Court asked to jail man for threatening Wilders
19 November 2004AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor has asked a Dutch appeal court to impose a jail sentence on a man who threatened politician Geert Wilders.
19 November 2004
AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor has asked a Dutch appeal court to impose a jail sentence on a man who threatened politician Geert Wilders.
Last month, the defendant Farid A., 30, from Scheidam near Rotterdam, was sentenced to 120 hours community service plus a one-month suspended sentence for comments he posted on an discussion forum.
The forum is operated by Maghredonline.nl, a website for Muslims in the Netherlands. Farid A wrote: "Wilders must be punished with death for his fascistic comments about Islam, Muslims and the Palestinian cause". He also added a photo of Wilders.
The head of security at the Dutch parliament, or Tweede Kamer, reported the threat to police and Farid A. was arrested.
The court heard that the defendant had been incensed by Wilder's description of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat as a "terrorist leader", NOS Nieuws said.
The public prosecutor told an appeals court in The Hague that everyone had to be allowed to express his or her opinion without being threatened.
Calling for a heavier sanction, the advocate-general, who was representing the prosecution, said the sentence should send a signal to anyone who tried to gag politicians by threats.
He said Wilders had feared for his life after Farid A. posted the threat on the internet forum.
"In the last few weeks we have seen how the the rule of law can be disturbed by people who make these sorts of threats," he said.
The appeal court is to deliver its decision on 3 December.
The country was shocked on 2 November when filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam for criticising Islam.
Eight days later two Muslim men were arrested after an 14-hour siege in The Hague. They have been charged with plotting to kill Wilders and MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who made the film Submission with Van Gogh. The 10-minute film criticised violence against women in Muslim societies.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news