Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

Read more

REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

Read more

FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

Read more

ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

Read more

#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Frustration mounts over state of economy in Nigeria

Read more

FOCUS

Will global warming ruin French wine production?

Read more

Europe

Court orders lawmaker to trial for anti-Islamic statements

Latest update : 2009-01-21

A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to try far-right MP Geert Wilders for hate speech against Islam. Wilders, author of the controversial short film "Fitna", has called for the banning of the Koran in the Netherlands, calling it "fascist".

AFP - A Dutch court ordered prosecutors Wednesday to put far-right lawmaker Geert Wilders on trial for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims by comparing their religion to Nazism.
  
"By attacking the symbols of the Muslim religion, he also insulted Muslim believers," the Amsterdam appeals court said in a written judgment.
  
"In a democratic system, hate speech is considered to be so serious that it is in the general interest to ... draw a clear line," it added.
  
The court was handing down judgment after receiving numerous complaints from citizens over the prosecution service's refusal to press charges against Wilders for several public anti-Islamic statements.
  
These included statements in his 17-minute film "Fitna", which has been called "offensively anti-Islamic" by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and whose screening in the Netherlands prompted protests in Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and Afghanistan.
  
Wilders is the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), which has nine seats in parliament.
  
He has called for the banning of the Koran in the Netherlands, calling it "fascist."
  
The prosecutor's office in Amsterdam said it had no option to appeal the judgment, and an investigation into charges of hate speech would be started immediately.
  
It could not say how long it would be before Wilders appeared in court.
  
Wilders said the ruling marked "a black day".
  
I see "the judgment of the court as an attack on the freedom of expression," he said in a statement on his party website.
  
"Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted."
  
Not only he, but all Dutch citizens opposed to the "Islamisation" of the Netherlands will be on trial, said Wilders.
  
"Who will stand up for our culture if I am silenced?"

Date created : 2009-01-21

COMMENT(S)