"Threatening"and "absurd": D66 leader discusses torch-bearing man arrested at her home
The family of Sigrid Kaag found the man standing at her door with a burning torch on Wednesday evening "threatening and anxiety-inducing." The D66 leader and future deputy prime minister spoke in a tweet of "absurd and terrifying events." She spoke out against the hardened tone and threats that more politicians have to deal with. The 29-year-old man from Amsterdam arrested for the action is still in custody. He will be arraigned on Friday, a police spokesperson said.
"The systematic threats to politicians undermine the rule of law and democracy," Kaag wrote. "That means that we all, and I mean all of us, have a role and responsibility. We can not let it pass in silence." According to her, there is "work to be done," although she did not say where she thinks a solution can be found.
In her statement, Kaag also criticized "those who think they should be inciting these threats," without naming names. "Last night showed once again that words lead to actions. Be careful with the words, with each other, and be careful with our democracy."
The man with the torch is said to be the same one who was arrested last month outside the home of caretaker Minister Hugo de Jonge. He said on Thursday about the incident that "words matter." He also called it justified that ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers, among others, linked the threats and statements by politicians from Forum voor Democratie. "We all know the words they choose," said De Jonge about the FvD politicians. "I think that connection is not difficult to make."
"Speaking about tribunals, about putting politicians behind bars, ultimately the entire way in which Forum chooses is words, that is not without danger. Some people feel legitimized to take action against politicians that goes far beyond the line. Intimidation, threats, that is no different."
FvD leader Thierry Baudet called the incident at Kaag's home "terrible," but at the same time said it was "absurd" to link it with his party or positions. In a series of tweets, he cited the same kinds of theories that the man with the torch proclaimed in his video.
Reporting by ANP.