On January 22 2013 the court of Noord-Holland has convicted a 49 year old woman to a 4 months prison sentence on charges of repeatedly inciting criminal offenses, through the use of writings and pictures.
Although a police report was made more than three months after the appearance of two texts written by the defendant, the court does not think that the interests of the defendant have been harmed. After all, there has only been a small lapse of time and the police report is sufficiently reliable.
Freedom of speech
Furthermore the court has rejected the defendants appeal to freedom of speech, as protected by Article 10 EVRM. This right may be restricted, if it is provided by law and if it is necessary in a democratic society, in the interest of, amongst others, the prevention of criminal offenses.
These requirements have been met, thus decides the court. Incitement to any criminal offense or to violent conduct against the authorities has been made punishable by article 131 of the penal code. The purpose of this restriction is also the prevention of criminal offenses. And the restriction is necessary, because the defendant did not just try to stimulate the public debate or the political discussion in a critical and provocative way, but has, in this context, called for the committing of criminal offenses in order to reach her goals.
Calling for the committing of criminal offenses
Subsequently the court has examined a number of phrases, such as “time for a new generation to stand up and continue to carry Rara’s torch!”, “Where is the Dutch rebellion?”, and “It is time we accept this invitation, but not to talk. Who wants to join in for a visit to Leers?”.
The court sees incitements to the committing of criminal offenses in all the texts, for example towards Leers, or for example to vandalism, arson and committing assaults, in the light of the context and the images that have been placed with the texts. The incitements themselves are criminal offenses, because the aggresive element predominates. Actually there are serious and strong calls for the committing of criminal offenses. The texts do not contain the style figures of political satire or sarcasm or exaggeration. Humor or relativity are missing.
Furthermore, it is beside the point whether these criminal offenses have actually been committed. The danger that they might take place, is sufficient. Also there is no violation of the principle of equality.
In view of the documentation of the defendant [documentation in Dutch means criminal record] the court finds a prison sentence of four months appropriate.
Complete Verdict: BY9120