Suriname amnesty law ‘totally unacceptable’, says prime minister

Suriname will ‘certainly feel the consequences’ of introducing a controversial new amnesty law, prime minister Mark Rutte told the press on Thursday afternoon.

Rutte said he will do everything necessary to ensure Suriname carries out its international duty. ‘The EU and France are with us on this and we’ll do everything to ensure Suriname feels the consequences,’ he said.
He would not comment on what those consequences would be.
Rutte was speaking after the announcement on Thursday morning that the Dutch ambassador to its former colony of Suriname was being recalled because of the new law. The amnesty law is designed to protect those guilty of the ‘December murders’ from punishment.
‘It’s completely unacceptable for the case against the suspects to be stopped,’ Rutte told the press. ‘Unacceptable for the families and for the victims. The law must take its course,’
Among those suspected of involvement is former military leader Desi Bouterse, who was voted in as president of Suriname in 2010. He is currently on trial for his role in killing 15 political opponents in December 1982.
Foreign affairs minister Uri Rosenthal has recalled the ambassador for ‘discussions’ and said he is ‘deeply disappointed’ that the amnesty law was voted in on Wednesday evening.
Bouterse was sentenced to jail for drugs smuggling in the Netherlands but avoided jail because Suriname does not extradite its own citizens.
‘We will only accept Bouterse in the Netherlands if he comes to serve out his sentence,’ Rosenthal said this afternoon.

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