Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen says the cabinet has no plans to ask the courts to ban the controversial film due to be released this month by anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, reports ANP news service on Wednesday.
‘We looked at the possibilities and there are none,’ Verhagen is quoted as saying. His comments follow a call by former Dutch foreign affairs minister Hans van den Broek, now a leading government advisor, who has called on the cabinet to take the issue to court.
In an interview with Wednesday’s Volkskrant, Van den Broek says: ‘Let the judge decide what is the most important: freedom of expression or national interest’.
Dutch people around the world could become the victim of violent actions by angry Muslims if the film is released, he says. ‘It is unsatisfactory to wait until people die before we decide whether there’s anything we can do.
Violence must be prevented,’ Van den Broek tells the paper.
The government’s press office declined to comment on Van den Broek’s comments, says the Volkskrant.
In the past prime minister Jan Peter Balkendende has said that the possibility of legal action against the upcoming film have been investigated.
Wilders has said that his film Fitna will be provocative but will remain within legal boundaries. It remains unclear exactly when the film will be released and where it will be screened but Wilders has recently repeated his intention to present it before the end of the month.
Wilders is the leader of the anti-immigration PVV party which has nine seats in the Dutch parliament.
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