Withdrawal of Dutch passport will not solve the threat from terrorism

31 January 2017

Withdrawal of Dutch passport will not solve the threat from terrorism

The Senate today discussed a proposed law that would make it possible to withdraw the passport of Dutch citizens with double nationality in the interests of national security. Only Dutch citizens who remain outside the Netherlands and are affiliated to a terrorist organisation with a jihadist philosophy would be affected. No court would be involved, with the decision reserved to the Justice Minister.

SP-senator Anneke Wezel: “Of course it’s of the utmost importance to combat terrorism. But this measure does not remove any threat at all. Worse still, I’m afraid that it might even present additional security risks.”

The SP wants all jihadists who leave the country and who are affiliated to a terrorist organisation, however many passports they may possess, to be identified and put under close supervision internationally and, where appropriate, prosecuted. “This is the way to stop further acts of terrorism from being committed,” says Wezel. “But this law would mean that these people will disappear under the radar and you won’t ever see them again. Once you’ve taken their passports away, you won’t be able to prosecute them. It’s to be avoided that they disappear into illegality. It’s precisely their legal existence that makes it possible to keep a close eye on them.”

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