The following translated news article came in while I was away in Warsaw last week. It concerns a close encounter between a Dutch video journalist and police in the Hague. The young man in question believes he was roughed up by police in retaliation for taking videos of their actions and posting them on YouTube. Readers are invited to follow the links to the posted videos and draw their own conclusions.
Many thanks to El Rubio for translating this piece from ThePostOnLine:
“The police also roughed me up”
How free are the citizens of the Netherlands to demonstrate, and especially, when they use a camera to report it? This question begs an answer after seeing a video clip that appeared on Geenstijl.nl on Tuesday morning. (The images were sent out by Pownews for the first time on Monday night.)
It shows a young man being stopped by a number of policemen at a demonstration of the Dutch political party the PVV (Geert Wilders) in the Hague. It seemed he just wanted to take some video shots.
The young man ask several times why he is being stopped but gets no other answer than “we demand that you leave.”
Eventually, the young man is grabbed by several policemen, his arm is twisted painfully behind his back (according to his screaming) and he gets pushed into a police minibus.
So much for the video images. See for yourself.
Are we talking here about a “police state”? Were the police busy preventing a citizen journalist from having the right to access a public road? And was the recommended level of physical force breached?
The story according to the police:
According to Jelleke van Rantwijk, a spokesperson for the police in the Hague, this is not just about somebody who wanted to video. “This person was a demonstrator (WTF, a demonstrator!), not a journalist, and what you cannot see is that he is carrying a megaphone (WTF, a megaphone, not even an AK-47!) We got explicit instructions to keep the demonstrators and counter-demonstrators separated. This is done to prevent rowdy behavior. We had warned him quite some time ago that he was not welcome.”
Van Rantwijk further believes that “the arrest was executed beautifully” and that “no unnecessary force” was used!
The story according to the arrested person:
The name of the arrested young man is Roman van Ree and he also wanted to tell his side of the story to ThePostOnLine.
Van Ree: “I consider myself to be an activist, but was at the demonstration as a journalist. The police have tried to censor me on purpose. I had filmed the police who arrested me the previous day (see the YouTube videos) On those videos it is quite clear that they were pretty rough and they did not like it that it was posted on YouTube.”
“They warned me at that time and wanted to see my identity card. This I did not give to them.”
“The story about the megaphone would normally be true, because I always carry it with me for safety reasons. If I am stopped by a demonstration or find myself in a dangerous situation I can always try to create a diversion/counter-demonstration. But by chance, I did not have the megaphone with me when I got arrested.”
Van Ree also tells of mistreatment in the minibus (see pictures). “A policeman lifted me up by my throat and hit me so hard on my arm I got some bad bruises.”
Van Ree is not quite sure whether he is going to lodge a complaint against the police or at least a complaint against those policemen. “I want to look at all my options before I take action.”
Van Ree is connected with the Amsterdam organization called We Are Change Amsterdam.