Wednesday 29 January 2020

Public prosecutor to appeal against Zwarte Piet protestor’s not guilty verdict

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The public prosecution department said on Friday it is to appeal against the not-guilty verdict handed down to an anti-Zwarte Piet campaigner accused of assaulting a police office in 2014.

Jerry Afriyie was one of 90 people arrested while demonstrating during the official arrival of Sinterklaas in Gouda in 2014. All but Afriyie were given on-the-spot fines of €220 and released the same evening. The public prosecution department decided to take further action against Afriyie because he resisted arrest.

On Thursday, judges in The Hague ruled that the police used excessive force when making the arrest as there was no threat to public order.

In addition, the fact that Afriyie grabbed the leg of one of the police officers with considerable force was a panic reaction and not, therefore, a criminal offence, the judges said.

In reaction to news of the appeal, Afriyie said on Twitter: ‘they really are out to get me.’

He told the Volkskrant earlier in an interview that he would continue to campaign ‘until my end of the end of Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands.’

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