Rapper jailed for inciting violence against Prime Minister, Health Minister
A 29-year-old man from Deventer was sentenced on Friday to six weeks in prison, four weeks of which were suspended, for inciting violence against Health Minister Hugo de Jonge and Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The case stems from a threatening tweet he sent shortly after journalist Peter R. de Vries was shot in the head.
Bouke van de V., who uses the stage name Convex Kafka, posted a statement on Twitter on July 6, 2021 shortly after the attack. "Can't Taghi & Co go after Hugo or Mark instead of Peter R. de Vries?" he tweeted. Investigators in the past said they thought the De Vries shooting was linked to alleged crime leader Ridouan Taghi. By writing "Hugo and Mark," he was referring to Minister Hugo de Jonge and Prime Minister Mark Rutte. That is incitement to commit violence against authorities, the court ruled.
It was a misguided joke, said the rapper, who has since moved to Spain. He participated in the case via a video link. "Incitement was never my intention. It was a stupid tweet and I have to face the consequences of that."
The public prosecutor thought the statement went too far. "Things like this are the order du jour." Among other incidents, she referred to the man who stood threateningly with a flaming torch in front of the home of D66 leader Sigrid Kaag this week. "It only takes one person to pick this [message] up and turn to violence." The prosecutor asked for a prison sentence of eight weeks, including four weeks suspended.
The court's verdict mentioned a time of great polarization in the Netherlands. "It's not that everything can be said." Inciting violence against ministers threatens the democratic constitutional state. "Politicians are systematically the victims of threats and incitement." She felt a prison sentence was in order, also to prevent others from doing the same.
Van de V. was previously been convicted of libel. According to the prosecutor, he was convicted in 2018 for a threatening tweet against politician Thierry Baudet.
Reporting by ANP