Two more teens arrested in case of teacher threatened over Islamic terror cartoon
Police in Rotterdam arrested two more suspects on Saturday as part of the investigation into threats made against a schoolteacher at the Emmauscollege. The apprehended suspects include an 18-year-old man from The Hague and a 17-year-old boy from Amsterdam.
They were suspected of making threats and inciting violence, authorities said. According to official police reports, an 18-year-old woman from Rotterdam who had been arrested on Friday on suspicion of inciting violence has since been released.
That decision came from the Public Prosecution Service, police said. She was still considered a criminal suspect, but was allowed to await the next step in her case in freedom.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that a schoolteacher in Rotterdam was threatened for displaying a cartoon in his class which depicted a man in a Charlie Hebdo shirt sticking his tongue out at the jihadist who beheaded him. The teacher has since been in hiding. Just last month, Samuel Paty, a teacher in France, was beheaded for featuring a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in his class.
On Friday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte held a press conference in which he condemned the threats made against the teacher. “Our teachers must have the space to convey the core values of our society to their students,” he said. “And it cannot be the case that precisely because of the discussion of perhaps the most important fundamental right, freedom of expression, that they have to fear for their safety and even have to go into hiding.”
Rutte also works with a middle school in The Hague as a guest teacher. When asked whether he discusses the issue of freedom of speech in his classes, he said, “I want to say as little as possible about that. But let me say that at that school, all such matters are dealt with in complete openness and freedom.” Rutte considers his work with the school part of his private life, and chose not to speak in detail publicly about what happens in his classroom.
The Prime Minister added that it is unavoidable and often difficult to hear opinions which conflict with one’s own beliefs. “But the other person may say that, in complete freedom. No one has the right not to be offended. Because without the freedom of speech and the unimpeded exchange of views and ideas, our progress comes to a standstill; our society comes to a halt.”
The police have reported that the investigation into the threats is still ongoing.
Charlie Hebdo. Nooit opzij. pic.twitter.com/MJwGKPQ8jU— Joep Bertrams (@joepbertrams) January 7, 2015