Public Prosecutor assessing new Zwarte Piet charges

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet (Source: Wikimedia/Jan Arkesteijn)
. Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet (Source: Wikimedia/Jan Arkesteijn)

The Public Prosecutor in Amsterdam has received 3 charges and about 700 support statements against Zwarte Piet, after the during slave liberation day in the capital last week.

A spokesperson for the Prosecutor told NU on Tuesday that the charges will be assessed in the coming period.

The charges are focussed on NTR, the broadcaster that does the Sinterklaasjournaal, and a number of stores, including De Bijenkorf, Blokker, V&D, Hema and Albert Heijn.

Willem Jebbink, the lawyer representing the anit-Zwarte Piet organizations, told the newspaper that he has received authorization to turn all the support statement into charges. He expects that this will take about 2 weeks.

Last week Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter, Zwarte PIet Niet, New Urban Collective and Stop BlacFace called on the Dutch public to file reports against Zwarte Piet. “The figure ‘Zwarte Piet’ is based on a stereotypical representation of black people in the 19th century. His appearance refers directly to the Dutch history of colonialism and slavery, and makes an offensive caricature of black people. We believe that slavery, a crime against humanity, should not be trivialized because of a children’s party.” the organizations wrote on Facebook

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