Facebook commenters fined for discrimination on PVV support page

Steun de PVV Facebook page
The banner of the "Steun de PVV" fan page as it appeared on Facebook, Jan. 5, 2015.. (The banner of the "Steun de PVV" fan page as it appeared on Facebook, Jan. 5, 2015.)

Eight people from six different regions of the Netherlands were fined for allegedly discriminatory and inflammatory comments posted on the “Steun de PVV” (“Support the PVV”) Facebook page in January. It was reported in January by the public prosecutor that a criminal investigation into the Facebook comments would be made.

A ninth person was fired from his job after his employer read statements he posted to the Facebook page. The prosecutor declined imposing a fine on this person believing he was already punished enough.

Calls to burn down mosques in the Netherlands were posted to the PVV fan page on New Year's Day after an article was shared on the page about a firebombing at a mosque in Sweden. The PVV eventually denounced the comments on January 5, and by that time mosques in the Netherlands had already beefed up security as a precaution.

The eight accused were fined between 350 and 450 euro. If they refuse payment they will be brought before a magistrate. Two of the eight were from the law enforcement district of Limburg, while another two were from Noord-Nederland. The rest were from the districts of Den Haag, Midden-Nederland, Noord-Holland and Rotterdam.

Specialists evaluated the severity of the statements about sedition and incitement to discriminate against Muslims and their places of worship before levying the fines, the prosecutor's office said.