Far-right party gathering paused over security issue; Police: "Incorrect assessment"
A gathering in which far-right party FvD presented its vision of the Netherlands in 2040 had to be paused on Monday evening for what the party believed to be a security issue. FvD leader Thierry Baudet and MP Theo Hiddema were escorted away from the venue Musis in Arnhem, but later returned, after the police evaluated the situation and found no threat.
"We had information about a possible suspicious situation," police said in a statement. Several people were stopped and checked, according to police, and they were cleared of any wrongdoing or criminal intent. "No one was arrested and the meeting resumed."
It was not clear what exactly caused concern. The police spoke of a "suspicious situation" - they received signals that people wanted to disturb the public order, NOS and Nu.nl reported. A police helicopter circled above the Arnhem building for a long time. A party spokesperson told NOS that there was a security issue.
It was an "incorrect assessment," a police spokesperson told Nu. "But you don't want to take any risks. We take all political meetings very seriously."
The gathering had been going for about 30 minutes when it was interrupted during a speech by Jan Cees Vogelaar of the Mesdagfonds about the nitrogen emissions problem. An employee reported that there was a "minor security issue" and Baudet was led away. A Volkskrant reporter said on Twitter that Baudet was seen running out of the room.
Attendees remained in the hall, and Baudet returned a short time later, after police checked the building and its grounds. No one was arrested. A police spokesperson told NOS it was a false alarm.
Those in attendance reported that the security personnel were unsettled from the start of the meeting. An Omroep Gelderland reporter said that the guards walked around restlessly and continually signaled each other.