Threatened MP ordered out of secure home
28 April 2006
AMSTERDAM — Liberal Party MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been ordered to vacate the high-security home she is renting in The Hague within four months.
An appeal court sided with her neighbours who complained her presence put their own safety at risk and caused disruption to their lives. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner broke the news of the court decision at an EU meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday.
Somali-born Hirsi Ali is known as a critic of aspects of Islam and she went into hiding in November 2004 when filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered. They had finished work shortly before his murder on Submission, a short film about the ill-treatment of women under Islam.
Hirsi Ali and fellow MP Geert Wilders spent several months in hiding in secret locations due to death threats made against them because of their stance on Islam. “I think this is dreadful, horrible to have to move. I am happy living here and I feel safe,” Hirsi Ali said in response to the judgement.
The neighbours lost their case initially but they won on Thursday when an appeal court accepted Hirsi Ali’s presence meant they no longer felt safe in their own apartments or in the communal areas of the complex. The court ruled that is contravened Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights which guarantees respect for a person’s private and family life.
The Dutch State had contravened these rights by moving to the apartment complex without seeking their consent and without taking measures to diminish the neighbours’ valid fears, the court said.
Justice Minister Donner said he is considering appealing the decision to the Supreme Court “otherwise it will create difficulties for the protection of various people”.
The neighbours said in a statement that their court action had not been directed against Hirsi Ali personally, but against the State for exposing them to danger.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news