Rotterdam mayor has beefed up security after serious death threat

Photo: Wouter Engler via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wouter Engler via Wikimedia Commons

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has been living under extra security for the past 10 days after a ‘serious death threat’ was made against him.

The threat was made after a council meeting earlier in June, Aboutaleb told broadcaster NOS while appearing on a football programme.

‘It was to do with a debate with (political party) Denk about Pegida,’ the mayor said. ‘I had decided not to ban Pegida and to let them demonstrate. And that same afternoon, I got the death threat.’

Aboutaleb made the comments during a discussion about the racist messages sent to Swedish football player Jimmy Durmaz, who later made a public statement about them.

Meanwhile, RTL Nieuws reports that nearly three in 10 local politicians in the Netherlands had to deal with aggression and threats last year, up from 27% in 2016.

Despite the slight increase, more politicians and officials said the threats would not influence their behaviour. In 2016, almost one in four said the threats could influence their decisions but that fell to 15% last year.

The home affairs ministry is setting up a special team to support local politicians who have to deal with threats.

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