Eritrean conference unjustly forbidden ANP
Publication: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 14:35
Modified: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 15:31
Author: Karlijn Houterman
'Eritrean meeting ban on riots was not right'
VELDHOVEN - Mayor Jack Mikkers of the municipality of Veldhoven had not been allowed to ban a controversial Eritrean meeting in mid-April. According to an independent objection committee, the mayor's decision is in violation of the law. The commission advises Mikkers therefore to revoke its decision. However, the mayor does not agree with this decision.
In July, Mayor Mikkers had to answer for the end of the Eritrean conference. During a hearing, the decision was made by Mikkers for almost three hours.
Relling in Veldhoven
Mikkers banned the meeting of the Eritrean Youth Conference YPFDJ after riots broke out at the conference center gate. The rioters were especially angry because a confidant of the Eritrean President would attend the congress. It was intended that he would speak countrymen who left their country of origin. Many Eritreans who fled are afraid of this 'long arm of Eritrea'.
Against Mikkers' decision, more than one hundred and fifty objections were submitted to the municipality. The objection committee now gives them the right.
The event had to continue
Mayor Mikkers was not allowed to ban the event. Although there were outbreaks of riots, the event could be continued, according to the committee.
Mikkers has now indicated that he will remain in the decision and thus not be included in the opinion of the committee.
The road to the court is now free for attorney Bart-Jan Walraven who represents the objectors.
"The chances are very big that we will do that too and I think we now have a good chance of succeeding in court, but I need to consult with my clients first."