Sunday 01 August 2021

Leaders condemn Wilders for manipulated picture of Pechtold

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold.

Party leaders have condemned a doctored photo posted by Geert Wilders on Twitter that appeared to show D66 leader Alexander Pechtold taking part in a pro-Islamist demonstration.

Wilders tweeted the picture with the caption: ‘Pechtold demonstrates with Hamas terrorists. Is this the next step?’

The original image, which belongs to US-based picture agency Getty Images, was taken at a demonstration in London in 2009 against Wilders’s visit to the UK. In Wilders’ version Pechtold’s face is crudely pasted in beneath a banner reading: ‘Shariah for the Netherlands.’

Pechtold later posted a response on his Facebook page calling for politicians to ‘draw the line’ at posting fake pictures of each other online. He added that the picture had triggered a torrent of personal abuse on Twitter.

He wrote: ‘A lot of the time I can laugh about people being creative with pictures on the internet. But not this time. Not because I can’t take it, but because it gives people the wrong idea. That is clear from my timeline. This is how Wilders stirs up his supporters.’

Deputy prime minister and Labour party leader Lodewijk Asscher reposted Wilders’s tweet with the comment: ‘Delete your account’, while GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said the message was ‘irresponsible and low’.

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