Up to 80 hours of community service for threatening politician Sylvana Simmons

Sylvana Simons

On Thursday the court in Amsterdam gave sentences of up to 80 hours of community service and fines up to 450 euros for incitement, threats, insult and discrimination against politician Sylvana Simons. The judge said that with the sentences the court wants to make clear that crossing the boundaries of freedom of expression has consequences, NU.nl report.

Suspect Marcel K., who made a video in which Simmons head was photoshopped onto the bodies of black Americans being lynched by the Klu Klux Clan, received the highest sentence. He was given 80 hours of community service, equal to what the Public Prosecutor demanded. During the hearing he said he acted in frustration over Simons stance on Zwarte Piet - which she believes is a racist tradition.

A total of 22 people were prosecuted. Three were sentenced to 60 hours of community service for incitement. One was acquitted, a few others were partially acquitted. An underage suspect will hear his sentence behind closed doors on Thursday afternoon. 

Simons was flooded with, in her own words, "an unprecedented amount of racism and sexism" last year when she announced that she wanted to participate in the parliamentary elections with party DENK. In May last year she filed charges of discrimination, sexism, racism, insult and threat.

She did eventually participate in the parliamentary election, but with her own party Artikel 1. She announced that she was leaving DENK in December.