The District Court of The Hague sentenced Pakistani cricket player Khalid Latif to 12 years in prison earlier this month for calling for the murder of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. For the first time, an instigator of murder and manslaughter living abroad has been successfully prosecuted and convicted in another country. A verdict that goes far beyond the borders of The Netherlands and Pakistan.
In 2018, Wilders announced his intention to organise a cartoon contest about the Prophet Muhammad. Latif finds such a contest blasphemous and so offensive that he called for the organiser to be killed and a video of it to be posted online. The relevance of this event goes far beyond the Netherlands and Pakistan. That relevance is obvious. The 200 or so nation-states in the world all have different jurisdictions. What is prohibited in one country is prohibited in another, and vice versa.
Blasphemy was removed from the criminal code in the Netherlands after years of political and public debate. In Pakistan, it is punishable by death. Now, what if it becomes possible for citizens in one country to call for the “punishment” of perfectly legal acts in another country? It is bound to become utter chaos in the world then. Yet, we are in danger of falling into this world if we are not already.
Arthur Blok interviews Paul Cliteur about this intersting legal matter.
Blok en Cliteur wrote about this case (in Dutch)
“Nederland moet tonen waar het voor staat” (De Telegraaf, 7 september 2023).
And in English:
“Case of Pakistani Wilders threat Khalid Latif has far-reaching implications for Dutch sovereignty”
(The Liberum, 8/ 9/ 2023)
“Geert Wilders’ threat Khalid Latif’s conviction is significant for all countries where potential victims of religious terrorism must live under state protection”
(The Liberum, 15/09/2023)