Nijmegen embroiled in anti-Verdonk row

15th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — Mayor Guusje ter Horst of Nijmegen said on Tuesday she is not going to order the removal of posters criticising Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk from Nijmegen City Hall for the time being.

15 November 2005

AMSTERDAM — Mayor Guusje ter Horst of Nijmegen said on Tuesday she is not going to order the removal of posters criticising Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk from Nijmegen City Hall for the time being.

Mayor Ter Horst said she does not have the power to intervene because the posters are not hanging in a public space.

The posters are in fact pamphlets stuck to the window of the office used by the green-left party GroenLinks in the City Hall. The protest was initiated by Wouter van Eck, the party's leader in Nijmegen.

A translation of the text on the pamphlets reads: "travel agency Rita, arrest, deportation, cremation - efficient to the bitter end."

This is a reference to the 11 rejected immigrants and asylum seekers who died in a fire at the Schiphol detention centre in late October.

Similar banners and posters have been removed from City Hall in Amsterdam, squats in the capital and from public areas.

Van Eck said he decided to use the GroenLinks office in Nijmegen because the removal of anti-Verdonk pamphlets from 27 locations in the city endangered the freedom of expression.

Activists are to seek an injunction from an Amsterdam court on Friday to stop the police removing banners and posters, which the public prosecutor's office (OM) has decided are offensive to Verdonk and breach the law. Amsterdam's Mayor Job Cohen and Nijmegen's Ter Horst are cited as respondents in the court case.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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