The Plight of Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Liberal Party MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been ordered to vacate the high-security home she is renting in The Hague within four months.
An appeal court sided with her neighbours who complained her presence put their own safety at risk and caused disruption to their lives. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner broke the news of the court decision at an EU meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday.
Somali-born Hirsi Ali is known as a critic of aspects of Islam and she went into hiding in November 2004 when filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered. They had finished work shortly before his murder on Submission, a short film about the ill-treatment of women under Islam.
Hirsi Ali and fellow MP Geert Wilders spent several months in hiding in secret locations due to death threats made against them because of their stance on Islam. "I think this is dreadful, horrible to have to move. I am happy living here and I feel safe," Hirsi Ali said in response to the judgement.
The neighbours lost their case initially but they won on Thursday when an appeal court accepted Hirsi Ali's presence meant they no longer felt safe in their own apartments or in the communal areas of the complex.
The court ruled that is contravened Article 8 of the European Convention of
Human Rights which guarantees respect for a person's private and family life.
The Dutch State had contravened these rights by moving to the apartment
complex without seeking their consent and without taking measures to diminish
the neighbours' valid fears, the court said.
Justice Minister Donner said he is considering appealing the decision to the Supreme Court "otherwise it will create difficulties for the protection of various people".
The neighbours said in a statement that their court action had not been directed against Hirsi Ali personally, but against the State for exposing them to danger.
When duly elected members of your Parliament are threatened with DEATH, you protect them. You dont put them on the run. You dont make them scramble for a place to live, you stand by them. They become the symbols of your freedom. If they are hurt, your democracy is hurt accordingly.