Councillor and family get death threat over refugee centre

A member of Geldermalsen council was threatened with death if he voted in favour of placing a refugee centre in the Gelderland town, he told broadcaster Nos.

Lourens van Bruchem, who leads the local branch of fundamentalist Christian group SGP, said someone rang his home phone shortly before the key council meeting was due to start.

‘My oldest son picked up the phone,’ Van Bruchem told the broadcaster. ‘He was told we would all die if his father voted in favour of the refugee centre.’ Van Bruchem has made a formal complaint to the police.

The riots which led to the council meeting being abandoned had frightened a number of people, he said. ‘Such violence against democracy leaves a sour taste,’ he said.

Police arrested 14 people after they tried to smash their way into the town hall but have not ruled out further arrests.

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