Geert Wilders charged with incitement to hatred over ‘fewer’ immigrants chant

Popular leader of Dutch anti-immigration party is charged with incitement to racial hatred over “fewer Moroccans” chant

Geert Wilders demanded “fewer Moroccans” as an election slogan Photo: Geoff Pugh

It is not the first time the leader of the Freedom Party, famous for his peroxide blond mane of hair and currently leading in the opinion polls, has found himself in the dock on charges for his comments on Islam and immigration.

“I have said what millions of people think and find. For the second time, one apparently wants to deal with someone who speaks the truth,” said Mr Wilders.

“It is a travesty that I have to defend myself in court for this. The public prosecutor would do better to devote his time to prosecuting jihadis instead of me. The Party for Freedom is the largest party in the polls. Apparently the elite does not like that.”

The latest case follows a public rally last March when Mr Wilders asked a mass audience of his supporters whether they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?”.

When the crowd shouted “fewer! fewer!”, or “minder! minder! in Dutch, a grinning Mr Wilders shouted: “We’re going to organise that”.

During European elections in May, the anti-immigration Freedom Party campaigned under the slogan “minder”.

This led to 6,400 legal complaints being lodged with the Dutch authorities and the furore led to senior members of the Mr Wilders’ own party resigning.

Geert Wilders delivers a speech in Lyon, November 29 (Reuters)

“The public prosecutor is to prosecute Geert Wilders on charges of insulting a group of people based on race and incitement to discrimination and hatred,” said a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

“Politicians may go far in their statements, that’s part of freedom of expression, but this freedom is limited by the prohibition of discrimination.”

No date has yet been set for a trial of the prosecution, which has been welcomed by the country’s Moroccan community.


Marine Le Pen, France’s National Front political party leader, kisses Geert Wilders in Lyon (Reuters)

“This step shows that everyone is equal and Mr Wilders is not above the law. We want to keep this country together, it is important that everyone is treated equally,” said Mohamed Rabbae, the head of the Moroccan National Council,

In 2011 Dutch prosecutors failed to convict Mr Wilders after indicting him for describing the Koran as “fascist” and comparing it to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.

From The Telegraph . Report by  . 18.12.14.

 

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