Two Curaçao politicians arrested at protest

16th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The two detained politicians said the Netherlands will still have too much influence over Curaçao and St Maarten despite granting them autonomy.

WILLEMSTAD – Two Curaçao politicians have been arrested at a demonstration in Willemstad against a Round Table Conference between the Netherlands and the islands of the Dutch Antilles.

The two politicians arrested were opposition leader Helmin Wiels and Dwingo Puriel who said the Netherlands will still have too much influence over Curaçao and St Maarten.  

Police reportedly had to use violence when arresting the duo. Wiels was arrested for inflammatory language against the police while Puriel was taken into custody for ignoring police orders.

Other demonstrators were wearing yellow Stars of David to reinforce their message. The conference was relocated from the World Trade Centre to a naval base following a bomb alert.

Demonstrations against the Round Table Conference chaired by Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende in Willemstad began on Sunday evening. Agreements are due to be signed at the conference granting Curaçao and St Maarten autonomy and transforming Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius into Dutch municipalities.

Deputy Minister of Kingdom Relations Ank Bijleveld said she is appalled by the gesture.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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