Novum, Wednesday 01.21.2009 –
Geert Wilders should be prosecuted for hate and discriminatory statements. This is what the Amsterdam court decided Wednesday. The DA decided earlier not to prosecute the PVV leader. The DA now has to do so.
According to the court, there are sufficient indications that Wilders is guilty of criminal offenses. The court has come to that verdict because of, among other things, the rhetoric of the public statements of Wilders and the way he presented his views. He did it in a way which the court finds one sided, strongly generalizing, radical, fierce and frequently repeated. Therefore it could be seen as bigotry.
In addition, the statements of Wilders are also offensive to Muslims, because they are affected in their religious dignity. Wilders did this by attacking one of the symbols of the Muslim faith, the Koran.
Wilders compared the Koran to the book "Mein Kampf" by Adolf Hitler. The court believes that certain offensive remarks are not under the criminal law, but should be resisted in the social and political debate. This is not the case for the comparison with 'Mein Kampf', says the court, because it is so offensive to Muslims that it is of importance to prosecute Wilders.
The court does not believe that the freedom of speech is at stake with the decision to prosecute Wilders. The European Convention on Human Rights protects the right emphatically, but according to the court, in the European context, these statements are unacceptable. Prosecution also doesn't affect Wilders in his freedom of speech, provided that the possible sentence is proportionate.
Finally, the court considers that prosecution of Wilders serves the Netherlands. The hate speech in the democratic rule of law "is so serious that there is a public interest to draw a clear line in the public debate".
In July, a special discrimination section of the DA decided not to prosecute the PVV-leader for a number of statements in the media and in his film 'Fitna', against which several charges were pressed. Some chargers, including the anti-racism organization "Nederland Bekent Kleur", were not pleased with that decision of the DA and objected [to the verdict of] the court to nonetheless prosecute him.
Justice has received dozens of charges against Wilders in the last years. Those were for statements in de Volkskrant, De Pers and in an Internet column. Different people and organizations thought that the PM conducted an incitement to hatred and discriminated. The charges were gathered in Amsterdam and viewed by the discrimination section of the OM. They advised not to prosecute.
When the trial starts against Wilders is not yet known.
I have to confess that I'm quite pleased that Wilders is being prosecuted. I think the trial will draw much attention to what's going on in Europe. READ MORE.