Nearly 3,000 complaints over Dutch anti-immigration website
15th February 2012, 2 comments
Dutch anti-discrimination officers have received nearly 3,000 complaints about a far-right anti-immigration website attacking east and central Europeans, an official said Wednesday.
Geert-Jan Ankome, the head of the anti-discrimination office, the LBA, told AFP the complaints had come from both from east and central Europeans living in the Netherlands and from Dutch nationals.
"Most of them are calling for the closure of the site," he said, referring to the website set up by the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), on which readers can lodge complaints against eastern European migrants.
Some complaints had also come from abroad, forwarded by other websites.
But the LBA would not be taking the case to the Dutch courts, because it had little chance of success, Ankome added.
The Freedom Party, whose anti-Islamist leader Geert Wilders was acquitted of hate speech last year, launched the site entitled "Report Middle and Eastern Europeans" last week.
Ambassadors and representatives from 10 countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania, signed an open letter of protest Tuesday calling on Prime Minister Mark Rutte to take a stance on the "discriminatory" site.
A PVV spokeswoman told AFP it was getting 10,000 hits a day.
Last Friday, European justice commissioner Viviane Reding denounced the website.
"In Europe, we stand for freedom," she said in a statement on her website, referring to the right to move work and study wherever they wanted to within the European Union.
"The PVVs website runs totally counter to these principles. It is openly calling for people to be intolerant... Intolerance has no place on our continent," she added.
On Tuesday however, the European Commission said it would not be taking action against the Netherlands for any violation of EU law.
Rutte, whose ruling coalition in the 150-seat lower house is dependent on support from the PVV's 24 lawmakers, has declined to condemn the site.
But Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal is due to meet the 10 ambassadors on Friday to discuss the letter, a foreign affairs official told AFP.
© 2012 AFP