The Netherlands is going to abolish a law which considers insulting a foreign state leader as a criminal offence. The law states that insulting head of a friendly country carries 2 years of imprisonment.
The decision to abolish the law has been taken following Turkey’s attempt to prosecute a German satirist. MPs of two Dutch Liberal parties Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) and Democraten 66 (D66) demanded to the government to abolish the low earlier this week, as stated by Dutch News.nl.
Jan Böhmermann, a satirist from Germany, has been facing prosecution due to a similar legislation in Germany and some people in the Netherlands do not want that to happen to the people from the country. Böhmermann read out an offensive poem about the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on TV. He faces up to 5 years in prison.
Böhmermann is now under police protection and the German government has approved a criminal inquiry on the issue using a low concerning insult against foreign leaders of state.
However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a rebellion. A senior minister is planning to present a bill in parliament to abolish the law before the case reaches the court, The Telegraph reported. The Justice Minister, Heiko Maas has planned a legislation and he will present it before the parliament very soon.
Dutch comedian Hans Teeuwen in a news channel supported Böhmermann and attacked the Turkish president with sexual allegations.
The Netherlands’ justice minister, Ard van der Steur stated that he is considering whether the proposal can be given priority in the parliament, but the minister confirmed that he has no plan to remove the ban on insulting the Dutch monarch.
The law was not used for many decades in the Netherlands. Last time it was used in 1968 when the writer, Geert Mark who was working in a student’s newspaper, then, was fined for comparing US president Lyndon Johnson to a war criminal.
Notably, President Erdogan’s son was accused of money laundering and bringing unauthorised money into the country, recently.