Dutch police on high alert for discrimination, threats during municipal elections campaign
The police and judiciary in the Netherlands are on high alert for discrimination and threats during the campaigns for the municipal elections on March 21st next year, AT5 reports.
"There will be debates and statements will be made by people from parties that others totally disagree with", Public Prosecutor Theo Hofstee said to the Amsterdam broadcaster. "And in advance we say: people, be careful of what you do. Let everyone have their debate in freedom. Because if you're going to threaten, discriminate or interfere in the debate, that debate will no longer be safe and free. Then we'll quickly intervene."
Various new parties are participating in the municipal elections next year. One such is Bij1 led by Sylvana Simons, who face threats and discrimination during the campaigns for the parliamentary election earlier this year. Another is FvD led by Thierry Baudet, whose home was recently targeted by vandals. There are concerns that similar incidents may occur during the campaigns for the municipal elections.
"The police always keep a close eye on all the information about what's going on in the debates. And it may well be that some extra security measures are taken here and there", Hofstee said.
The Prosecutor could not make any statements about politicians' personal security, other than that "some measures were taken" over the past year. In the run-up to the elections, the police will closely monitor whether extra security is needed for individual politicians, he said.