Friday 14 May 2021

Threats against pro-refugee councillors are totally unacceptable, says PM

Migration Concept refugeesMaking threats against councillors who support the establishment of refugee centres in their locality is ‘totally out of order’ and ‘unacceptable’, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.

‘You can get angry, but violence or threats are not on,’ Rutte said at his weekly press conference. ‘That is the boundary and it must never be crossed.’

Politicians in several parts of the country have been sent threats for backing refugee centres.

The mayor of the Overijssel village of Rijssen-Holten has received death threats following his support for refugees. In Aalburg in Brabant, opponents threatened to burn down the town hall if the council agreed to settle 50 refugees, and in Rijswijk threats were made against individual councillors and their family members.

Working together

Rutte urged people to remain calm, saying that it is important that everyone works together to deal with the situation. In most places, refugees are being housed without any problems, the prime minister said.

Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk said all the threats made so far have been reported to the police.


Meanwhile, on Thursday night, hundreds of people packed into a meeting to hear Rotterdam mayor Achmed Aboutaleb outline plans to settle 600 refugees in the neighbourhood of Beverwaard.

Some shouted insults at Abouteleb, telling him to ‘shut your gob’ and ‘resign’.

There were also confrontations between opponents and supporters of a refugee centre in Steenbergen, a town of 24,000 in Noord-Brabant. Anti-immigration campaigner Geert Wilders had been due to attend that demonstration, news agency ANP says.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.