Mosques seek Twitter ban on Dutch populist Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders said the move to ban his Twitter account was madness. (Reuters)
Updated 06 November 2018

Mosques seek Twitter ban on Dutch populist Geert Wilders

  • Going to court is the last thing we want to do but if we have to, we’ll do it: TICF lawyer
  • Wilders reacted to the move on Twitter, calling the demand for a ban on his account “madness.”

THE HAGUE: A body representing 144 Turkish mosques in the Netherlands has asked Twitter to block the account of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders for inciting hatred.
The Turkish Islamic Cultural Federation (TICF) sent the letter on Friday seeking “a permanent ban of the Twitter of Mr. Geert Wilders... due to continuous publications on his Twitter account of messages, images and other content which is a display of hateful conduct.”
It said Wilders’ tweets breached Twitter’s guidelines, adding: “His hate messages are being spread worldwide thanks to the platform and abilities Twitter provides him.”
“We reserve the right to take any legal actions and measures necessary if you will not take action as requested within 21 days after this,” it said.
TICF’s lawyer Ejder Kose told AFP on Monday they would take legal action if nothing was done.
“Going to court is the last thing we want to do but if we have to, we’ll do it,” Kose said.
Kose said many of Wilders’ tweets breached laws in several countries including Tunisia, Morocco, Pakistan and Indonesia.
The far-right leader of the PVV party in August canceled a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that had angered many Muslims around the world.
Wilders reacted to the move on Twitter, calling the demand for a ban on his account “madness.”


MH17 probe reveals close ties between Russia, Ukraine rebels

Updated 14 November 2019

MH17 probe reveals close ties between Russia, Ukraine rebels

  • The Joint Investigation Team issued a fresh appeal for witnesses and revealed details of secure communications between Russian officials and rebels

THE HAGUE: An international team of investigators piecing together a criminal case in the July 2014 shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine said Thursday that evidence suggests links between Russia and separatists in the region were closer than previously believed.
The Joint Investigation Team issued a fresh appeal for witnesses and revealed details of secure communications between Russian officials and rebels in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) rebel group in eastern Ukraine.
“The JIT has information that indicates that the influence of the Russian Federation extended to administrative, financial and military matters in the DPR,” the team said in a statement, adding that contacts between Russia and the rebels intensified in the first half of July 2014.
“There was almost daily telephone contact between the leadership of the DPR and their contacts in the Russian Federation,” the JIT said. “They spoke with leaders in Moscow, near the border with Ukraine and in Crimea. Communication mostly took place via secure telephones provided by the Russian security service.”
In June, the investigators announced they had charged four people, including three Russians, with murder over the July 17, 2014, downing of Flight MH17. All 298 passengers and crew on board the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight were killed.
The suspects are due to go on trial in a secure courtroom near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in March, though they are not in custody and will likely be tried in their absence.
Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in the downing.
But investigators said their probe revealed that “Russian influence on the DPR went beyond military support.”
The team, made up of detectives and prosecutors from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine, last year said it was convinced that the Buk missile system used to shoot down flight MH17 came from the Russian army’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade, based in the Russian city of Kursk.
The team said Thursday it is looking for witnesses “who can share information about those who controlled the DPR leadership in Donetsk and commanded the deployment of the Buk” missile system.
“The indications for close ties between leaders of the DPR and Russian government officials raise questions about their possible involvement in the deployment” of the missile, the investigators said.