A Flemish far-right party launched a website Tuesday inviting people to report crimes committed by illegal immigrants, mirroring a controversial initiative in the Netherlands.
The website created by Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) allows people to file anonymous tip-offs of social security fraud, work on the black market and more serious crimes, a move anti-racism activists compared to Nazi tactics.
Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter said the website was needed because of the presence of "tens of thousands of illegal immigrants" in Belgian cities and the problems stemming from them.
The acts reported to the website, http://meldpuntillegaliteit.be, will be transfered to the police, said De Winter, whose Flemish nationalist party regularly courts controversy with its anti-Islam and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Jozef De Witte, director of the Centre for Equality and Struggle Against Racism, told Radio 1 that the website is reminiscent of measures taken by the Nazis in the 1930s or the East German secret police during the Cold War.
"This is completely illegal. Mr. Dewinter knows this very well. He wants to shock and provoke," De Witte said.
The Dutch far-right Freedom Party created a similar website, titled "Report Middle and Eastern Europeans," asking people whether they have been annoyed by noise, drunkenness or squalor associated with migrant workers or lost jobs to them.
The European Parliament has called the website "deplorable" and pressed Prime Minister Mark Rutte to distance himself from it.
The Dutch parliament voted last month to denounce the website, but Rutte, whose majority in the 150-seat lower house requires support from the PVV's 23 lawmakers, has declined to condemn it.
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