Community service for threatening Rutte on Facebook

A 36-year-old man from Zaandam has been sentenced to a 30-hour community service for threatening Prime Minister Mark Rutte with death in a public local Facebook group. The police judge has ruled that the defendant has gone far too far. Because this is a politician, the penalty is heavier and the defendant is given community service instead of a fine.

In an ongoing discussion, the man posted a photo on 23 December 2019 with a text with death threat underneath. This was picked up by the Endangered Politicians Team of The Hague Police Unit and submitted to the Prime Minister. Rutte said he felt threatened and granted permission to report on his behalf.

The defendant

regretted

his action at the court in Alkmaar Thursday. He disagreed with the government‘s policy and got carried away in a discussion on Facebook, he said. The police judge judges: โ€œYou can disagree with something, but do not react in such a way that the other person may feel threatened. Especially when they’re just doing their job.โ€

In The Hague, threats to politicians are a hot issue, now that there is regular demonstrations on the Square in front of the House of Representatives building. Last year, the prosecution described 206 threats from politicians as a criminal offence and investigated further.