Suspects not prosecuted for arson attack on anti-blackface activists
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) dropped the case against five males suspected of attacking anti-blackface activist group Kick Out Zwarte Piet in The Hague last year. "After extensive investigation, the OM found too little evidence" to prosecute them, the OM said on Friday.
The attack happened while Kick Out Zwarte Piet was meeting in a building on Beatrijsstraat in The Hague on 8 November 2019. The attackers threw fireworks at the building, vandalized cars, and set multiple small fires.
A source close to the group told NL Times it was like a scene in a movie where attackers try to kill a group of people en masse when they have them trapped indoors.
Jerry Afriyie, one of the Kick Out Zwarte Piet leaders, said that the attack again showed the racism they face in their fight to make the Sinterklaas party a celebration where all kids can be safe and welcome.
"It's great for your children, so my children and many others can feel unsafe two months a year," he said about those defending blackface Zwarte Piet as a harmless tradition. "This is no longer a children's party, but it shows exactly the racism that we create."
The five suspects were found in the area of the attack, but none of them on Beatrijsstraat itself, the OM said. "Ultimately it was not possible to prove that the five contributed to the violence committed. That is why the OM decided to close the investigation and to dismiss the case against the five suspects due to lack of evidence."