The arrest of six climate activists on sedition charges further shows that the right to demonstrate is being eroded, left-wing lawmakers and environmental groups said Friday.
The six were arrested Thursday morning after urging people to lock down The Hague’s Utrechtbahn on Saturday afternoon. They were released Thursday afternoon but were barred from approaching the A12 main street.
The prosecutor’s office explained that the arrest was justified because the planned action was dangerous and destructive.
But some parliamentarians say the decision is undemocratic and contradicts its approach to farmers, who have blocked dozens of roads with tractors. Moreover, they say the arrest was made before anything happened.
“The right to perform is in jeopardy,” Christine Teunissen, leader of the animal rights group PvdD, told NOS radio.
Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion activists, who were arrested a week ago on sedition charges after urging people to block roads last week, were also expelled from Utrecht on Saturday.
A court in The Hague said Friday that the ban will remain in effect until his actual case is heard next week.
“You are free to express your opinion about Marifeld and the center of The Hague,” the judge said.
The FNV trade union, Greenpeace Nederland, Millyud Fencey and six other organizations have also indicated their intention to join Saturday’s protests. They, too, argue that farmers were given easier time by police and prosecutors than by climate change activists.
7 Activist Lawyer Willem Jevinkold volksland On Friday, his client was stopped from exercising his right to democratic demonstrations.
“On July 27, when the farmers lost their places and took action, the police told them after some discussion that they could hold a demonstration within two hours,” he said. “If climate change activists don’t show the same level of tolerance, you’re really talking about unequal treatment.”
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/01/protests-over-climate-activists-arrests-on-incitement-charges/ Protest against arrest of climate activist on sedition charges