The occupiers of the Iranian Embassy's yard in The Hague have been sentenced to "one week imprisonment" -on probation- by the court. The primary accusation was attacking the embassy and putting the ambassador in danger.
Ms. Suus Hopman, the lawyer, told the Persian-language Radio Zamaneh in Amsterdam "The demand of persecutor was that all the people involved should be convicted to six weeks in prison, of which two weeks would be probational. This means that everybody should go to jail for four weeks".
The member of Dutch Association of Young Criminal Defence Lawyers added: "the court acquitted them from most of the things for which they were in court. The final sentence turned out to be much lower only "one week" on probation. So if they do not commit any crime in the next two years nothing will happen to them".
In April 2010 a group of Persian and Dutch protesters occupied the yard of Islamic Republic's Embassy in The Hague in protest to Iran's oppressive and violent policies. During this act of protest, the flag of the Islamic Republic was lowered and replaced with a banner bearing an image of Neda. Neda Agha Soltan was infamously shot to death in Tehran's street protests after the disputed June 2009 presidential elections, and became a symbol of the authorities´oppression.
One of the occupiers of the embassy told Radio Zamaneh that his big fear was going back to prison. He is happy the sentence turned out to be lower than initially suspected. The Persian born Dutch citizen also mentioned: "The main charge was attacking the embassy and the ambassador. In our defence, we mentioned that our protest was peaceful. Yet the judge found our presence illegal."
The first serious conflicts between the Persian government and students in the Netherlands go back to 1970s. In 1974, a group of Persians occupied the Embassy of Persia [Iran] in Wassenaar. Another group occupied the embassy in August 1978, and was arrested by the police.
Since the huge 2009 anti-government demonstrations in Iran, the Persian-Dutch community organized many solidarity demonstrations. In January 2010, the Islamic Republic´s Embassy in The Hague organized a "Peace Concert" at Rotterdam's De Doelen Concert Hall., Because of confrontations between angry protesters and the embassy agents, this concert had to be stopped in mid/play. The Persian community in the Netherlands consists of more than 31,000 people.
Note: This article was originally published in Persian on Radio Zamaneh website.
... Payvand News - 09/17/10 ... --