Dutch court bans Hells Angels, citing culture of violence

Photo: Herman Wouters via HH
Photo: Herman Wouters via HH

Civil court judges in Utrecht have agreed that the Dutch arm of motorbike gang Hells Angels should be banned and broken up, ending years of legal action by the public prosecution department.

The public prosecutor had told the court there is a culture of violence within the biker group which forms a threat to the rule of law.

‘The court accepts that you can’t just ban an association… there has to be a real need to do so,’ spokesman Hans Zuurmond said. ‘This is about the inherent violence within the club.’

It is the first time that Hells Angels have been banned nationality, although some local chapters are banned in parts of Germany. The Dutch public prosecutor first attempted to have the organisation ruled illegal in 2007.

The courts had earlier banned biker gangs Satudarah and Bandidos, although the Bandidos ban was partially overturned on appeal. A ban on No Surrender is currently with the appeal court.

The defence had argued that the group could not be banned as a whole because there is no central management for the 16 Dutch chapters. The court, however, ruled that there are clear national and international lines of command, referring to the organised ‘World rules’ and ‘World meetings’.

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