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House furious about violence against media, suspects Urk not yet arrested | NOW

The House of Representatives has responded with anger and incomprehension to the mistreatment of journalists at churches in Urk and Krimpen aan den IJssel. The 43-year-old churchgoer from Krimpen has been released again. The police are looking for the three suspects from Urk.

In Krimpen aan den IJssel, a reporter from Rijnmond was kicked and beaten outside the Mieras Church. The man in question was arrested by the police during the church service.

The Public Prosecution Service will release via Sunday evening Twitter know that the man will have to “answer at a later time” for the abuse.

On Urk, a PowNed reporter was attacked and hit near the Sion Church. A spokesman for the Central Netherlands unit informed on Sunday evening that the owner of the BMW in question has been identified.

Churches are scrapping corona rules, admitting hundreds of people

Police are looking for this driver and the two other suspects who attacked PowNed’s reporter. “Violence against journalists is unacceptable,” said a spokesman. “We give this matter high priority.”

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Both churches announced this week that they would ignore the corona rules and allow hundreds of churchgoers to enter the places of worship without any corona protection. Churches legally have this option, because the government cannot intervene within their walls.

PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen speaks of unacceptable behavior. “You stay with the hands of others,” she says on Twitter. “Let journalists do their job.” She also emphasizes that the corona rules are for everyone. “So stop physical church services.”

‘Churchgoers are not above the law’

“Some church visitors believe they are above the law,” says VVD member Jeroen van Wijngaarden. “They don’t stand there. Take the perpetrators of violence to court. Church attendance does not make you immune, but rather vulnerable to the virus.”

Frank Wassenberg of the Party for the Animals says he can “barely” suppress a curse. “But keep your feet off reporters!”

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“Unacceptable and also a violation of the rule of law if journalists can no longer do their work without being abused and threatened,” said Sidney Smeets, who will be sworn in as a Member of Parliament for D66 on Wednesday. He finds the images shocking.

“Hands off our press,” tweeted SP leader Lilian Marijnissen. “Churches too have to just follow the rules. Our care, entrepreneurs and so many others are having a hard time. This is so anti-social.”

SGP politician: ‘Then stay out of there, thrill seeker’

Group chairman Elias van Belzen of the SGP-ChristenUnie in Nieuwkoop is less understanding. “Stay away from there, thrill seeker”, he says on Sunday Twitter know to the journalist who was attacked in Krimpen.

Chief of Police Henk van Essen strongly condemned the violence of churchgoers. In the program Buitenhof he called the attacks on journalists “unacceptable”. However, there is also criticism of the actions of the police in the violent incidents. Images on social media show that the police in Urk ordered the journalist to leave, instead of the attacker being arrested.

The police were present around the churches in both places, but were unable to prevent the incidents and acted reluctantly afterwards in both cases. Broadcaster Dominique Weesie of PowNed is outraged about this: according to him, such acts of violence require “brutal intervention, which was neglected this morning in Urk, but also in Krimpen aan den IJssel. And we blame the police for that.”

NVJ: Deep sad, churches must take responsibility

A spokesman for the police reports that agents in Urk have mainly focused on de-escalation. Initially, friction arose between journalists on the street and passers-by, he indicates, but later it calmed down. “The de-escalation apparently helped: journalists could do their jobs again and churchgoers could go to church.”

The data is known of the motorist who allegedly hit the PowNed reporter, the spokesman said. “We did not immediately proceed to arrest this morning. We wanted to keep the peace. Fortunately no one was injured.”

General secretary Thomas Bruning of the Dutch Association of Journalists calls it “deep sadness what happened here”. He calls on church boards to take their responsibility and to broadly condemn these aggressive acts. He is also surprised that the police in Urk did not seem to intervene immediately when a car collided with the PowNed reporter.

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