Wilders' film pushes up Dutch terror alert
The situation surrounding the as yet unseen anti-Qur'an film produced by Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders remains tense, with Dutch National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator Tjibbe Joustra now saying that the Netherlands is at increased risk of terrorist attack, and raising the alarm status to the second-highest level to reflect this 'substantial' threat. He said the increase is, indeed, partly connected with the commotion at home and abroad in connection with Mr Wilder's film Fitna.
In the Netherlands itself, de Volkskrant newspaper reported in its Thursday edition that its own survey of Dutch public and commercial television organisations has shown that none of them are prepared to broadcast the film, mainly because of Mr Wilders' demand that the approximately 15-minute long production be shown in its entirety.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mr Wilders have reported that if the broadcasters do refuse to show the film, Mr Wilders will present it at a special news conference at the Nieuwspoort international press centre, located in the capital of Dutch politics, The Hague.
Freedom of speech
The management of the centre met on Wednesday and later announced the PVV leader would be welcome to do this provided additional security measures are taken. The ANP press agency reported Nieuwspoort chairman Max van Weezel as saying that the principle of freedom of speech was at the heart of the centre's decision.
Whatever else may happen in terms of the film's - initial - presentation, Fitna will be available for viewing - and could as yet have its world premiere - on a special website which went online on Wednesday this week.
Also on Wednesday, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen clarified the position of the Dutch government regarding the controversial film, explaining that Mr Wilders in no way represents the views of the government.
During talks in Ethiopia on Wednesday, Dutch Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders also spoke about the issue with African Union leader Alpha Oumar Konaré, former president of Mali. Mr Koenders reportedly said that African countries must accept their responsibility in doing all they can to combat any unrest or violence that could result in connection with the film.
10 March 2008
Sources: ANP/RNW news
[Copyright Radio Netherlands]