Moroccan organisations urge for calm

19th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 October 2007, AMSTERDAM – Moroccan organisations in Amsterdam urged for peace and quiet on Thursday. The organisations regret the disturbances that broke out in the Amsterdam district Slotervaart after the death of Bilal B., but feel that it is worrisome that after the incidents the call for repression and tougher measures has become louder and louder.

19 October 2007

AMSTERDAM – Moroccan organisations in Amsterdam urged for peace and quiet on Thursday. The organisations regret the disturbances that broke out in the Amsterdam district Slotervaart after the death of Bilal B., but feel that it is worrisome that after the incidents the call for repression and tougher measures has become louder and louder.

"We are calling on the Amsterdam municipal executive and local politicians to assume their responsibility and not to be swayed by the issues of the day, but to make a long-term investment in people," the organisations wrote in a statement

The unrest in the district began on Sunday after a police officer at the police station in Slotervaart shot and killed Bilal B. B. had managed to enter the police station and stabbed the officer and her colleague with a knife.

Contrary to Amsterdam police chief Bernard Welten, Welten’s boss the Minister of Home Affairs Guusjer ter Horst does not expect "Paris-like situations" in the turbulent district of Slotervaart. "The scale bears no relation to what happened in Paris," the minister said on Thursday after visiting the police station in Slotervaart. During the riots in Paris and other large cities in France rioting youths set fire to 9,000 cars in the autumn of 2005. Since Monday night five cars have been set on fire in Slotervaart.

On Wednesday night the police arrested eight youths. Three of them, one of 18 and two 19-year-olds were caught on August Allebéplein with a jerry can full of petrol. Five others were detained on suspicion of disturbing public order.

The VVD faction of the Amsterdam municipal council wanted a street ban imposed on the Moroccan troublemakers. The VVD faction in parliament supported this proposal later that day. VVD spokesperson for the VVD faction Ineke Dezentjé Hamming said the problem youths who are known to the police should be given a preventive street ban.

Frank van Gemert, who teaches criminology at the Free University of Amsterdam, has doubts about the reason for the riots in Slotervaart. "I can’t really believe that there is great sense of injustice and dissatisfaction among these youths about what happened at the police station." Van Gemert is thinking of "a different kind of discontentment". That might be the result of the crack-down on a specific group of youths in the neighbourhood, who are nowhere welcome, have forfeited their chances and are now hanging out on the streets.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news

 

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