Thought Crime: four months in jail for her opinion

The Netherlands prosecute anarchist No Border activist for writing

Joke Kaviaar, activist and publicist against the oppression, detention and deportation of refugees in the Netherlands, has been sentenced the 22th of January to a four months jail sentence for “incitement”. Joke will go in appeal. Read and listen to her fiercely defiant words as expressed by her to both the public prosecutor and the judges here. The official press release of the support group can be found here. The so-called “inciting” texts can be found here

Read on for the whole astonishing story…

On september 13th this year (2011) the Dutch anarchist writer and No Borders activist Joke Kaviaar was arrested on charges of ‘incitement’. Her house was searched thoroughly during 5 hours, and computers, memory sticks, hard drives, CD roms, and several other materials were confiscated or photographed.
She was held in police custody for three days, under full restrictions. No information from the outside could reach her and vice versa, because her lawyer was also bound by these restrictions.
During these three days she found out that she was also being charged with ‘terrorist intent’. Friends and comrades only heard about all of this after she was unexpectedly released.

* read ‘My opinion is incitement! Resist and defy the terrorist state!’ by Joke Kaviaar *

The investigation is being led by a specially assigned public prosecutor. A team of national police investigators (in Dutch: Dienst Nationale Recherche, DNR) is on the case, the Unit Counter Terrorism and Activism, UCT&A. The investigation is currently still continueing, and UCT&A are still keeping her computer and memory sticks in their possesion to try to break encryption.

Dutch activists are expecting that the arrest of one person is only the beginning of more oppression against Dutch No Border activists. They have all reason to: in october 2009 the Dutch Intelligence Agency (AIVD) published a report on ‘asylum extremists’, accusing specifically two action groups, the Anarchist Anti-deportation Group Utrecht (AAGU) and Working Group Stop Deportations (WSD) of being involved in both legal ánd illegal actions. By the latter nightly actions of sabotage, arson attacks and home visits are meant.

Both AAGU and WSD are campaigning against companies responsible for building detention centers, and as it turns out, succesfully: the Dutch minister of immigration stated earlier this year that in fact there are companies withdrawing from these projects, and it seems hard to find potential candidates for construction contracts and public private partnerships involving new (prison/detention-) projects.

The house search at Joke Kaviaars home also indicates alterior motives of the investigators. It is clear that they were not only looking for evidence to support the charge of incitement, but were also looking for information about Kaviaars contacts and whereabouts. In other words, they were out on a fishing expedition.
Last but not least; activists can see police, prosecution, and intelligence agency crawling several websites that are being used for campaigns, apparently looking for more punishable content…

Joke Kaviaar is known in the Netherlands, not only for her involvement in several actions and naming and shaming campaings, but also for her relentless writing against Dutch asylum policy, accusing the Dutch State of crimes against humanity and murder, and calling out for direct action. The charges are based on (at least) four articles that appeared both on her own website and several other websites such as the Dutch Indymedia.

According to the prosecutor, the articles are incitive ‘with a terrorist intent’ as they supposedly call out for violence against government buildings and the Dutch minister of immigration. Whether the articles are incitive or not, is of no relevance to those who stand against the terrorist State of the Netherlands. What does matter, is the fact that calling out for any kind of (direct) action is simply the right thing to do.

Aside of that, the question whether the articles are in fact an offence and therefore punishable or not, remains to be answered in a trial yet to come. As of now, there is no summons, no trial date, yet. In the Netherlands, the definition of the charge of ‘incitement’ has, due to a Supreme Court decision in december 2009, been extended. Even writing that you think that ‘it is a good idea to… ‘ is considered incitement. Bye bye, freedom of speech, unless of course you are a racist politician like Geert Wilders.

At this moment, Joke Kaviaar faces yet another arrest. Five days after her release, the public prosecutor announced that he was planning to have her arrested again, because of the fact that the articles are still on her website. According to her lawyer, it would be illegitimate, because it would mean a second arrrest for the same offence. The prosecuter clearly thinks otherwise, he considers leaving the articles online is a second, and therefor a totally new, offence. Right now, the prosecutor is leaving his final decision hanging over her head like the sword of Damocles. It seems that she was only released in order to put pressure on her, to remove the articles from her website, or else…

Meanwhile, all new articles she writes and publishes are being scrutinized for incitive content. Given the fact that there is no telling when an opinion may be considered an offence, this makes it almost impossible to exercise freedom of speech!

Activists in the Netherlands have responded by writing incitive comments, copying the ‘incitive’ four articles elsewhere on the web, and by placing mirrors of Joke Kaviaars website on several servers. Also, solidarity statements have been made all around. Yet, a public nation-wide outcry of indignation stays away. In the Netherlands, No Border activists are swimming against the right wing nationalist tide, in which the fate of asylum seekers, refugees, so called illegals, is nothing more than an issue of nuisance, and of public order and safety. Migrants have so much been criminalized throughout the past decades by all consecutive governments, left and right, that hardly anybody bothers to care about suicides, abuse, exploitation, incarceration and deportations. Laws against immigration are developing so fast, it is hard to keep up. At this moment, a bill to prohibit ‘illegality’ is being passed through parliament, many refused asylum seekers are forced to live on the street, and police are actively on a witch hunt to find undocumented citizens and arrest them.

This is what the Netherlands is like these days, and oppression against those who stand up against migrant hate and repression, comes as no surprise.
A support group has been set up (and started this weblog No one knows what will be next. But most important is what we do know, and that is, that we are determined to continue our fight for freedom of movement, against borders and fences, against nations and deportations, against capitalism and colonialism. No one is illegal! Fight law and order!

Support group september 13th