Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Domestic Policy, Europe, Freedom, The Constitution | Tags: Free Speech, King Willem-Alexander, The Netherlands
In Holland, a 44-year-old man has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for intentionally insulting King Willem-Alexander, according to a court ruling. The man, from the city of Kampen, had posted a message on his Facebook page in April, 2015 calling the king a murderer, rapist, “oppressor” and thief.
“Hereby the defendant damaged the dignity of the King,” wrote judge Sylvia Taalman in her decision. “This behaviour is not acceptable in our society.”
Many Dutch consider the law “Insulting the Majesty” to be an antiquated relic that should be scrapped, but it has never featured high on the country’s political agenda.
The crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of 20,000 euros.
The royal family is generally popular in the Netherlands. Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne in 2013 when his mother Queen Beatrix abdicated. She had reigned for 33 years. The King is not yet as highly regarded as his mother.
It seems worthwhile reminding Americans that free speech isn’t free everywhere, and that our Constitutional rights are worth fighting for. Democrats, naturally, oppose any free speech that criticizes them, or disagrees with their ideas—which are, of course, right, and should be recognized as correct.
Just think how many people would be in prison here, if our comments on social media were monitored for “offensiveness.”esson in
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