The public prosecution department has begun a criminal investigation to establish who was responsible for projecting racist slogans onto the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam during the New Year festivities.
The department said in a short statement that the slogans, which were visible to thousands as the clocks struck midnight, are punishable in law, based on the context and connections between them.
‘Freedom of expression is one of the fundamental rights in Dutch law, so you can say and think what you like,’ the department said. ‘But there are limits to that freedom… and one of those says you may never incite discrimination or offend another population group.’
On Tuesday, an extreme right-wing group calling itself White Lives Matter claimed responsibility for the action and warned that more events were planned.
Texts including ‘white lives matter’ and ‘we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children’ were projected onto the bridge as midnight sounded. The sentence was first used last century by a white supremacist group in the US and is known as ’14 words’.
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