Short news

Searchlight - February 2006

Several serious complaints were filed against the Dutch state at the end of 2005. The first, from the Defence for Children organisation, denounced the violation of the rights of asylum seekers' children. These children are part of integration minister Rita Verdonk's deportation scheme under which she promised parliament two years ago to evict 26,000 asylum seekers (at present 13,000), many of whom have lived for many years in The Netherlands and some of whom have children. Defence for Children believes that children have their own distinct rights, apart from their parents, and that the longer the children have been in the Netherlands, the more right they have to stay. The organisation has also complained about the children's detention.

After the horrendous fire, at the refugee prison at Schiphol Airport in November last year, which cost the lives of eleven "illegal migrants", the 'Een royaal gebaar' foundation, on the initiative of writer Marion Bloem, filed a complaint of negligence against Verdonk and fellow minister Piet Donner. At least 15,000 people have given online support to the complaint which says the Schiphol fire was not an accident but the logical result of refugee policy. The two ministers are accused of causing death by negligence, causing severe bodily harm and detaining people in cruel and inhumane conditions. According to the Foundation, the ministers refused to build safe detention centres because they wanted them to run on the cheap as possible.

Finally, another committee, founded by relatives of the victims and survivors of the blaze, has filed a complaint against the two ministers, for their "criminal policy" aimed at dehumanising, criminalising and marginalising refugees. Whether the various complaints will be taken to court has not yet been decided.

Meanwhile, a new book More guns, less crime by NieuwRechts racist boss Michiel Smit argues in favour of free possession of guns by all Dutch citizens. Smit says that people should use pepper spray, baseball bats and guns to defend their homes, offices and shops from burglars and robbers. At the same time, an Amsterdam court ruled that it is not a crime to call Smit "the biggest neonazi in Dutch politics". The verdict resulted from a complaint he filed against Leefbaar Nederland's former leader, who tried to distance herself and her party from Smit's activities by branding him a "neonazi" on television in 2002.

By Jeroen Bosch of Alert! and Antifa-Net in Utrecht