Dutch Court Convicts 20 For Being Racist Online

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch court convicted 20 people Thursday of insulting or threatening a politician and television personality in a racially charged case that shocked the nation.

The verdicts came in the trial in Amsterdam of 21 people accused of targeting Sylvana Simons, who is a former dancer and television presenter of Surinamese descent, with a torrent of online racist abuse last year. One person was acquitted.

The court said in a statement that the heaviest sentence, 80 hours of community service, went to a man who superimposed the head of Simons on video images of a Ku Klux Klan lynching. Others were given shorter work orders or fines.

“Many people saw the video and were confronted with discriminatory images of people with dark skin,” the court said.

Former TV host and leader of Artikel 1 party Sylvana Simons

Simons stood as a candidate in the Netherlands’ March 15 elections but didn’t win enough support for a parliamentary seat. Much of the online abuse she faced came after she earlier announced she was joining a party called Denk, (Think) which is led by two Turkish-Dutch lawmakers…

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