The Netherlands recalls ambassador from Suriname over amnesty law

Foreign affairs minister Uri Rosenthal on Thursday recalled the Dutch ambassador to its former colony of Suriname because of a controversial new amnesty law.

The move followed a vote on Wednesday evening in the Suriname parliament in favour of legislation designed to protect those guilty of the ‘December murders’ from punishment.
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.
Rosenthal has recalled the ambassador for ‘discussions’ and said he is ‘deeply disappointed’ that the amnesty law was accepted. Together with the EU and other similarly-minded countries, he is looking at what further steps can be taken.
Bouterse was sentenced to jail for drugs smuggling in the Netherlands but avoided jail because Suriname does not extradite its own citizens.
The South American country became a Dutch colony in the 17th century and gained full independence in 1975.
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