GEERT WILDERS ACQUITED OF HATE CRIMES
Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been acquitted, on Thursday 06/23/2011, of charges of inciting hatred against Muslims.
Geert Wilders had described in his Fitna-movie Islam as “fascist”, comparing the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Geert Wilders insisted his statements were directed at Islam and not at Muslim believers – something which is legal under Dutch law.
Judge Marcel van Oosten told him his statements were “acceptable within the context of public debate”. Both the defence and prosecution had called for an acquittal.
Members of minority groups who initiated the case had told judges that Geert Wilders’ comments had led to a rise in discrimination and violence against Muslims.
Plaintiffs had been seeking a symbolic one-euro fine. The have said they will consider taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Geert Wilders was charged with inciting hatred and discrimination in 01/ 2009, based on a number of his anti-Islamic statements made in his controversial film Fitna and in comments to the media. His trial began in 01/2010, and was the first in the Netherlands to be broadcast live.
Although not part of the coalition government, the support of Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party (PVV) keeps it in power.
03/2010 –EUROPE FEARS ISLAMISM
03/2010 –FREEDOM OF SPEECH
03/2008 –CULTURAL CONFLICT
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