Threatened MP Wilders gets secured housing
1 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Threatened right-wing MP Geert Wilders will be given a secured home in the Randstad region by the end of April, ending months of enforced captivity in a jail cell.
1 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — Threatened right-wing MP Geert Wilders will be given a secured home in the Randstad region by the end of April, ending months of enforced captivity in a jail cell.
Wilders — who has been living at the Zeist jail since being threatened with death last year — has reached an agreement with the Justice Ministry over a permanent safe house, newspapers in the Limburg region reported.
"It is fantastic news. I will open a bottle of champagne the day I leave Camp Zeist. I am getting the apartment on loan and will pay a certain amount for it," the former Liberal VVD MP said.
"If I am no longer threatened and can move to a normal residence, the apartment will remain available for other politicians who might need security."
Wilders is an ardent critic of the Islamic faith and has demanded a five-year ban on Muslims immigrating to the Netherlands. The independent MP has registered his one-man party to contest the next national election and could win several seats in the Dutch Parliament.
The exact location of his new home in the Randstad region — bordered by the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht — is not yet known.
But a Justice Ministry spokesman explained on Thursday that the government had bought special homes in order to house on a long-term basis any politicians considered to be at threat.
He said due to the fact the homes were sufficiently secure, it would not matter if their locations were eventually made public knowledge. In that eventuality, the residents would not need to move.
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Interior Minister Johan Remkes have informed the Parliament via letter about the new security and protection system.
Liberal VVD politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali — who had been staying at the heavily-guarded Amsterdam navy base — has already been offered a permanent and secured home.
The Somali-born MP was threatened last year after making the controversial film 'Submission' with Theo van Gogh, who was subsequently murdered by a suspected Islamic militant in November. The film portrayed domestic abuse among the Islamic community.
Fed up with her restrictive living circumstances, Hirsi Ali shocked Minister Donner when she revealed to the media in February that she was living at the Amsterdam navy base and that Wilders was being forced to stay at the Zeist jail.
She demanded permanent housing, a demand supported by Wilders. Hirsi Ali claimed her freedom was being limited and that threatened politicians should be allowed to live in secured, publicly-known homes rather than being hidden away.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Lower House of Parliament, Frans Weisglas, is delighted that both Hirsi Ali and Wilders have received normal housing. He hopes that both MPs are now in a situation where they can carry out their political duties as adequately as possible.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news