Belgium has labelled a young Pakistani youth as a terrorist after the police mistook a cricket bat he was carrying to be a weapon. His family now faces deportation.
A photograph of 22-year-old Assim Abassi carrying his bat wrapped in his sweatshirt was circulated by the police in newspapers last week, and the headlines warned of an 'anti-Semitic killer' on the loose in Brussels, The Telegraph reported.
The terror scare in Brussels was heightened as only months earlier, an Islamist militant had attacked a Jewish museum and killed four people.
However, despite Abassi clarifying to the police that his 'weapon' was in fact only a cricket bat he was carrying on the way to practice, his family may lose the right to live in Belgium.
"I wrapped my bat in my sweatshirt because it was raining and if it is wet I can't play the ball properly," Abassi told The Telegraph.
The consequences of the photograph tagging him as a terrorist has also cost Abassi's father his job at the Pakistani embassy, which also asked all seven family members to surrender their passports.
"We got a call from the embassy saying give us your passports. We've lost the privilege of living in Belgium. I've lost my education. I've lost everything," Abassi said.
The Belgian police are yet to apologise for their mistake, though the young cricketer has found support in some local MPs.