Dutch foreign minister summons Iranian envoy over violence
Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen protests against arrested demonstrators and interference with foreign journalists.The Hague -- The Dutch foreign minister on Tuesday summoned an Iranian diplomat to protest Tehran's bloody post-election crackdown and called for the immediate release of detainees.
"It cannot be that peaceful demonstrations are broken up violently," said a statement issued by minister Maxime Verhagen's office after his meeting with Iranian charge d'affaires Majid Ghahremani.
"People in Iran must be able to protest peacefully and the Netherlands has asked that the arrested demonstrators be immediately freed."
Verhagen had asked Iran to probe complaints of election fraud as the Netherlands had "serious question marks" over the reliability of the results.
"Minister Verhagen also protested against interference with foreign journalists and the arrest of a Dutch television crew," said the statement.
"He demanded an explanation from the Iranian authorities for the intimidation and seizure of footage of Dutch journalists."
Journalist Jan Eikelboom and cameraman Dennis Hilgers from the Dutch public broadcaster were arrested Sunday and ordered to leave the country.
Governments all over the world have voiced concern over the violence that erupted on Monday during massive rallies protesting the re-election victory of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At least seven people were reported killed.
In the Netherlands, about 200 demonstrators protested against the election outside the Iranian embassy in The Hague on Sunday, police spokesman Wim Hoonhout said.
AFP / Expatica