Anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders has criticised his supporters for making threats against singer Herman van Veen, following an article in Monday’s Telegraaf.
In a speech marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, Van Veen warned that Wilders’ political party PVV has no members apart from himself and is financed by [anonymous] donations.
This put the PVV at risk of becoming like the Dutch Nazi party NSB during the 1930s and a threat to democracy, Van Veen said.
Wilders, who portrays himself as a champion of free speech, told news agency ANP: ‘Van Veen absolutely does not deserve to be threatened, and if that is the case, I think it is despicable.’
Wilders said he hoped that now the ‘demonisation of the PVV by making stupid comments and vile comparisons will stop’.
Van Veen told a tv show on Monday night he had received thousands of emails saying ‘very unpleasant things’ following a report of his speech in the populist paper Telegraaf.
Van Veen, who says he was quoted out of context by the paper, used the show to again state that he is concerned about the emergence of a political movement in which one man has all the power.
Top lawyer Bram Moszkowicz, who will represent Wilders at his trial for inciting hatred in June, also said Van Veen was ‘demonising’ the PVV leader. ‘You are insulting two million people,’ he said, referring to the apparent size of Wilders’ support in the country as a whole.
‘The PVV has no members because a membership list would give access to dodgy characters who would wreck the party from the inside,’ the lawyer was quoted as saying in the Telegraaf.
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