Police form a line blocking Zwarte Piet protestors in Amsterdam. Nov. 16, 2014 (tui_tues/Twitter) - Credit: @tui_tues / Twitter
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 18:30
Amsterdam mayor denounces "fuck the king" prosecution
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan does not see activist Abulkasim Al-Jaberi's "fuck the king, fuck the queen, fuck the royal house" statements worthy of prosecuting, according to the Parool. The Public Prosecutor is prosecuting Al-Jaberi for his statements made during a demonstration against Zwarte Piet on November 16th last year. Mayor van der Laan bursted out in "uncontrollable laughter" he said at a Free Speech festival in De Balie, Amsterdam on Saturday, after hearing about the plans to prosecute Al-Jaberi over his statements. He thinks statements like "fuck the king" are quite vulgar remarks, but does not think they are worthy of punishment. He also finds the ban on lèse-majesté "old fashioned," with the free speech debate about insulting royalty argued periodically over the last seven decades. Van der Laan suggests that King Willem-Alexander himself would feel the same way. "I know the King a bit and I think he sees this more democratically than what the law suggests," he told Parool. The Amsterdam Mayor doubts the accusations of the activist, who says he suffered greatly during the "disproportionate" arrest. "That boy was probably experiencing something very delicate when he was being arrested. Some people take action, and the biggest disappointment is when they are not redressed by the police," van der Laan said of the allegedly exaggerated arrest. Al-Jaberi is scheduled for a court appearance in Amsterdam on May 27th.