Tag Archives: The Hague

Stabbing incident in The Hague

The are reports of people stabbed in a knife attack at a department store in a busy shopping street in The Hague, Dutch police say.

Police are searching for a man aged between 45 and 50, wearing a grey jogging tracksuit, who they believe may be behind the attack. Images on social media showed emergency services at the scene amid shoppers crowds of Black Friday.

The incident happened at the Hudson’s Bay store in the city’s historic Grote Markt or main market square area, local reports say.

Video posted to social media showed dozens of shoppers running in the busy shopping street.
At present there is no information about the number of injured and their condidtion released.
Police ask to stay vigilent, and avoid the area of the Grote Markt.

Dutch police has announced they “stopped reporting” on Twitter on stabbing incident, but the investigation would take its cause.

Dutch ‘No’ to jihad mothers and children

The Netherlands is not obliged to help actively in repatriation of the young children and their mothers who left the country to join ranks of the Islamic State in Syria, an appeals court in The Hague said on November 22, overturning an earlier ruling.

Earlier this month the preceding court instance said the government must actively help to repatriate 56 children living in squalid conditions in camps in Syria.

All the children concerned have Dutch nationality and are under 12 years old. Most are younger than six.

The government appealed this ruling, citing national security and the risks it said Dutch officials would be exposed by entering the camps to find these women and children.

It said the ruling would negatively impact Dutch foreign policy and international cooperation. The mothers and children concerned are living in poor conditions which could rapidly deteriorate as winter arrives in the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, their lawyer Andre Seebregts told the court, defending the need of repatriation.

In total, around 68,000 defeated fighters of the Caliphate and their families are being held in the camp, according to the Red Cross. They are under the custody of Syrian Kurdish forces after they took the jihadist group’s last enclave.

Government figures revealed that, as of October, some 55 Islamic State militants still based in northern Syria had traveled there from the Netherlands. There were also at least 90 children with Dutch parents or parents who had lived for a considerable time in the Netherlands as residents.

Dutch burqa ban challenges

Around one hundred people, mainly women, protested in  The Hague, The Netherlands on August 9 against “Burqa ban“, which came into effect in the on August, 1.

Around couple of dozens of women wore a niqab and carried plates with texts like “I am getting robbed of my freedom“, “Hands off my niqab”, “We are the victims of symbolized politics” and “Human rights are being violated” during the silent protest.

The demonstration took place at the Koekamp Park, and passed without incidents. The protesters demand the Dutch government to recall the law. A few secular human rights activists were present to demonstrate their solidarity and support to the Muslim believers.

According to the organizers, the law violates freedom of movement, freedom of religion and self-determination of women. In addition, they think that woman wearing a niqab/burqa are excluded from social life and that the law leads to polarization of society.

The new Dutch law partially prohibits face-covering clothing. It means that people are no longer allowed to enter public space such as hospitals, government buildings, schools and public transport with face-covering clothing, such as a burqa, niqab and balaclava.

The Party for Freedom (PvV) leader Geert Wilders sees it differently: as far as he is concerned, the Dutch government should deport all those burka/niqab groupies to Saudi Arabia, where then can practice their cult without risking to clash with democracy, fundamental rights and equality.

However the biggest challenge of Dutch government is that the overwhelming majority of these women were born in the Netherlands, and have Dutch nationality. Their mothers were eager to integrate, and they were not wearing Muslim veils.

When the law passed in June 2018, Upper House of the Parliament press officer Gert Riphagen estimated that it concerns between 200 and 400 burqa or niqab-wearing Muslims  in the Netherlands, out of a population of 17 million people.

The Dutch law is similar to bans in the other European countries: in France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Denmark, some of which go further than the prohibition, but they impose fines: 1,000 Danish kroner (€100) in Denmark and  €150 in France.

In October 2018 the United Nations Human Rights Committee opposed the bans, explaining that it violates the human rights of Muslim women and risks “confining them to their homes.” However the opinion of international experts did not have any effect on the implementation of the legislation.

 

 

ICTY accomplishments in question

A former Croat army general, Slobodan Praljak, has died after taking poison demonstratively obstructing  the International Crime Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)  verdict, the Croatian news agency Hina said quoting a source in Praljak’s entourage.

“General Slobodan Praljak has died in hospital in The Hague after taking poison in the courtroom as the ICTY upheld a 20-year prison term,” Hina said.

While hearing the sentence, Praljak stood up and said: “Judges, Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal! I reject your sentence with contempt!” after these words he drank some liquid. His lawyer said it was poison.

On Thursday, November 30, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who returned to Zagreb having cut short a trip to Iceland, spoke of Praljak as ”a man who preferred to give his life, rather than to live, having been convicted of crimes he firmly believed he had not committed. His act struck deeply at the heart of the Croatian people and left the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia with the weight of eternal doubt about the accomplishment of its tasks”.

 

 

 

Russia ordered to pay compensation for Arctic Sunrise incident

The Foreign affairs ministry of The Netherlands tweeted a statement of the Minister Bert Koenders, saying he welcomes the decision of the court ordering Russian Federation to to pay some €5.4m in compensation to Duch vessel Arctic Sunrise.

Koenders expects Russia would to fulfill the court order: ‘The ruling makes it clear that ships in international waters cannot simply be boarded and the crew arrested,’ he said. ‘The Arctic Sunrise was making use of the right to demonstrate. This ruling will contribute to the development of the international rule of law, in particular maritime law and the right to freedom of speech.”

Russia has been ordered to pay some more than five million euro  in compensation for the September  2013 Arctic Sunrise incident, in which Russia bordered the Greenpeace ship under Dutch flag and arrested its international crew of 28 activists and two journalists. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said Russia had broken its international obligations by boarding the ship protesting against drilling for oil in the Arctic Sea.

The compensation package includes €1.7m for damage to the ship, compensation for the crew and €625,000 in legal costs. Several members of the crew spent two month in Murmansk jail charged with piracy, and were realised in the framework of a general amnesty issued by State Duma.

Europol tracks wildlife crime

 

Europol Director Rob Wainwright met with Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC, at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague today to discuss further cooperation in fighting environmental crime, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties in 2016.

The scope of the MoU is to facilitate the exchange of information and support, as well as to improve coordination between the two organisations to fight environmental crime, particularly the illegal trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

“Europol is pleased to extend its partnerships in this area as a means by which to help protect the environment and our economies. Countering environmental crime also supports broader efforts to combat other crimes such as corruption, money laundering, counterfeiting, fraud, forgery, and sometimes even terrorism or drugs trafficking,” – Europol Director Rob Wainwright highlighted.

“Wildlife trafficking is a global issue that must be addressed through international collaborations: TRAFFIC looks forward to supporting Europol to fulfil its challenging role in addressing wildlife crime through providing strategic assessments and operational support to EU Member States”,- said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.

Environmental crimes represent a highly lucrative business, especially for organised crime groups, as these offences are harder to detect and sanctions are lower in comparison with other crime areas. The transnational nature of environmental crimes has led to the need for enhanced cooperation between law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations, making strategic agreements crucial in the fight against the trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

In addition, the EU is a key transit point for illegal trade in wildlife, notably between Africa and Asia. Given TRAFFIC’s presence on five continents, the MoU enables Europol to reinforce its position in dealing with this emerging threat.

This initiative is also in line with the EU Action Plan aimed at combating wildefaire trafficing  in which Europol plays an important part.

Europol after on-line offenders


cybercrime-offenders

European Network of Law Enforcement Specialists on CGN created at Europol to address a little known but major capability gap in law enforcement’s attempts to identify offenders online.

On 31 January 2017, a meeting of European law enforcement cybercrime specialists was held at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague. This meeting addressed the increasing problem of non-crime attribution associated with the widespread use of Carrier-Grade Network Address Translation (CGN) technologies by internet service providers (ISPs). The meeting included presentations from industry experts, to broaden law enforcement understanding of the way in which internet service providers, ensuring access to the internet, and electronic content providers  to websites and communication platforms, operating with regards to CGN.

“CGN technology has created a serious online capability gap in law enforcement efforts to  investigate and attribute crime. It is particularly alarming that individuals who are using mobile phones to connect to the internet to facilitate criminal activities cannot be identified because 90% of mobile internet access providers have adopted a technology which prevents them from complying with their legal obligations to identify individual subscribers. On behalf of the European law enforcement community Europol is actively exploring ways to address this urgent problem with stakeholders in the EU and Industry”,  – Europol’s Director Rob Wainwright said.

“Ensuring EU law enforcement investigations are effective and result in the arrests of responsible parties is one of Europol’s key functions. The issues relating to CGN, specifically the non-attribution of malicious groups and individuals, should be resolved. I am convinced that the European Network of Law Enforcement Specialists on CGN will help to voice the concerns of the law enforcement community with EU decision-makers,” –  added Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre.