Football selfie racism case: prosecutor offers settlements
Three people who expressed extreme racist slurs on Facebook in reaction to a selfie Dutch football international Leroy Fer posted last year, have been given an easy way out of prosecution for their “punishable statements”.
The Prosecutor’s Office reported today that the three, who live in Den Haag, Rotterdam and Breda have been offered to pay a one-time transaction of €360. “If they do not pay it, they will still be summoned to appear in front of a judge,” a press release stated.
Fer posted the photo himself and eight other players of the Dutch national team on Twitter on November 15; other players in the photo include Memphis Depay, Karim Rekik, Kenneth Vermeer and Gregory van der Wiel. The picture was quickly picked up and shared elsewhere and prompted a flood of comments, some of which were excessively racist. The players were likened to both Zwarte Piet and monkeys and some questioned whether they were “really” Dutch.
The Prosecutor’s Office announced shortly after that it would carry out an investigation into the discrimination. “Through the investigation we were able to determine the identities of three people who reacted to the photo,” the release said. It did not divulge the identities of the suspects.
It said that Prosecutors from the office in Amsterdam who specialize in criminal sanctions to discrimination have ascertained that the reactions from these three people were “punishable statements.”
The three suspects have since been interrogated by police in their cities, after which the prosecutor’s offices offered them the €360 settlement or face further prosecution. It has not been reported how they have reacted to the offer.