Amnesty Int. asks court to ban Covid-denier's "political prisoner" campaign
Amnesty International files summary proceedings against lawyer Jeroen Pols of organization Viruswaarheid for improper use of the human rights organization's design and logo. Pols has been sharing an image on social media claiming that Covid denier Willem Engel is a political prisoner. According to the organization, this "creates the wrong impression" that Amnesty International is taking action for Engel.
On Thursday evening, Amnesty International ordered Pols to remove the previously shared posts, including tweets, and not to post new ones. On Friday morning, Pols again tweeted a poster with the Amnesty International name and logo. That is reason enough for Amnesty International "to continue initiating summary proceedings against the person concerned," the spokesperson said. He expects the organization will file the lawsuit sometime after the weekend.
According to Amnesty International, Pols' actions violate the trademark rights of the organizations' name and the copyrights of the logo.
The police arrested Willem Engel, founder of Viruswaarheid, in Rotterdam last week. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) suspects him of posting seven inciting coronavirus-related posts on social media between June 2020 and December 2021. "These messages have led to other people committing or inciting criminal offenses," the OM said. That is a criminal offense in the Netherlands.
The OM launched the investigation against Engel in January after nearly 23,000 people answered a call to press charges against him. The campaign was launched by activist Norbert Dikkeboom last year. He accused Engel of inciting violence, spreading medical misinformation, fraud, making statements with terrorist intent, and threats.
Reporting by ANP.