Hilversum city council threatened for accepting asylum seekers

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Numerous members of the Hilversum city council received threats because they support taking in asylum seekers in the municipality, including Hilversum Mayor Pieter Broertjes, NOS reports.

Broertjes told the broadcaster that the threats were mainly received through email and social media. He added that none of the councilors reported the threats to the  police, though he thinks it is a good idea to do so. "Because with an official police report you can take further steps."

The city council released a joint statement saying that the threats "cross the line" and "just spread fear." Broertjes supports this statement. "It's a statement of solidarity that threats are totally unacceptable in a democracy like the Netherlands." he said to the broadcaster.

On Wednesday it was announced that the Gooi and Vecht region, which includes Hilversum, will be taking in fewer asylum seekers than originally agreed with the COA, the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers. The mayors of the seven municipalities in the region asked the COA to change the plans.

Broertjes told NOS that the threats to him and his city councilors had nothing to do with this decision. "That has nothing to do with it", he said. "But it does have to do with the falling support."