Denying the World War II holocaust should not be a criminal offence, Mark Rutte, leader of the VVD Liberal party is quoted as saying in Wednesday’s AD.
Rutte believes there are too many rules attached to freedom of expression in the Netherlands and is planning to introduce legislation into parliament to change the situation.
‘However pointless it may be to deny the holocaust, we should not forbid it,’ Rutte said. ‘Then there is no discussion and you cannot convince them they are wrong.’
While denying the holocaust is not expressly banned in the Netherlands, the courts say it is a form of spreading hatred and therefore an offence. It is a criminal offence in some countries.
Ronny Naftaniel of the Israel information and documentation centre CIDI told the AD he did not understand what was driving Rutte. ‘If you say Jews just invented the holocaust, then you are opening the door to hatred. That is why it must remain a criminal offence.’
Junior coalition party ChristenUnie is working on legislation which would formally make denying the holocaust a crime, the paper says.
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