Geert Wilders’ Free Speech Trial Starts

As we blogged here way back in April 2010 Geert Wilders, the conservative Dutch “Party for Freedom” Member of Parliament is now on trial in a Western democracy, for freely expressing his opinions.

The conservative Dutch politician fighting for reason

This space is not the place to offer blow-by-blow coverage — the news agencies and the Internet will certainly do that.

However this newspaper is concerned, as are many others who respect democratic values, at the nature of the counts he faces. Essentially, and despite what appears on the charge sheet, these revolve around a basic tenet of Western democracy, the right to free speech.

That is what is on trial and we should not hide behind weasel words in saying so.

If you are concerned at the steady erosion of civil liberty and freedom of speech in the European Union, under the onslaught of a perverse creed of “political correctness”, spare a thought for Mr. Wilders as he faces Dutch Justice on five counts of “hate speech” — an Orwellian concept if ever there was one.

The first AFP reports on the trial can be found here:
Dutch anti-Islam MP’ hate speech trial adjourned

More details about what is at stake can be found on his website.

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