The Netherlands to abandon law against insulting foreign heads of state

There is maximum sentence of two years if convicted of insulting a head of a friendly state 

Matt Payton
Friday 22 April 2016 18:03
Comments
Britain's Queen Elizabeth poses with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Maxima
Britain's Queen Elizabeth poses with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Maxima

The Dutch government to abolish a law which prohibits anyone insulting the head of a friendly state.

Currently, this crime carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

This move by the Dutch government is in response to Turkey's attempts to prosecute German comedian Jan Böhmermann for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with an offensive poem on television.

MPs from two Dutch liberal parties, People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Democrats 66 (D66), called on the government to scrap the law - Dutch News reports.

Justice Minister Ard van der Steur told the Dutch Parliament he looking to see if the government can give the proposal priority.

Mr van der Steur did reject D66's suggestion to overturn the law prohibiting insults towards the Dutch Monarch.

The last person to be prosecuted for insulting a foreign head of state was student journalist Geert Mak in 1968 who compared US President Lyndon B. Johnson to a "Nuremberg war criminals".

Dutch comedian Hans Teeuwen has showed his support for Böhmermann by making his own sexual insults on RTL News toward President Erdoğan.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in