IND hits out at 'hate campaigns'

8th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 July 2004, AMSTERDAM — The much-maligned Dutch immigration service (IND) is hitting back at its severest critics who have suggested it can lead to a slow and painful death and compared its officials to prison guards.

8 July 2004

AMSTERDAM — The much-maligned Dutch immigration service (IND) is hitting back at its severest critics who have suggested it can lead to a slow and painful death and compared its officials to prison guards.

Immigration lawyer Pieter Bogaers fell foul of the immigration authorities after he printed cigarette packet style-health warnings attacking the IND.

He distributed the stickers at a meeting of immigration lawyers in Utrecht in May, newspaper De Volkskrant reported Thursday.

One of the stickers features the warning: "(The) IND can lead to a slow and painful death". Another other claims: "(The) IND can cause you and others serious damage".

The IND has lodged a complaint with the solicitor's organisation Orde van Advocaten and asked Bogaers be disciplined.

Bogaers, De Volkskrant said, has defended his stickers, calling them his "shortest legal pleadings ever". He said he started using them out of "pure despair". He has sent off a reply to the IND's call for disciplinary action against him.

"It is my duty as a citizen to show what the IND is causing … I believe there has to be a parliamentary inquiry into the IND," he said.

The IND has also lodged a complaint against rap musicians who have likened immigration officials to prison guards and serial killers.

Many immigrant groups, expats and lawyers dealing with visa issues have become totally exasperated with the IND, accusing it of inefficiency, delays and maddening bureaucracy.

The government's decision to severely restrict immigration and expel 26,000 unsuccessful asylum seekers and to massively increase the price of residence permits has further damaged the IND's reputation.

"Genuine criticism comes under the freedom of expression," IND director Peter Veld told De Volkskrant. "But this sort of terminology goes too far."

A criminal complaint was lodged against Rap group NNTTO (Noord Nederlands Taaltechnisch Offensief) after the band performed at a demonstration against the building of a deportees' holding centre in Ter Apel at the weekend.

The rappers performed a song about "the prison guards of the IND, compassionless souls, no clue about rights". Immigration officials were also compared with serial killers.

Group member Jorn Idzerda is from Sierra Leone and faces deportation from the Netherlands. He said he was shocked to hear about the IND complaint.

He said the song had been adapted following the news that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is taking legal action against another rap group, which allegedly threatened the MP with death and used racist and sexist language to describe her.

Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia and has been a consistent critic of the Islamic treatment of women.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news + IND + Immigration + Dutch rappers

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