Prosecutor seeks tougher rules for US Embassy demos
19 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Prosecution Service (OM) is to argue in court on Tuesday that police officers should be allowed to ask people demonstrating outside the American Embassy in The Hague to identify themselves.
19 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Prosecution Service (OM) is to argue in court on Tuesday that police officers should be allowed to ask people demonstrating outside the American Embassy in The Hague to identify themselves.
The OM a stronger application of the general identification law is required to enable officers to demand ID from anyone who shouts out a protest slogan, or holds up a placard in the vicinity of the embassy or demonstrates in any other way.
The case is being held at the appeals court in The Hague on Tuesday. It relates to two people who wanted to demonstrate outside the embassy in January last year on the inauguration of US President George W. Bush for his second term in office.
Police officers intervened and demanded to see identification when the demonstrators attempted to unfurl a banner outside the embassy. When they refused to produce their identification documents, the protesters were arrested and fines were imposed. They refused to pay the fines.
Participation in a demonstration is not a valid reason for a police officers to demand to see ID and therefore a district court freed the Hague activists.
The OM is appealing this decision on the basis that extraordinary security considerations should apply to the US Embassy.
One of the demonstrators, who gave her name as Yvonne, said demanding that protesters produce ID is tantamount to silencing critical citizens.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news