Threat to kill Sinterklaas was a joke, suspect says

A call to put a price on Sinterklaas's head was a joke made in a private Facebook conversation with only three participants, suspect Michael van Zeijl said on talk show De Nieuwe Maan. He also does not regret making the 'joke' in October last year, NOS reports.

"No, I do not regret it", Van Zeijl of left-wing group De Grauwe Eeuw said on the talk show. "It was a joke, and jokes are not there to be taken seriously." He says he wanted to show double standards when it comes to "racist stereotypes" in the discussion about Zwarte Piet's blackface appearance. Van Zeijl also said that this statement had nothing to do with De Grauwe Eeuw. 

The Public Prosecutor is investigating whether Van Zeijl can be prosecuted for placing inflammatory texts. Among other things, the message stated that "there is nothing else to do than to put a price on the head of Sinterklaas", and that "it will be a double price if all children there witness it, and are massively covered with his brains and bone splinters." The location referred to was Sinterklaas' national arrival parade in Dokkum last year. 

Van Zeijl hopes that if he is to be prosecuted, it happens quickly. According to the activists, he is now being condemned through the media. He received multiple threats online due to this Facebook message, which was never intended for the masses, he said.