Dutch Government Prosecuting Dutch Citizen For Insulting Turkish President Recep Erdogan
from the way-to-suck-up-to-a-complete-POS dept
Turkey’s president Recep Erdogan is the pettiest of tyrants, ruling with an iron fist and an easily-bruised ego. In addition to snuffing out dissent in his own country with a combination of arrests and intimidation, Erdogan and his government scour the planet for non-Turkish citizens who have offended Lord Gollum.
This doesn’t just take the form of content removal requests and site blocking. It also means actual arrests of foreign citizens residing in other countries. Germany’s government was shocked to find an old law on its books — one that forbade insulting foreign states — being used against one of its own, a German comedian who wrote an immensely unflattering poem about the Turkish dictator. The government gave in at first before swiftly excising the law.
The same can’t be said about the Netherlands, another country with bad laws Erdogan is more than happy to exploit to silence criticism. This makes things a little easier for the Turkish government. The last time it punished a Dutch citizen for criticizing the Turkish president, it had to wait for the journalist to visit the country before arresting her.
This time the Dutch government is going to be doing the punishing. Erdogan has spoken and, rather than being greeted with laughter followed by a dial tone, the Dutch government appears to be moving forward with a local prosecution.
In the e-mails, he compared Erdo?an to Adolf Hitler and also attached a photo of the Turkish president in Nazi uniforms, according to the BBC.
Erdogan knows the laws of foreign countries at least as well as he knows his own. He’s found another “insulting a friendly foreign head of state” law on the books in the Netherlands and has successfully demanded punishment for this violation of a foreign law by a foreign citizen.
This is an unacceptable turn of events. Just because the law is on the books doesn’t mean Dutch prosecutors have to actually prosecute anyone. Laws are broken every day, and even those incidents that law enforcement witness don’t always result in charges. For this person, there’s the possibility of a 6-8 month jail sentence for comparing Erdogan to Hitler, which isn’t that much of a stretch.
This bad law remains on the books for now. An effort to repeal it stalled, but hopefully the government’s disgraceful bootlicking of a “friendly” foreign head of state will result in enough outrage the law will be stricken before it does any more damage.