Russia slams Netherlands on human rights

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No image availableNL Times

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a 153-page-report on human rights in the European Union on its website, Wednesday, of which 9 pages (in the English version) are dedicated to the Netherlands.

Russia makes a solid case, criticizing the way the Netherlands treats refugees, aliens, and vulnerable groups in general, and the way it deals with pedophiles and human traffickers, by supporting their statements with existing Dutch reports from sources such as the European Commission, Amnesty International, and the ombudsman, according to press agency Novum, who translated the results.

Anton Zelenov, Wikimedia

Russia blames Dutch authorities for using detention as a means to pressure or punish vulnerable groups, and points to reports by Amnesty International. Asylum seekers are treated like criminals and their health is neglected. Aleksandr Dolmatov, an asylum seeker who committed suicide in his cell, is cited as such an example. Russian Foreign Affairs also questions the equality between men and women, the position of minorities, and the failing Dutch policy to keep children safe, referring to former Justice Secretary General, Joris Demmink, who has been accused of sexually abusing minors for years.

2013 was named the "year of friendship" between Russia and the Netherlands and both countries were making efforts to strengthen their ties. However, the "year of friendship" was plagued by incidents that made it difficult at times to remain positive. A Russian diplomat, Dmitiri Borodin, was arrested in his home, because he was intoxicated and the police considered him a threat to his own children. Practically at the same time the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, sailing under Dutch flag, was boarded and it's crew, among whom 2 Dutch, was arrested. It wasn't until late December when the crew finally received amnesty. However the ship has not yet been released.

Shortly after Borodin's arrest, a Dutch diplomat was assaulted in his residence in Moskow. It seemed like one thing led to another. Russia questioned the quality of Dutch dairy and banned several dairy products. In July, 4 Dutch were arrested for gay propaganda after they interviewed young people for their documentary about homosexuality in Russia. This sparked several campaigns against Russia's anti gay law, both in Russia and in the Netherlands.

Prime Minister Rutte will represent the Netherlands in the Sochi games, together with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. Rutte promised to use the opportunity to discuss gay rights issues with President Vladimir Putin.