It responds to the finding of the body of Jürgen Conings at home and abroad. A protest at the Koekamp in The Hague briefly spoke about the death of Conings and Flemish virologist Marc van Ranst expressed his sympathy to the next of kin.
Michel Reijinga, organiser of the ‘coffee drinking’ demonstrations, asked the public at the Koekamp for a moment of silence. “A few minutes ago, the message came in that our Belgian warrior Jürgen Conings was found. And that‘s why I’m asking for a minute of silence for Jürgen Conings”. In the end, the listeners were silent for a little longer than half a minute. They were gathered at the Koekamp in memory of an antelockdown protest, called “the Battle of the Malieveld” by them.
Van Ranst, who was threatened by Conings and hiding for that reason, expressed his sympathy on Twitter. “My thoughts go to the next of kin and children of Jürgen Conings,” writes Van Ranst. “For them, this is very sad news, because they lose a father, family member or friend.” He says to Belgian media that he is relieved at the same time.
Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder announced via Twitter that her thoughts go to the Conings family. “The discovery of the lifeless body puts an end to 5 weeks of uncertainty and threat,” she writes further. Dedonder also argues that Defence will do everything possible to “avoid such things in the future and that there must be a “clear policy” for how to deal with “extremism within Defence”.
Social media has responses from people who doubt the cause of Conings‘ death. They find it suspicious that the Mayor of Maaseik, Johan Tollenaere, found the body at mountain biking in Hoge Kempen National Park after a 34-day search had failed.
Take a look at the mayor’s interview, near where the body was lying:
Tollenaere said to realize that it is “very bizarre” and even “unbelievable” that as mayor he found the body on a bike ride. “One of my friends turned off the ride. How it is possible that we got to the body and not specialised services is a mystery to me.”
Since May, man and power have been searched for Conings in the same environment. Possibly the warm weather of last week has caused the body to decompose faster and smell, Tollenaere said.
“The impact was very big,” Tollenaere said about the search for Conings. He called it a “personal drama,” but at the same time he said he was relieved that the manhunt is now stopping and “people no longer need protection.”