Wilders in Prison (2)
Parliamentary chairman Weisglas now says he is “shocked by the disinterested reactions” in parliament after the protest of representatives Hirsi Ali and Wilders. ”I think the parliamentary members accept it way to easy that a colleague, has to sleep for months in a prison cell”. He describes it as a “disgrace” and “a pathetic show” that Wilders is in prison to protect him against terrorism. Weisglas says he has this weekend made it “very clear” to the government that the two representatives should be able to live in normal circumstances.
Hirsi Ali has proposed a parliamentary debate about the matter, but this weekend she did not get any support of the other parliamentary members. Most are silent and some criticizes them:
After prime Minster Balkenende and justice minister Donner condemned the protest. Other parliamentary members did the same. Christian (CDA) Representative Haersma Buma declared Friday that the protest “now way what so ever” contributed to a solution. Liberal (VVD) Representative Bibi de Vries, vice fraction leader, called the actions of her liberal colleague “clumsy”. Socialist (PvdA) leader Wouter Bos questions if Hirsi Ali operates smartly: “I understand her though situation, but that will not improve by her remarks”.
Hirsi Ali criticizes Balkenende sharply for his condemnations, she says: “In the get the impression that he thinks it is our own fault”. Represent Wilders says his isolated stay in prison camp Zeist is “nearly not livable”. He thinks that minister Donner does not understand their situation, “I do not wish this for anybody, but for the understanding it would not be bad if he would realize what Hirsi Ali and I go through”.
Security expert Hans Salman says in NRC newspaper that he nearly couldn’t believe the news: “Wilders? In a prison?”. With his company International Security Partners (ISP) he often works for families who need personal protection. In the 80s he still worked for the Dutch police and was involved in the protection of the French ambassador, who was under threat by top terrorist Carlos the Jackal. He was also involved in the protection of the Turkeys ambassador, who was under threat of the ultra nationalistic Turkeys Gray Wolves.
Salman who has now 25 years experience says he is “very surprised” how the two are housed. “This is asking for trouble” he says and continues with: “Every body knows that nobody can endure something like this. Staying for moths in a cell in Zeist or the Amsterdam Marine complex – I know both locations – generates a lot of emotional resistance: nobody can sustain that”.
This can easily be done differently, says Salman. “Heavily threatened people can easily stay in a villa with a garden. An attacker also makes a risk assessment. The big problem with personal protection is according to Salman “the street risk”, as expert call it. “It is much more important that you take care of the moment you leave the car or house. Those are the critical moments”.
Former Amsterdam police commissioner and security expert Kees Sietsma, emphasizes that all depends on the risk assessment [of the Dutch intelligence service]. He says that the protected people should also be aware of the risks for the security personnel and refers to the bombing of the ex-prime Minster of Lebanon who was blown up last week. But he says, Hirsi Ali and Wilders are right to say that in countries like Israel, the United States, Spain and Italy, the living addresses of people under threat are not secret.
Arie Duijdam of Interseco, the biggest personnel protection firm in The Netherlands also thinks there are other alternatives, he is surprised that the government does not use its safe houses. He says he has seen protective techniques in many countries, but “the kind of security measures used in The Netherlands for these parliamentary members is so far he knows, never used any where else. This is very tough”.
Today Minister Donner spoke with both Hirsi Ali and Wilders. His spokes person said that he has told them “he keeps searching for a safe solution to house them in a permanent house”. He will inform the parliament about the conversation tomorrow by letter. According to Donner they had a “good conversation” at the Ministry of Justice.
Hirsi Ali now says, “that it is very good” that they are now working on the matter. Donner has told her that he made available 1 civil servant to search fulltime to a secure house for her. Hirsi Ali: “it is not yet clear if prime Minster Balkenende and Justice minister Donner have taken the principal step, that parliamentary members will not be put away. That still dependents on their new efforts. If you put Wilders in a cell, what do you think the message to terrorists will be? If you on the other hand, arrange normal housing, you say: threatened parliamentary members are allowed to continue their work, without any censor ship”.
Hirsi Ali says she does not want to stay a representative if she cannot live in a house that is hers. She has already given up most of her housing wishes. Her only housing wish left, is that the house has a garden or balcony, so she does not have to leave the house if she wants some fresh air. “I don’t want that a whole column of security guards has to come when ever miss Hirsi Ali wants to sit for a moment in the sun”.
Wilders in Prison (1)
Wilders in Prison (3)
Wilders in Prison (4)
Hirsi Ali released
Evidence of political intimidation
Donner: Wilders is safe if he stops
Wilders: Minister Donner lies
Democracy is DEAD
Where is (R) Hirsi Ali?
Warning for Wilders supporters
First Speech Geert Wilders
Bloggers comment on the affair:
Delfstman - "I was sickened by the thought ..."
National Review: The corner - "Grim news from Holland ..."
Blogs for Bush - "wages of cowardice ..."
Prairie Fire - "cowardly appeasement mentality ..."
VFR - "Freedom for Moslems means slavery for us"
MyBlog.de - "Eine unglaubliche Schande in Holland ..."
Livejournal Ruggels - "THis is just sad"
Gene Expression - Parliamentarians in prison = security?
Belmont Club - The World Turned Upside Down
Sources: NRC, NRC(2), NRC(3), NRC(4), Nu, Trouw