No prosecutions for Zwarte Piet discrimination

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The Public Prosecutor will not prosecute organizations that use the figure of Zwarte Piet. According to the prosecutor, using the Zwarte Piet figure is not a punishable offense.

In August last year the foundation "Nederalnd wordt beter" and three individuals filed charges of discrimination, racism and group insult against a number of agencies that used the figure of Zwarte Piet. These agencies included some arrival committees such as the Stichting Gouda and Sinterklaas Intochtcomite Amsterdam that used Zwarte Pieten with black face makeup, red lips, earings and an afro wig to participate in the parade. According to the claimants, this was racist and discriminatory because the characteristics of black people were grotesquely and stereotypically portrayed.

The Public Prosecutor believes that the organizations were not intentionally insulting a group of people because of their race or inciting discrimination. Prosecution is not necessary as no punishable offenses were committed.

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