Racist death threats victim breaks silence
19 May 2005, BRUSSELS – The Flemish boss who has received seven death threats for hiring a Muslim woman has spoken out after another intimidating letter was sent to the press.
19 May 2005
BRUSSELS – The Flemish boss who has received seven death threats for hiring a Muslim woman has spoken out after another intimidating letter was sent to the press.
Rik Van Nieuwenhuyse, who runs ready-made meal firm Remmery in Ledegem, had decided not to make any media statements after a 57-year-old man was arrested for the mail telling him to sack employee Naima Amzil.
Van Nieuwenhuyse did not want to prejudice the ongoing investigations into the letters which were signed by an organisation calling itself the Nieuw Vrij Vlaanderen (New Free Flemish).
However, on Tuesday morning, a letter was sent to two Flemish daily newspapers, 'Het Nieuwsblad' and 'Het Laatste Nieuws' signed by the same organisation.
The letter, which 'Het Nieuwsblad' published on its website, called on Remmery customers to boycott the firm’s products, accusing Van Neuwenhuyse of "collaborating" with Muslims.
"He no longer hires Flemish people and therefore represents a danger to Flanders," claimed the letter.
The 'NVV' went on to assert that it had twice successfully poisoned Remmery dishes with mercury – and it threatened to put more mercury and needles in future products.
The letter came the morning before the suspect in the case was released unconditionally after police failed to find sufficient evidence to prosecute him.
The lawyer of the suspect, who was arrested on 4 May, said his client was pleased to be allowed to go home. He added that his client could not understand how traces of his sweat were found on the stamp of the last letter sent, which contained two bullets.
On Wednesday evening, Van Nieuwenhuyse said he had not personally received a copy of the latest threatening letter. He thought it might be a bad joke, sent by different people from the previous threats.
He said he did not think there was a campaign under way to sabotage Remmery products and insisted security measures in place meant products were scanned for foreign bodies before being sent to suppliers.
Van Nieuwenhuyse also pointed out that Amzil is his only Muslim worker and is extremely well-integrated.
Responding to the threats to poison products, he said: "To put the company in danger is to threaten the daily bread of 35 workers."
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news