Universiteit Leiden

nl en

FvD politican Gideon van Meijeren in court for inciting violence

The Netherlands Public Prosecution Service has demanded that Gideon van Meijeren, Dutch Member of Parliament in the Forum for Democracy (FvD) party, be handed 200 hours of community service for inciting violence. Marloes van Noorloos, Associate Professor of Criminal Law, discusses when a comment turns into incitement on Dutch news programme 'NOS Radio 1 Journaal'.

On Radio 1 Journaal, van Noorloos explained that there are two sides to the case: ‘On the one hand, the judge can decide that Van Meijeren inciting violence against the government weighs more heavily as he is a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. But on the other hand, Dutch politicians have a high level of freedom of speech. And that’s extremely important when it comes to drawing up plans for the country.’

She says it ultimately comes down to context. ‘Incitement has to involve instigating criminal offences. This case is about inciting violence against public authorities, but there also has to be a realistic threat. Context is everything: What’s he saying, exactly? What else does he say in his speech? How should we respond to that? Does that really count as inciting violence?’

Update: The court delivered its verdict on 11 June. Mr van Meijeren was sentenced [article in Dutch] to 200 hours of community service.

More information

Listen to the full NPO Radio 1 broadcast (in Dutch) here.

Photo by Isaac Mehegan through Unsplash

This website uses cookies.  More information.