Important message forwarded from Tender Center:

Dear friends,

 

We’re writing with an urgent action. 

 

In October 2019 a bill was passed by the Tweede Kamer of the Dutch parliament which proposes to change the legal standard applied to violence by police officers in the Netherlands. The usual parliamentary process is that a consultation (Raad van State) into what effect a bill would have in practice needs to be done before a bill can be passed into law by the Eerste Kamer. The result of the consultation for this bill is due later in the summer but the Dutch parliament has decided to bring forward to 9 June the date for the final decision by the Eerste Kamer on passing it into law. This means the proposed law will be voted on before the consultation on its effects is published. As well as being wholeheartedly against what the bill proposes, we also think it's important to draw attention to this point about parliamentary process.

 

If voted into law, this bill will mean:

  1. Police officers will no longer be subject to a charge of manslaughter if someone is killed in police detention. Instead they will be subject to a charge of ‘violating official instruction’ which carries a lesser maximum sentence (3 years as opposed to 15 years for manslaughter).

  2. Police will be given much wider powers to use firearms, tasers, and pepper spray.

  3. These changes would be brought under the law under the status of General Administrative Order rather than under the current Criminal Code. This means that future changes to them could be decided by the government without the need for a vote in the 2 chambers of the parliament.

 

We urge our communities, whether or not you have the right to vote in NL, to take urgent action against these measures by writing to the individual parties and representatives in the first chamber of parliament. 

 

How do I do that?

 

Lilith mag has already published a template letter and all the email addresses of the representatives and parties to write to. It is at the bottom of this long article that gives further information on the proposed law change. https://www.lilithmag.nl/blog/2020/6/3/tweede-kamer-neemt-wetswijziging-lagere-straffen-bij-politiegeweld-stilletjes-aan

 

In addition to sending a letter, we also urge you to sign this petition: https://www.petities.com/stop_het_legaliseren_van_politiegewel

 

Where can I get more information?

 

Control Alt Delete have written this blogpost which gives important context: https://controlealtdelete.nl/blog/nieuw-wetsvoorstel-politiegeweld

 

When do I need to do this?

 

URGENTLY. Before 9 June.

 

Sending energies to all,

 

TC

 

PS we will be sending out a separate email soon with links to solidarity fundraisers for queer communities continuing to be affected by covid-19, and community organisations supporting black lives matter related actions. If you have any dutch, international, or transnational fundraisers you’d like us to include then please email them in.