Fundraiser launched for man convicted in fatal beating of football linesman

Family members of El-Hasan D. from Amsterdam, who was convicted for involvement in the death of football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen in 2012, launched a fundraising campaign to help D. raise the money for the compensation he has to pay to his victim's family. D. has to pay some 60 thousand euros in compensation, Het Parool reports.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen died at the age of 41 a day after he acted as linesman for a match between the B youth teams of Buitenboys from Almere and Nieuw Sloten from Amsterdam on December 2nd, 2012. The match got out of hand and Nieuwenhuizen was attacked by six underage football players and one of their fathers, D. He was kicked and beaten and eventually died a day later int e hospital, according to Hart van Nederland. D. was convicted of public violence and complicity in manslaughter. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison and paying compensation to the victim's family. 

D. was recently released for good behavior. But if he does not pay the full amount in compensation by mid-January, he risks having his property seized and being sent back to jail for another year, family members wrote in a letter, according to Het Parool. The letter speaks of a "desperate call for help" for this football father who "suffered a lot of injustice". 

"This active football father, who for many years weekly volunteered on the football field, only tried to calm things down and to put an end to a trifle on the football field and that cost him dearly. If you've ever been on the football field, you can imagine what happened. This could happen to any father", the letter reads. According to the family, D. desperately tried to prove his innocence, but "that yielded nothing in this 'fair' country". According to the letter writers, a statement had to be made about violence in football and someone had to pay the price. That someone was D.

The man cannot afford the compensation, which is why his family started a fundraiser. They call on anyone who can afford it to contribute, "even if only one euro." "Every bit helps. And hopefully we can help this dear father put an end to this nightmare in which he and his family sit. Enough injustice has been done to him."

The call to raise funds was posted on Facebook, but has since been removed. According to both Hart van Nederland and the Telegraaf, many responded with outrage and anger on social media, though neither newspaper quotes anything specific.

Nieuwenhuizen's family did not want to say much about the matter, a spokesperson for the Buitenboys football club said to Hart van Nederland on behalf of the family. "We hope that the convicted will simply pay the imposed damages, otherwise he'll go back to jail as far as we are concerned. Money will obviously not repair what was done to the family, but it is what the court decided", the spokesperson said.