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MP demands better safe house policy

Published on February 18, 2005

18 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — Threatened MP Geert Wilders is living at the Camp Zeist jail and Ayaan Hirsi Ali is being forced to live at a heavily-secured navy base in Amsterdam in what she claims is a restriction of her freedom.

Hirsi Ali released the information on Friday to evening newspaper NRC in protest against the circumstances in which she and Wilders are being forced to live. Wilders has refused to comment on the matter.

The Liberal VVD said she revealed the secret locations due to “fear that it would be discovered by other people”, the newspaper reported.

“I want to live in a place that everyone knows is where a threatened MP lives.  That’s the way it is in countries such as the US and Israel, but also in Italy and Spain,” she said.

Hirsi Ali said the secret living circumstances are “very unjust and poignant”. She claimed the principle of free speech was threatened by the security philosophy employed by Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and the national protection and security service NCBB.

She claimed the philosophy is one in which anyone is threatened must be “hidden away”. Hirsi Ali asserted further that the government was inadvertently assisting those who were opposed to her.

The MP went into hiding after the November murder of Theo van Gogh. She collaborated on the film “Submission” with Van Gogh shortly before he died. The film is highly critical of domestic abuse within Islamic communities and is believed to be the prime motivation behind Van Gogh’s murder.

Wilders is also an outspoken critic of the Islamic faith, calling for an end to immigration of Muslims to the Netherlands. He is also opposed to Turkey accession to the EU.

He has been living at Camp Zeist for some time, which was formerly used to house the two Libyan suspects of the Lockerbie bombing. It now houses arrested immigrants and normal detainees. Wilders has been told he will be staying at the jail — and sleeping in a jail cell — until at least September when he will be given his own living space.

Both Wilders and Hirsi Ali have been threatened with death by suspected terrorists, but the NRC said neither of them has been informed about the nature and seriousness of the threats. Furthermore, Hirsi Ali was already forced to leave her house in September 2002 due to threats against her.

The chairman of the Lower House of Parliament, Frans Weisglas, has also raised concerns about the lack of a fixed address for Wilders and Hirsi Ali. He said the parliament knew last November that the security situation would be a long-term matter and claims the Minister Donner should have acted more swiftly to draw up a long-term solution.

Hirsi Ali also claims she has been unable to reach an agreement with the NCBB over a permanent place of residence. She complains that her work as an MP is now being hindered by her living circumstances. “I am prepared to invest in public life, but this is not proportional. I have no freedom,” she said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news