Anti-Zwarte Piet activist faces €1,500 fine for attacking police officer

Dancers dressed as Zwarte Piet
Dancers dressed as Zwarte Piet

An anti-Zwarte Piet activist should be fined €1,500 for assaulting a police officer during a demonstration two years ago, the public prosecution department said on Thursday.

Jerry Afriyie was one of 90 people arrested while demonstrating during the official arrival of Sinterklaas in Gouda in 2014. All but Afriyie were given on-the-spot fines of €220 and released the same evening.

According to the public prosecutor, Afriyie is being prosecuted because he resisted arrest. The fact he was stamped on twice by a police officer was justified given the circumstances, the prosecutor is quoted as saying by the NRC.

Afriyie denies the charges and says he feared for his life because of the violence used by the police in breaking up the demonstration.

The NRC published Afriyie’s statement to court, in which he said he had since lost his job as a security guard because his official certificate of good behaviour had been withdrawn. ‘I never had any trouble with my employer but he had to let me go,’ he said.

Despite trying hard, Afriyie said he had been unable to work and the uncertainty was having a serious affect on his children.

The court will rule on the case on October 6.

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