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18 to face charges in Sanda Dia's hazing death in Belgium

Castle Arenberg, part of the university in Leuven, Belgium, is shown. File Photo by Athenchen/Wikimedia Commons
Castle Arenberg, part of the university in Leuven, Belgium, is shown. File Photo by Athenchen/Wikimedia Commons

Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Eighteen former fraternity members at a Belgian University will be sent to court to face charges related to the hazing death of Sanda Dia in 2018.

All 18 members of the private student club Reuzegom were linked to the hazing of 20-year-old Dia in 2018 that led to his death, The Brussel Times reported. The now-disbanded club was known as one of the most exclusive at the Catholic research university in Leuven, Belgium.

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The 18 members of the White Flemish fraternity Reuzegom allegedly forced Dia, a Black engineering student from West Africa, through an initiation to drink a liter of gin, swallow fish oil, and stand in an icy pit latrine for hours, BBC News reported.

Dia passed out from the treatment, according to The Brussel Times, and fraternity members took him to the hospital after much delay, where he later died from hypothermia and acute intoxication complicated by drinking a large quantity of highly salty fish sauce.

Prosecutors told the BBC the initiation ordeal lasted two days and led to his death.

The 18 former fraternity members face several charges as a group including manslaughter, deliberately administering harmful substances, degrading treatment and culpable negligence.

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The suspects each face several years in prison if found guilty and have 15 days to appeal.

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