MP Van Meijeren accused of inciting violence at farmers’ protest

Gideon van Meijeren responds to the charges. Photo: ANP/HH/Peter Hilz

Far-right MP Gideon van Meijeren has been charged with inciting violence after telling a farmers’ protest they would be justified in using force against the government.

The 35-year-old is facing two charges after the prosecution service also decided that an interview he gave to a Belgian Youtube channel, Compleetdenkers, exceeded the limits of free speech.

The Forum voor Democratie MP told the site last November that he dreamed of a “velvet revolution”, with a crowd marching on the parliament building in The Hague and saying: “We’re not leaving until the government is gone.”

In his address to farmers gathered in Tuil, Gelderland, last July, Van Meijeren said it was “acceptable to resist the government with violence if it comes to expropriating farmers”.

Van Meijeren said he was the victim of a “witch-hunt” and claimed that the prosecution had been deliberately timed to coincide with the election in November.

No date has yet been set for a hearing.

Latest polls suggest FVD, which won eight seats at the last election in 2021 and currently has five MPs following defections, is likely to win between two and four seats this time.

Gündogan complaint

In an official statement, the prosecution service did not refer to Van Meijeren by name, but said it took the view that “a 35-year-old man from The Hague, a politician” was guilty of inciting violence against the government.

“A politician should be able to raise issues of public interest, even if he might hurt, shock or disturb others by doing so,” the statement said.

“At the same time, a politician has a responsibility to avoid disseminating views that violate the law and the basic principles of our justice system.”

Nilufer Gündogan, then an MP for pro-European party Volt but now an independent, filed an official police complaint about Van Meijeren’s speech.

“It was not a decision I took lightly as an MP to file a complaint against an MP, but I had to do my civic duty,” she told AD. “Clearly the prosecution service has seen sufficient reason to proceed with a prosecution.”

It is not the first time Van Meijeren has clashed with the law. In March he was given a 60-hour community service order for riding his scooter through the streets of The Hague on two occasions while his driving licence had been suspended.

He was stripped of his licence for nine months in December 2021 for refusing a breath test when police approached him as he left the parliament complex in his car. Van Meijeren denied he had been drinking, insisting he was a teetotaller.

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