I received this letter from the Dutch Consulate which was in response to my letter protesting the prosecution of Geert Wilders. I thought it appropriate to share with my readers who care about this issue
attention for the following.
prosecution of Mr. Geert Wilders, Member of the Dutch Parliament, for
inciting hatred and discrimination based on his statements in various
media about Islam. Various people and organisations had asked for his
prosecution. In June 2008, the Public Prosecutor had determined that his
statements were not against the law and had dropped the case, but the
plaintiffs appealed this decision before the Court of Appeal.
were a punishable insult to Islamic worshippers and therefore
constituted ground for criminal prosecution. The Court of Appeal did not
convict Mr. Wilders of a crime, but ordered the Public Prosecutor to
start a criminal procedure against him before the District Court of
On January 13th, the District Court in Amsterdam dismissed a motion made
by Mr. Wilders to limit the charges against him. The Court ruled that
the indictment was in line with the decision of the Court of Appeal and
that there were no new facts that would give reason to limit the scope
of the indictment. On January 20th, the District Court in Amsterdam will
start the proceedings in the case. Ultimately, it will decide whether or
not Mr Wilders has committed a criminal offense.
The Court of Appeal and the District Court are fully independent from
the Dutch government. As the procedure is ongoing, any further comment
by the Netherlands government on the case itself would be inappropriate.
Mr. Wilders is a member of parliament and continues his work while the
case goes through the legal process.
Arend C. Gouw
Consulate General of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands
701 Brickell Ave. Suite 500
Miami, FL 33131
Tel. (001) 786 866 0482
Fax (001) 786 866 0498
This was my brief response to his letter:
Thank you Mr. Geow, for your thoughtful response. As an American who relishes the freedom of speech as provided in our constitution, I still find it appalling that Mr. Wilders would have to face criminal charges for expressing his opinions…which, incidentally, millions agree with. To the rest of the world, it appears more clear that the Dutch authorities are capitulating to the demands of radical Islamists in order to pacify.
Thank you again. I will post your reply on my blog site… for readers to make their own judgement.