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Fear of webzine unwarranted

The Amsterdam public prosecutor has wrongfully jailed a webmaster of webzine Ravage Digitaal this spring. Politician Geert Wilders had reported the magazine to the police because he understood a satirical column as a threat, but if the public prosecutor had read the entire column, it would have become clear that it did not incite ‘reasonable fear’, Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin stated in reply to questions of MP Boris van der Ham (D66).

Hirsch Ballin’s statement seems to confirm an earlier statement by Ravage editor and writer of the column Alex van Veen. Van Veen said that he had been interviewed by a policeman who had not read the column and who did not know Ravage. In response to Hirsch Ballin’s statement he speaks of ‘bungling’ by the authorities.

The column was intended to ‘take the piss out of’ activist René Danen, who argued for prosecuting Wilders. In the column, Van Veen has a fictitious ‘René D.’ say among other things that Wilders’ head should be cut off.

Image: Hirsch Ballin. Photo RVD / Wikipedia

11 August 2009 |