Wednesday 10 August 2022

Conspiracy theorists jailed for arson attack on journalist


Two conspiracy theorists who threw a Molotov cocktail into the home of a Groningen journalist last year have been jailed for five years to be followed by treatment in a psychiatric clinic.

Judges in Groningen ruled that the two men, aged 32 and 22, were guilty of attempted murder and arson. It was a ‘deliberate attack on a journalist’ rather than a surge of emotion which led to the incident, the court said.

Willem Groeneveld and his girlfriend were able to put out the fire, which started when the two men threw the burning beer bottle through a small window in their front door at 3am last August.  The couple were forced to spend a week in a safe house after the attack.

Groeneveld had written several articles on local news website Sikkom which were critical of coronavirus conspiracy theorists.

Last year, 272 reports of threats and attacks on journalists were made to a special hotline set up by the journalists’ union NVJ, police and public prosecution department. That is well over double the 2020 total of 121.

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