Police, justice officials, mayor slammed over mass Feyenoord arrests

Feyenoord badge on the pitch in De Kuip stadium.The police, public prosecution department and Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb have been slammed in an ombudsman’s report about the mass arrests made during a protest by Feyenoord fans in February.

Some 326 people were picked up at a demonstration by Feyenoord supporters at the club’s De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam called to protest about club policy and call on the board to quit.

Aboutaleb had decided not to allow the march to reach the club’s main offices to prevent a repeat of events in 2011, when police drew their pistols on hundreds of Feyenoord supporters who were threatening to storm a board meeting.

The marchers were therefore led into a smaller passage near the stadium where they were fenced in and arrested for illegal assembly.

The ombudsman said in his report that he understood Aboutaleb’s concerns but that these should have been raised with the demonstration organisers.

He also criticised the way the arrested supporters were photographed with their ID, which formed a ‘serious breach of their rights’ and had ‘insufficient legal basis.’

The public prosecution department was criticised for not providing legal help to those who had been arrested and for keeping them in the dark too long about whether they would face charges.

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