Police chief says "Let's kill him".
In his closing statement at his trial for alleged hate speech, prominent Dutch politician and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV), Geert Wilders told the court that his trial for alleged hate speech is a "charade, a disgrace for the Netherlands, a mockery for our society".
In a televised statement on the last day of the trial, he said that if he was convicted "millions of Dutch citizens will be convicted with me".
The charges were brought after he called for fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands at a rally in 2015, following widespread reports of criminality by Moroccan immigrants.
The Netherlands will hold a general election in March 2017 and some opinion polls suggest Mr Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) is a close second behind Prime Minister Mark Rutte's liberal VVD, or even slightly ahead.
Below are excerpts from Geert Wilders' trial
by Geert Wilders
November 23, 2016
Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).
Mr. President, Members of the Court,
When I decided to address you here today, by making a final statement in this trial against freedom of speech, many people reacted by telling me it is useless. That you, the court, have already written the sentencing verdict a while ago. That everything indicates that you have already convicted me. And perhaps that is true. Nevertheless, here I am. Because I never give up. And I have a message for you and the Netherlands.
For centuries, the Netherlands are a symbol of freedom.
When one says Netherlands, one says freedom. And that is also true, perhaps especially, for those who have a different opinion than the establishment, the opposition. And our most important freedom is freedom of speech.
I refuse to believe that we are simply giving this freedom up. Because we are Dutch. That is why we never mince our words. And I, too, will never do that. And I am proud of that. No-one will be able to silence me.
Moreover, members of the court, for me personally, freedom of speech is the only freedom I still have. Every day, I am reminded of that. This morning, for example. I woke up in a safe-house. I got into an armored car and was driven in a convoy to this high security courtroom at Schiphol. The bodyguards, the blue flashing lights, the sirens. Every day again. It is hell. But I am also intensely grateful for it.
Because they protect me, they literally keep me alive, they guarantee the last bit of freedom left to me: my freedom of speech. The freedom to go somewhere and speak about my ideals, my ideas to make the Netherlands -- our country -- stronger and safer. After twelve years without freedom, after having lived for safety reasons, together with my wife, in barracks, prisons and safe-houses, I know what lack of freedom means.
I sincerely hope that this will never happen to you, members of the court. That, unlike me, you will never have to be protected because Islamic terror organizations, such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS, and who knows how many individual Muslims, want to murder you. That you will no longer be allowed to empty your own mailbox, need to carry a bulletproof vest at meetings, and that there are police officers guarding the door whenever you use the bathroom. I hope you will be spared this.
What have I actually done to deserve this travesty? I have spoken about fewer Moroccans at a market, and I have asked questions of PVV members during a campaign event. And I did so, members of the court, because we have a huge problem with Moroccans in this country. And almost no-one dares to speak about it or take tough measures. My party alone has been speaking about this problem for years.
Just look at these past weeks: Moroccan fortune-seekers stealing and robbing in Groningen, abusing our asylum system, and Moroccan youths terrorizing entire neighborhoods in Maassluis, Ede and Almere. I can give tens of thousands of other examples -- almost everyone in the Netherlands knows them or has personally experienced nuisance from criminal Moroccans. If you do not know them, you are living in an ivory tower.
And what about police chief Joop van Riessen, who said about me on television -- I quote literally: "Basically one would feel inclined to say: let's kill him, just get rid of him now and he will never surface again"?
And in reference to PVV voters, van Riessen declared: "Those people must be deported, they no longer belong here." End of quote. The police chief said that killing Wilders was a normal reaction. That is hatred, Mr. President, pure hatred -- and not by us, but against us. And the Public Prosecutor did not prosecute Mr. Van Riessen.
Our ancestors fought for freedom and democracy. They suffered, many gave their lives. We owe our freedoms and the rule of law to these heroes. But the most important freedom, the cornerstone of our democracy, is freedom of speech. The freedom to think what you want and to say what you think.
If we lose that freedom, we lose everything. Then, the Netherlands cease to exist; then the efforts of all those who suffered and fought for us are useless. From the freedom fighters for our independence in the Golden Age to the resistance heroes in World War II. I ask you: Stand in their tradition. Stand for freedom of expression.
A worldwide movement is emerging that puts an end to the politically correct doctrines of the elites and the media that are subordinate to them.
That has been proven by Brexit.
That has been proven by the US elections.
That is about to be proven in Austria and Italy.
That will be proven next year in France, Germany, and The Netherlands.
The course of things is about to take a different turn. Citizens no longer tolerate it.
And I tell you, the battle of the elite against the people will be won by the people.
Common sense will prevail over politically correct arrogance. Because everywhere in the West, we are witnessing the same phenomenon.
The voice of freedom cannot be imprisoned; it rings like a bell. Everywhere, ever more people are saying what they think. They do not want to lose their land, they do not want to lose their freedom.
They demand politicians who take them seriously, who listen to them, who speak on their behalf. It is a genuine democratic revolt. The wind of change and renewal blows everywhere. Including here, in the Netherlands.
As I said:
I am standing here on behalf of millions of Dutch citizens.
I do not speak just on behalf of myself.
My voice is the voice of many.
And, so, I ask you, not only on behalf of myself, but in the name of all those Dutch citizens:
Acquit me! Acquit us!
Read the full text of Geert Wilders’ speech here.