Police collect masses of data on climate and coronavirus activists

Photo: DutchNews.nl
Photo: DutchNews.nl

The police request and collect large amounts of information about demonstrators, including details about their parents and children, investigative website Investico reported on Friday.

The website studied 67 files on demonstrators and found a wide range of information which, police say, is needed to trace suspects, process complaints and keep in touch with those concerned.

Since 2021 everyone can ask their local authority for information about how many times their details had been checked in the residency register BRP. Investico asked for the files on 67 climate, coronavirus and anti-racism activists, 10 of whom had never been arrested.

The details of seven of the 10 had been requested by the police dozens of times. In the case of Michel Reijinga, who organised many demonstrations against the coronavirus measures, police asked for his information more than 1,400 times in two years.

Experts told Investico that the police ‘hunger for data’ is infringing on the right to demonstrate. ‘If you are being continually monitored, you cannot demonstrate freely,’ Leiden University professor Bart Schermer told Trouw.

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