The Death of Free Speech in the Netherlands
I posted H. Numan’s translation and commentary last night about the webmaster in the Netherlands who was convicted of a criminal offense for “racist” writings posted not by himself, but by a visitor to his site.
The first notice he received that he was criminally liable for the material posted was when the police came to arrest him — there was no prior request to remove the insulting writings.
To add to the injustice, far more offensive and provocative material is routinely posted on Islamist forums and is never subjected to any punishment.
H. Numan pointed out that by attacking a small, little-known website, the Dutch government has managed to set a precedent for the suppression of free speech on the internet. We should expect them to employ this precedent to go after larger and more well-known sites like Gregorius Nekschot and GeenStijl.
If enough bad publicity is created, the Dutch government may back down from its position, so H. Numan wants to help spread the word beyond the Dutch-language sites, and has asked Gates of Vienna to help. Late last night he wrote this in an email:
I know the webmaster of rechtser.com personally. He is conservative, but definitely not an extremist, as the media would like everybody to believe.
He works in security, and as mentioned in the other links, the judge sentenced him to this ‘mild’ sentence as he would otherwise lose his job. Even for a left-wing judge that was taking matters too far. Had he been employed in other work, he probably would have sentenced at least twice as heavily.
He has fourteen days to appeal. A lot of support is coming his way now. Most of it letters of support, but also legal advice and money to help him pay for his appeal. (...)