Wilders' plan to lock up potential terrorists met with criticism; "Frontal attack on rule of law", says Amnesty

geert wilders
Geert Wilders at Prinsjesdag, Sept 16, 2014 (Rijksoverheid/Phil Nijhuis via Wikimedia)Geert Wilders at Prinsjesdag, Sept 16, 2014 (Rijksoverheid/Phil Nijhuis via Wikimedia)

PVV leader Geert Wilders' legislative proposal to give intelligence service AIVD the power to detain potential terrorists for six months as a precaution, was met with criticism by other parliamentary parties. Human rights organization Amnesty called the PVV proposal a "frontal attack on the rule of law", according to NOS.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold called the bill "chanceless" and in conflict with the Netherlands' rule of law. According to him, there is more to be gained in working on improved cooperation between European security services. 

The CDA is also not enthusiastic about the legislative proposal. "What counts for the CDA is that we do something that fits within our law. If we arrest everyone based on the AIVD, it becomes very complicated", leader Sybrand Buma said, according to AD. 

The VVD understands the urge to arrest potential terrorists early. "But the starting point for the VVD is that someone is put behind bars on a legal basis, and not based on arbitrariness", parliamentarian Ockje Tellegen said. 

The PVV proposal gives the AIVD the power to detain a potential jihadist or terrorist without him committing a criminal offense, if the Minister of Home Affairs approves it. A court must review the case within a week, but the judicial review will only look at whether the procedures were followed correctly, not at the evidence.

According to Tineke Cleiren, professor of criminal law at the University of Leiden, Wilders' bill is a "wild idea" that shouldn't be taken too seriously. "It's nice for the stage, but I o not see this becoming a reality. I think this is a barely serious proposal", she said to newspaper AD. 

According to Cleiren, Dutch law has sufficient possibilities for dealing with suspicions of terrorism. "Wilders claims that there are too few people to follow and address potential terrorists. Well that's a practical problem that can be solved by making more money available for people at the AIVD. You don't need a new law for that, it seems to me." She added that the AIVD as a service is not intended to arrest anyone in the first place. The service is for gathering information, and sharing it with investigating authorities. "The AIVD does not have the power to rob people of their freedom."

This proposal lacks the basis of Dutch legislation, Cleiren said. "You need starting information, a basis on which to detain someone on suspicion of a criminal offense. In this proposal you can be arrested when buying a tube of hair straightener at the drugstore." she said to AD.