Joke Kaviaar sentenced to four months in prison for incitement
– Migration activist does not let herself be silenced
Today the bench chamber of the court in Haarlem ruled in the case of incitement by speech and word against Joke Kaviaar. The court rejected all of the defense pleas of her lawyer and sentenced Joke to four months in prison. This is less than the six months imprisonment the Public Prosecutor had asked for. Joke Kaviaar will appeal the conviction and announces that she will not let herself be silenced. She will continue to speak out against the Dutch migration policy.
The Support Group 13 September, founded after the arrest of Joke Kaviaar, feels that the ruling was to be expected, as seen in the light of the current political climate in the Netherlands and in the standing jurisprudence around the Supreme Court regarding incitement (Article 131 of the Criminal Code).
The current verdict restricts the freedom of expression: from now on Joke Kaviaar and other publicists offering sharp criticism against government policy will get into danger to be restricted as well. This verdict creates dangerous jurisprudence for further restriction of criticism against the government.
Joke Kaviaar will appeal to a higher court, because she will keep defending her right to express herself by her texts, both as part of the struggle for free speech against state repression and as part of the refugee struggle. The sentence is a scandal, but will not break the ongoing struggle against borders and for freedom of movement.
Joke Kaviaar was arrested at home on September 13, 2011 and detained for three days under full restrictions. Meanwhile a house search took place. She was charged with “incitement and spreading incitement with a terrorist intent”. This charge involved a number of texts in which Joke fiercely speaks out against the Dutch migration policy. A few months later, in December, the Public Prosecutor’s National Office had her website taken offline. It was a day later put back online by unknowns and is still accessible.
After a long-term investigation two weeks ago, on January 8, a hearing before the bench chamber place finally took place. Four of her texts were submitted by the Public Prosecution to the court as being ‘inciting’. The previous accusation that Joke Kaviaar had a “terrorist intent” with the alleged incitement was dropped. This raises the suspicion that the aggravated charge at the time of arrest, permitting the house search, and used throughout the entire investigation has only been added as intimidation, and to make use of the extensive investigative powers of the terrorism legislation.
For more information: Support Group 13 September (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The quotes for which Joke Kaviaar is convicted, the relevant articles and more background information, are available at www.13-september.nl
Website of Joke Kaviaar: www.jokekaviaar.nl