Death threats against mayor, family after asylum debate

Rijssen-Holten Mayor Arco Hofland is being threatened with death because of plans to open an emergency refugee shelter in the municipality. The threats were made in a letter that was sent to RTV Oost.

The letter is addressed to the editors of RTV Oost. "Mayor Hofland of Rijssen is being threatened. This group does not want any refugees in Rijssen. Mayor Hofland wants to shelter 200 refugees in Rijssen. If Mayor Hofland does take in these refugees, he will die. His family and also the town hall will be the target of this attack", the letter reads. It is signed "IS".

The police have taken the letter from the broadcaster and is investigating.

The municipality of Rijssen-Holten plans to accommodate up to 150 asylum seekers for a maximum of five days in the gymnasium De Stroekeld in Rijssen. This is being done at the request of the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA. According to the municipality's website, the arrival date of the refugees is not yet clear, but they are expected around October 22nd.

Local politicians are shocked by the letter. "It does not fit with the priorities of our municipality to generously deal with the request of the COA to shelter refugees in Rijssen-Holten." D66 faction leader Herman Klein Velderman said to RTV Oost. "That does not mean that we should not deal seriously with the letter. It is good that the police picked it up and is investigating right away."

Earlier this week a number of Rijswijk city councilors also received letters threatening harm to themselves and their families. These threats were also linked to the decision to offer shelter to refugees in the municipality.

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