Geert Wilders, parliamentarian and leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), the largest political party in The Netherlands, once again faces criminal charges under The Netherlands’ “hate speech” statutes. It is fairly common these days in Europe for people who speak out against Islam’s doctrines and practices to end up in criminal Courts, in jeopardy of imprisonment and /or monetary fines. Passage of these hate speech laws has been driven by the political force of Islam, which now comprises about 10% of the Dutch population and grows greater in numbers by the day.
Mr. Wilders has been through this sort of criminal trial ordeal on a prior occasion. The first time he was acquitted of all charges. It is worth remembering that he is a man who is marked for assassination by the Forces of Islam. He has not been to his home for years, living under the constant protection of Dutch Police and military personnel. He cannot walk about freely, as other citizens do. He is a man imprisoned in his own nation for speaking out against the Islamization of The Netherlands.
Here is Mr. Wilders’ declaration made before the Court at The Hague on November 25, 2015, on the occasion of this, his second criminal trial:
Mr. President, members of the Chamber,
I have the right to a fair trial. That is why I am here.
Not to ask you a favor. But to ask you what I am entitled to.
A fair trial. And the right to defend myself in the best possible way.
If you do not give me that chance then this trial will be a farce.
During the first meeting the investigative judge told to me, “You should have a fair chance, the law will be interpreted broadly.” But the opposite has happened. All my 39 requests, all the requests from the defendant have been rejected.
Apparently, I am not allowed an adequate defense.
The investigative judge is uncritically following the Public Prosecutor. The Chamber agreed with the Public Prosecutor to reject the first twelve requests. Hopefully, that will not be the case for the 27 rejections that you must decide on now. Because if all reasonable requests are rejected, then I cannot defend myself, and I apparently have to be sentenced at all costs.
I am taken to court for what I have said.
But I have said nothing wrong.
Fewer Moroccans, fewer Syrians, fewer Mexicans, fewer Russians, I do not see why stating that is punishable. However, when Turkish members of the Dutch parliament call me a tumor that must be fought and when they compare me to Hitler, then there is no consternation, no massive complaints on pre-printed forms, no prime minister who speaks shame of it and no Public Prosecutor to come into action.
What kind of country are we living in?!
I speak for millions of Dutch. And I will continue to do so.
That is my duty as a representative of the people.
And that is my right. It is a travesty that I have to stand here before you today.
I have done nothing wrong.
At least, I want to be allowed to defend myself in court.
I want to hear witnesses and experts so that I can defend myself.
The investigative judge promised me a fair chance, but he did not give me such a chance.
I now turn to you: Give me the chance to defend myself.
Give me the chance to a fair trial.