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10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

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4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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'Police caused public order problem'

22 September 2008 - Coalition party GroenLinks has called the city government to account for the arrest of a civil rights activist earlier this month. Party leader Judith Sargentini says the arrest was unjustified and that the police may have been responsible for a public order problem.

On 5 September, Joke Kaviaar was arrested while distributing flyers in front of a branch of temp agency Randstad, which recruits security guards for deportation centres.

According to the police, Kaviaar was detained because she was suspected of violating the police byelaw, which prohibits distributing commercial flyers without a permit. Sargentini points out that both the flyers and a banner featured the slogan 'No one is illegal'. She wants to know how this could be construed as a commercial message.

A police spokesperson told News from Amsterdam that irritation on the part of both the police and Kaviaar may have played a role in her arrest.

If Kaviaar was arrested for reasons other than violating the police byelaw, the police have harmed a citizen exercising her right to free expression and has created a public order problem, Sargentini argues.

In 2005, then council member Jupijn Haffmans (AADG) was arrested while distributing flyers at the Kalverstraat. "The police department apologised at the time and would once more explain to policemen that distributing flyers with a political purpose is not prohibited by the police bye-law".

Sargentini asks the Mayor how it is possible that policemen are still not sufficiently aware of the rules.

Questions asked by GroenLinks (in Dutch)


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