Dutch approach to jihadism violates human rights: Council of Europe

The measures the Netherlands intends to implement to tackle jihadism and terrorism is in violation of international treaties, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the Council of Europe wrote in a letter to the Dutch government, AD reports.

The Council is particularly critical on two legislative proposals passed by the Tweede Kamer - the lower house of Dutch parliament - this year. The first states that people suspected of involvement in a terrorist organization may be ordered to report to a police station on a daily or weekly basis or may have a restraining order imposed. These penalties could be imposed on someone who, for example, has contact with a jihadist. Or shows too much interest in a place that could be the target of an attack. According to the Council, this goes too far.

The second proposal states that the Netherlands can withdraw Dutch citizenship of jihadists fighting on the side of a terrorist organization abroad. This can be done by a Minister, without a court having to approve it. The measure is intended to stop terrorists returning to the Netherlands. According to the Council, this proposal is specifically targeted at Dutch-Morrocans or Dutch-Turks - it doesn't apply to people with only Dutch nationality - and is therefore discrimination. 

Both these proposals still have to be passed by the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate.

The Tweede Kamer does not see the letter from the Council of Europe as a reason to reconsider its approval of these two proposals. The parties who voted for these temporary measures still stand behind them. "All the arguments that the Council brings, we also considered", CDA parliamentarian Madeleine van Toorenburg said to the newspaper. "The reason why we are not taking away the passport of every terrorist is precisely because we want to adhere to international conventions: people must not be stateless."