Man commits suicide after SBS broadcast
18 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — A 31-year-old man who appeared in the SBS 'anti-social suburb' television show has committed suicide in the Leeuwarden jail.
18 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — A 31-year-old man who appeared in the SBS 'anti-social suburb' television show has committed suicide in the Leeuwarden jail.
The man's family told local broadcaster 'RTV North' that the suicide was prompted by the television broadcast. The family said the man wrote several letters apologising for his appearance in the programme.
The man was featured in the episode of 'Probleemwijken' on 31 March, which focused on the Oosterpark district in Groningen and the episode was repeated a week later. SBS also broadcast footage of the episode in a compilation which aired on Thursday night.
A spokesman for the public prosecution office (OM) confirmed that the Groningen man committed suicide on Friday, newspaper 'NRC' reported on Saturday.
He also said the man had been serving a jail term in the Marwei prison in Leeuwarden since 1 March for drink-driving. The SBS footage had been recorded prior to his arrest.
In reaction, SBS said it "extremely" regrets the man's death and that the news had deeply affected staff. SBS also stressed that it had acted "carefully and honourably". SBS said it had not been aware that the man was having mental problems.
Groningen Mayor Jacques Wallage said he was "shocked" by the death, but refused for the time being to comment on a possible link between the death and the SBS programme.
The show has sparked uproar in nearly every city which has been depicted. Riots broke out earlier this month in Graafsewijk in Den Bosch after a man admitted on the show he'd had sex with his eight-year-old step-daughter.
Den Bosch and Eindhoven city councils are investigating whether SBS can be held accountable for the damages.
Some residents claim that SBS supplied alcohol to participants of the show, but the commercial broadcaster has denied this.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news