Hirsi Ali in court over security funding
Thursday 29 May 2008
Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former MP who now works for a conservative US think-tank, is going to court in an effort to force the Dutch state to pay for her security, the NRC reports on Thursday.
The paper says Hirsi Ali has asked a court in The Hague to hear eight witnesses in a preliminary hearing, which could lead to a full-blown court case.
The Netherlands stopped paying for Hirsi Ali's bodyguards last year when she moved to the US permanently. Hirsi Ali says her security is the Dutch state's responsibility.
Among those scheduled to appear in court are former deputy prime minister Gerrit Zalm and the head of the anti-terrorism organisation Tjibbe Joustra, the NRC says. News agency ANP reports that justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin is also on the witness list.
Hirsi Ali has set up a fund to pay for her security abroad, which has been successful so far, her lawyer Britta Böhler told ANP. 'But there is no structural provision for the future,' Böhler said.
Fund raising is occupying most of Hirsi Ali's time. 'If she is unable to raise money by public appearances because she becomes sick or unemployed, then she could be in mortal danger,' Böhler told ANP.
The news about the court hearing coincides with the publication of the Islam critic's first children's book, the story of a forbidden friendship between a Muslim boy called Adan and a Jewish girl named Eva.