe house with his wife and 12-year-old son, surrounded by a military device to ensure their protection.

Many scientists around the world have been under threat from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the case of Professor Marc Van Ranst is one of the most serious.

He has been threatened by a soldier linked to the extreme right, Jürgen Conings, who has waged a kind of “revenge” against virologists and the confinements imposed in response to the pandemic.

The seriousness of the threat lies in the fact that Conings is a military shooting instructor, who has fled with weapons – a rocket launcher and a machine gun – and until now the Belgian police he has not been able to find his whereabouts.


www.bbc.com

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