Far right Dutch MP given community service for inciting violence

Photo: Davide Heijmans via Wikimedia Commons

An MP from the Dutch far right, pro-Putin Forum voor Democratie has been given a 200-hour community service sentence for inciting people to take violent action against the government.

Gideon van Meijeren, one of three Forum parliamentarians, was taken to court on two charges relating to the farmers protests in 2022, and was found guilty on both counts.

In one incident, he told a farmers rally in July 2022 that it is legal to use violence against the government in certain circumstances, in reference to compulsory farm buyouts.

That November he gave an interview to a Belgian Youtube channel in which he said 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.”

The court said Van Meijeren “deliberately geared his comments to his audience, which was already restless, with the aim of stirring up that unrest, leading to violence against the authorities.”

But Van Meijeren also has certain responsibilities as an MP, the court said, because his views have impact. “As a member of parliament, the accused said dissatisfied farmers had the option of violent protest against the government,” the court said.

“He did this against a background of anti-government sentiment in the Netherlands as a result of the coronavirus measures and, on a larger scale, attempts to overthrow regimes in the US and Sri Lanka.”

Van Meijeren said during the court hearing that he opposed violence and that his words were more a call for “violence-free resistance”.

Earlier sentences

In March 2023 Van Meijeren 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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