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Prosecutions for threats against politicians doubled last year

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A total of 67 people were prosecuted last year for threatening MPs and government ministers, almost twice as many as in 2022.

The special police team dealing with threats against politicians received 750 complaints in 2023, while the prosecutor’s office said the law had been broken in 600 cases.

The more cases coming to court was partly due to relatively more threats coming from the Netherlands rather than abroad, making it easier to identify and prosecute those responsible.

Many threats are made via social media platforms that are reluctant to share information with the police, while around 400 were anonymous or came from countries that have no mutual cooperation agreements with the Netherlands.

The total number of complaints fell from the record total of 1,100 in 2022, when Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right PVV, filed a large number of police reports. The prosecutor’s office said the number of politicians receiving threats was in line with previous years.

On Friday, six people are due to appear in court at a special hearing in The Hague accused of threatening a number of politicians, including former MPs Sjoerd Sjoerdsma of D66 and Kauthar Bouchallikht of GroenLinks, as well as former ministers Hugo de Jonge and Dilan Yesilgöz.

Crime policy
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