Home Dutch News Dutch news in brief, 16 March 2005

Dutch news in brief, 16 March 2005

Published on March 16, 2005

Smuggling gangs in operation

Police claim hundreds of gangs, many of them Chinese, are involved in people smuggling in the Netherlands, using the nation as a transit point for trafficking people to their final destination, mainly in the US, Britain and Scandinavia. But neither police nor the Justice Ministry has any idea how many people are smuggled through the Netherlands each year. The trade is worth billions of euros and police investigated 300 cases in the past two years. Strict Dutch and European asylum policies have led to a bigger human smuggling market. Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is an important hub in human smuggling.

PKK extradition saga continues

Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner is to request permission from the Supreme Court to extradite PKK Kurdish terror suspect Nuriye Kesbir to Turkey. The appeals court in The Hague ruled in January that her extradition cannot be allowed due to concerns she might be tortured in Turkey. The court said Turkish authorities gave insufficient guarantees regarding Kesbir’s safety. But Donner claims the court has underestimate the principle of trust and cannot prove that Kesbir will be placed in danger if extradited to Turkey.

Court bans peewit egg gathering

The gathering of peewit bird eggs has been banned by the Leeuwarden Court. A ban has been in operation across the European Union for some time, but the practice continued unabated in the Dutch province of Friesland. The court decided on Wednesday to outlaw the exception and end an age-old tradition. The court case was lodged by the Fauna Protection and Bird Protection groups in the spring of 2004 when they summoned Friesland Province to court, demanding it abandon issuing permits for peewit egg gathering.

No handshake, no pay

An Islamic man who refused to shake hands with female public servants from The Hague social security service (SZW) based on religious beliefs has been docked a month’s benefits. Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk recently came into conflict with Tilburg imam Ahmad Salam, who refused to shake her hand due to his beliefs. According to the SZW, there cannot be any work found for a man who refuses to shake women’s hands. Employers were asked in November what they thought about people who refuse to shake a woman’s hand and in response the SZW said another form of respectful greeting had to be used. If that fails to occur, the SZW can dock benefits from a social security recipient.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news