Sunday 12 July 2020

Five arrested after mob attack on Moroccan family in Urk


Five young men, aged 14 to 21, have been arrested for their role in the attack on the home of a young Dutch Moroccan family in the staunchly religious village of Urk.

Several arrests took place on Tuesday, a day after a mob surrounded the Boukhizzou family home in the former fishing village and several youngsters forced their way in, slightly injuring the 36-year-old mother, her son Soufyan and her daughter.

Police said about 100 youths were involved in the disturbances, which began in a snack bar. Officers from nearby districts, armed with batons and dogs, were brought in to restore order.

According to local paper De Stentor, some of the troublemakers chanted ‘Geertje Wilders’ as they surrounded the family home, some throwing stones, others fireworks.

Urk mayor Pieter van Maaren described the incident as ‘completely unacceptable’ and MPs from across the political spectrum have called for answers.

The cause of the trouble is unclear. Some reports suggest Soufyan was targeted for ‘insulting’ a girl, others suggest the teenager has been the butt of attacks for several years.

Two years ago Soufyan, now 18, was beaten up by islanders and reported that attack to the police. ‘Now people think that I was given compensation because my dad bought a Mercedes a while ago,’ he told De Stentor.

Police turned out in force to head off any trouble on Tuesday evening, effectively sealing off the village to outsiders.

This article was updated on Wednesday afternoon to reflect the new arrests.

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