Media union angered by police raid

14th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch union of journalists NVJ has lashed out at police for raiding the offices of regional broadcaster Omroep Brabant on Wednesday.

14 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch union of journalists NVJ has lashed out at police for raiding the offices of regional broadcaster Omroep Brabant on Wednesday.

Police were looking for footage of rioting in the Graafsewijk district of Den Bosch on 7 and 8 April. The police want to use the recordings to help identify the rioters.

Prior to the raid, the police had already arrested 15 people suspected of taking part in the unrest, five of whom are to appear in court on Friday.

The editor-in-chief and the station's director refused to co-operate with police and said they did not want the broadcaster to be seen as an "extension" of police, 'RTL News' reported.

The two were briefly detained and officers later left with three videotapes.

In its response, the NVJ described the police raid as "unacceptable" and claimed it breached deals made with justice officials about excluding media reports from police investigations.

Riots broke out in Graafsewijk on Thursday and Friday night last week after an episode of the television show 'Probleemwijken', or 'Problem Neighbourhoods', featured a local man admitting he had sexually abused his eight-year-old daughter. A picture of the victim was also shown.

Claiming that the city council runs an anti-social policy, residents said rapists were treated better then people who committed lesser crimes, such as cultivating cannabis. Anyone evicted from their home for cultivating marijuana is barred from rental housing in the city for three years.

In response to the riots, an emergency ordinance was imposed on the suburb, effectively locking it down as riot police moved in. Order was restored to the district over the course of the weekend and Monday.

Commercial station SBS has decided not to broadcast the last two episodes of 'Probleemwijken' but has rejected claims that it is responsible for provoking the riot.

SBS has said it will screen a programme that deals with the reaction in the media and elsewhere to the series.

Den Bosch Mayor Ton Rombouts and the mayor of Eindhoven, Alexander Sakkers, have indicated they are suing SBS for creating a false image of neighbourhoods in their cities.

Meanwhile, the emergency ordinance introduced in Graafsewijk in response to the rioting has been rescinded.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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