imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Dutch violations of the rights of a defendant

by Astrid Essed Thursday, Dec. 23, 2004 at 5:41 AM

With this article I want to express my worriness about the recent violation of the rights of Mohammed B, the suspect of the murder on the Dutch cineaste van Gogh, which is not only an attack on his rights, but can also lead to a further erosion of the Dutch judicial system, which is based on the protection of the rights of a defendant and a fair trial.

Dear Editor,

The rights of the defendant:

Soon after the the murder on the Dutch cineaste van Gogh there was a dangerous aggrevated anti-moslim climate in the Netherlands which expressed itself among else in a couple of serious right wing terroristic attacks on Churches, Mosques and islamic schools, which is happily practically stopped.

Alas, the underlying tensions and the anti-islamic tensions are not vanished, but are being uttered in daily intimidations, discrimination and verbal assaults.

What worries me however gravely is the increasing violation of the rights of the defendant Mohammed B and the other suspects of real or alleged ''terrorism'' which is also a detoriation of the Dutch judicial principles.

1 The publication of the letter of the suspect:

After the murder was committed, a letter on the dead body of van Gogh

was found, which was left there by the suspect, Mohammed B,

The letter was directed to mrs Hirsi Ali, who is very controversial

because of her often unrespectful critics on the Islam and is also a member of

Parliament of the right-wing liberal party the VVD.

According to the common Dutch judicial rules during the investigation

of a crime, there is a restriction in revealing facts which are connected

with the crime, not only in the interest of a good and objective police and

justitial investigation, but also to protect the rights and the privacy

of the suspect.

However, in spite of the protests of the Counsel for the Prosecution,

the minister of Justice Donner decided to publish the contents of the

letter to the media.

Certainly in a case like the murder on van Gogh, which has already

caused a deep polarisation in the Dutch society, the minister should have been

very restrictive concerning the revelation of possible proof-material.

Publication in such a climate is not only a violation of the privacy of

the suspect, but also implies the danger, that the police and judicial

autorities are being hindred in their task to do their work

independently and objectively.

2 The revealing of name and address-information of the suspect

Not only the contents of the letter were revealed, also other serious

violations of the privacy of the suspect took place.

In the first place the media not only made public his living address

including his housenummer, which is very unusual during a

police-investigation, they also revealed his full backname, which is

rarely done and a great breach to his privacy.

When someone is accused of a crime in the Netherlands, only his first

initial [which is named B] is being made public.

Yet several newspapers revealed his whole backname, which is apart from

a violation of his privacy, also a security risk for his family, seen in

the light of the many treats to his person.

Yet apart from those breaches on the rights of the suspect, there is

also a privacy-law in the Netherlands, which forbids misuse of the privacy

facts of Dutch inhabitants, whether suspects or not.

3 The revealing of internet-comments of Mohammed B

The breach on his privacy wasn't limited to above-mentioned facts, but

was also extending to his real or alleged internet-comments on internet


One of the large Dutch broadcasting-centres revealed not only the name

of the Maroccan discussion-site on which Mohammed B was believed to be

active, but also the fact that the last days before the murder he posted a

great number of comments.

The local broadcasting company [Amsterdam news, AT5] went a step

farther to reveal literally the contents of those messages [which applied to the

American military presence in Iraq] and also his nickname on the forum.

Yet a bizar detail was, that later was made public, that the comments

were not from Mohammed B at all, but from another participant, who was of

course indignant by recaling his private-comments.

So not only this was a considerable breach to the privacy of Mohammed

B, also they violated the privacy of a man, who was in no connection with

the murder-case at all.

4 The publication of his uncovered photo on television

However, the most serious breach on the privacy of the suspect, which

also implied a grave security risk for him, was the uncovered display of his

photo on television in a Dutch crime-investigation-program, which

urges the public to give the police information which may lead to the arrest

of alleged suspects of a crime.

The basic rule is that the thus-shown photo's must have a beam on the

eyes of the suspect to protect his rights on privacy.

However, despite of the protests of his lawyer, who tried in vain to

prevent it by means of a quick judicial procedure, the minister of Justice

Donner, gave permission to reveal his complete photo on television.

As already commented, this was a grave enlargement of his security-risk

given the fact that all Dutch inhabitants could have seen his whole photo [according

to investigations that evening more than 2 million people were looking to

the referred police-program, the double number, since mostly one million

people are watching it] and seen in the light of the many treats against the


Yet apart from this dangerous aspect, the revealing of this photo

without beam has a dangerous precedent-working.

5 Motivation by the judicial autorities for the publication of the


Really shocking is to my opinion the motivation by the judicial

autorities for the revealing of the total photo.

The arguments were two-sided:

In the first place the collection of information about possible

accesseries to the murder on van Gogh.

In the second place they were of the opionion, that seen in the light

of the ''extraordinary'' character of the crime [the suspected and yet to

be proved terroristic character of the murder] the personal rights of

Mohammed B could be subjected to the ''common interest''

However, the first argument makes no sense, since the tip-results of

the program, based on photo's with a beam, is very great.

More dangerous is to my opinion the second argument of the sacrifying

of the personal rights of Mohammed B may be subjected to the ''common


Not only this is a flagrant violation of the fact that all Dutch

inhabitants have an equal right on protection and safety, whether free inhabitant

or arrested suspect from whatever crime, which is also confirmed by the

Universal Declaration of the Human Rights [article 7], also it is

suggesting, that the rights of one individual can be sacrified for the

''common interest'', which according to my opinion is an erosion of the

principles of humanitarian and democratical principles.

B Isolation

What worries me also is the fact, that Mohammed B, who was shot in the

leg after a fire-exchange with the police and is lying in the penitentiary

hospital in Scheveningen, is since his arrest dd 2-11 not allowed to

have any contact with the outside world, except with his lawyer

Although it happens more often in the Netherlands, that suspects are

being held in isolation after their arrest, in this case the suspect is also

being confined to his bed as the consequences of the leg-shot, which

aggravates in humanitarian aspect the possible damaging aspect of his


A greater aggravation still consists of the fact, that he is also not

allowed to read any papers or to watch television with as a motivation,

that ''it is in the interest of the further investigation against him''

This last argument makes no sense to me, since the man can't even

escape from prison, being confined to his bed by the leg-shot and is also not

able to receive even familymembers as visitors, so which damage can be done

to the investigation?

Although solitary confinement on such is no violation of International

Law, unless the time is extraproportionally long, in this case it is to my

opinion different.

Isolation torture:

As you know in the 70s and 80s of the former century, the solitary

confinements of members of the German RAF organisation led to much

critics, because they were not only solitary confined, but also every sound was

isolated out their cells, so that they couldn't receive the necessary

human stimulative signals, necessary for every human being to survive.

Of course this sort of treatment was not only inhuman, but was named

judicially isolation-torture and is since then forbidden.

In the case of Mohammed B he can hear any sounds, but in combination

with the prohibition to read any paper or to see any TV program this

isolation seems to come near to isolation-torture, yet apart from the general

inhumanity of the token measures.

Disagreement in leading Dutch judicial circles:

However, in Dutch judicial circles not all autoritative courts have the

same points of view regarding those measures.

A couple of weeks ago the Amsterdam Court-Chamber decided that Mohammed

B was allowed to read a restricted number of newspapers [only Dutch

papers] and was permitted to make a restricted use of the TV [only the three

public broad-casting senders]

However, the Higher Court revoked this verdict, with as a consequence,

that newspapers and TV are still forbidden for Mohammed B.

C Two importants points concerning the further trial:

1 No proof for co-involvement

A couple of weeks after the arrest of Mohammed B 6 other men were

arrested, who were charged of a membership of the so-called ''Hofstadt-group''

an alleged terroristic organisation and co-involvement with the murder of

van Gogh, since the presumption was that the murder of van Gogh should

have a terroristic character.

However, recently news came, that there is no proof whatsoever of any

co-involvement of the 6 with the murder on van Gogh.

But according to information of the Dutch judicial autorities their

case is handled over to a special division of the Court, which investogates

terrorism, since they are yet to be suspected of possible membership of

the real or alleged ''Hofstadt-group''.

2 The charge against Mohammed B

It is also of importance to gove a review of the official charges

against Mohammed B:

The man is not only charged from the murder of van Gogh, which is only

logical considering the circumstances of the murder, but also from

conspiracy of murder of one or more bystanders, under which policemen,

violation of the law on weaponry, suspicion of contribution to a

criminal organisation with a terroristic goal and conspiracy to murder with a

terroristic goal on van Gogh, Hirsi Ali and or others.

A conspiracy of murder of one or more bystanders, under which policemen

After the murder of van Gogh the suspect used his weapon to control

some bystanders.

However wrong, the charging of ''an attempt to murder'' makes no


Respecting his ''attempt to murder on ''some'' policemen'' the


After the murder on van Gogh the suspect had a fire-exchange with a

couple of policemen.

With the same arguments it is possible to say that the policemen, who

shot him in his leg, did an attempt to kill Mohammed B.

B suspicion of contribution to a criminal organisation with a

terroristic goal

Since according to the judicial autorities Mohammed B is no member of

the socalled ''Hofstadtgroup'' for which the other 6 suspected are being

charged, I presume that this part of the charge will be hardly to

prove also, especially since the judicial autorities have conceded that there

is no co-involvement on the murder of van Gogh from the 6 other suspects

of terrorism.

C conspiracy to murder with a terroristic goal on van Gogh, Hirsi Ali

and or others.

Since recently was revealed by the judicial autoritied that Mohamed B

is no member of the already named alleged ''Hofstadtgroup'' I think that

''murder with a terrortistic goal'' is hardly to be proved.

Considering the naming of real or alleged victims the followoing:

Of course is naming van Gogh an only logical fact, considering the

circumstances and events.

However, according to Hirsi Ali it makes no real sense to me.

The charge concerning her has mainly based on the referred letter on

the body of van Gogh.

Reading of this letter however reveals, that although it can be explained as a treath to

her, there is in the judicial rules a main difference between a threath and

an attempt to murder.

The term ''others'' in the charge is however that vague, that it is a

weak argument either, unless there are proven facts considering the hetherto

unknown individuals.

The above described treatment of Mohammed B is showing not only a

serious detoriation of the hitherto high-standard Dutch judicial principles, it

also shows a general deroriation of the Western-European judicial

principles in general, especiellay concerning the ''war on terrorism''

I think it is of he highest importance, that the political-judicial autorities

in the Netherlands and the other Western-European countries re-consider,

that according to the by them undersigned Universal Declaration of Human

Rights every person has the right on an equal and humanitarian treatment, also

a suspect of terrorism.

Astrid Essed


The Netherlands

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Deport them all I love Amsterdam Thursday, Dec. 23, 2004 at 1:47 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Dec. 24, 2004 at 9:03 AM
yeah but... Flick Friday, Dec. 24, 2004 at 9:24 AM
Please... I love Amsterdam! Friday, Dec. 24, 2004 at 10:08 AM
Duivel I love Amsterdam! Friday, Dec. 24, 2004 at 10:11 AM
Very Flattered Van Amsterdam lll Friday, Dec. 24, 2004 at 10:12 AM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy