28 Jul 2020 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 15 Oct 2019 n° 125/2019 Netherlands

The Dutch Travel Restriction Law Threatens Media Freedom

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ FPU
Partner EFJ/IFJ FPU
The Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus proposed a new law under which Dutch citizens travelling to an area “controlled by terrorist groups” must request permission from the justice ministry. The bill was approved by the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament on 10 September 2019. Under this draft law, failing to request the justice ministry’s permission before travelling to an area “controlled by terrorist groups” is punishable by up to two years in prison. The Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) called on the Dutch Senate to make an exception for journalists or to withdraw the bill, considering that this new regulation threatens the freedom to inform. On November 12, the Senate will organise a hearing where experts, including a representative of NVJ, will draw attention to the law’s problems. Among other points, NVJ pointed out the law’s use of the term “terrorist zone,” a vague concept that is hard to pin down.
Updates
25 Nov 2019
On 7 November 2019, the NVJ sent the Senate a critical opinion on the draft bill, in view of a public hearing before the Senate’s Justice and Security Commission scheduled for 12 November 2019.
04 Nov 2019
On 10 September 2019, the Minister of Justice and Security sent the Senate a critical statement on amendment No. 8, which allows for journalists to be generally except from travel restrictions on some conditions.
State replies
28 Jul 2020
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