MP's propose harsher punishments for hate crimes
Members of Parliament from the Dutch political parties of GroenLinks and ChristenUnie have submitted a Private Member's bill to the Tweede Kamer that would allow the punishment for crimes to be more severe when the motive is discriminatory. If passed, anyone convicted of a hate crime could see their sentence increased by a third.
Both parties have been working on the proposal since 2018. The politicians developed the bill after the first attack on the kosher restaurant HaCarmel in Amsterdam.
Corinne Ellemeet from GroenLinks and Gert-Jan Segers from ChristenUnie want hate crimes punished more severely because these crimes "have major consequences not only for the direct victims, but for the entire group addressed by them. Hate crimes thus pose a threat to society as a whole."
Research shows that, in the Netherlands, a hate crime is often punished "as if it is an 'ordinary' act of destruction or 'ordinary' assault," according to both MPs. Because the discrimination aspect is not often mentioned, victims also report the crimes less frequently, according to Segers and Ellemeet.
Reporting by ANP