Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dutch webmaster 'summoned' bij Amsterdam police

On feb 1, 2008, I wrote an article here on how Dutch political party PvdA tried to silence Dutch weblog Hoeiboei. Today, Hoeiboei's webmaster was summoned (Dutch) to report to Police station Surinameplein 118, on Friday June 20 (tomorrow) at 18:00 hours, to be heard about certain texts on the internet.

Pretty short notice, and pretty vague. With the Gestapo-style arrest of Gregorius Nekschot still fresh in memory, this is the next step in Dutch oppression of freedom and free speech. On the very day that Dutch parliament debates the actions in the Nekschot affair, another Dutch freedom site is being intimidated.

Hoeiboei's webmaster is contemplating to ignore the 'request', but the wisdom of such an action is debatable: when will they come to pick her up, like Nekschot? Will her not-showing be used as an excuse for more strong-armed action? She has tried to obtain more info on the backgroud of the summons, but the police refuses to provide any further details. She will be informed as and when she will arrive at the indicated time, no earlier. Is it unthinkable that the same PvdA faction, led by Arco Verburg, is behind this new attack on Hoeiboei?

Think about that 'indicated time'. Friday evening, 18:00 hours, and only a day's notice. Friday evening, 18:00 hours, when every 'normal' citizen has dinner and starts his/her weekend. Could this be a lure to keep her in custody as 'nobody can be reached during the weekend'?

The refusal to provide any background information, neither in the summons nor in the phonecalls and visit she made to the police station, are normally ground enough to completely ignore the summons. But given the way the Dutch, and particularly Amsterdam police are more and more operating in Nazi-style (an old habit from WWII, when they were very helpful in tracking down Jews and delivering them to the occupying forces), this may well upset a judge who may later need to issue a ruling in the matter.

And from a personal point of view: is it worth lying awake at night, worrying about things to come? The best approach seems to be, given the short notice and all, to decline the invitation refering to other obligations, and setting a new date and time, preferably not on a Friday, and certainly not at a time that one will likely need to bring clean underwear and a toothbrush...

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