Geert Wilders is being prosecuted for the expression of non-violent opinion
*(It should be remembered that in the Orwellian language of the European Union the term, fundamental rights, means suppression of the right of free speech).
"The distinction was made in the previous debate, on the TFTP* agreement, between the expression of radical opinion and the one hand and violence and encouragement of violence on the other. The statistics in this Report seem intentionally to blur that distinction.
"Violence and incitement to violence, whether on racial grounds, religious grounds or on any other ground, must never be tolerated and must always be prosecuted. Expression of opinion - political opinion or opinion on academic subjects should never be suppressed; still less should it result in prosecution.
"However, in many member states, expression of opinion that could not conceivably be regarded as incitements to violence, is criminalised and results in people being imprisoned. These so-called 'crimes' are put into the same category as violent racial crime in this Report.
"In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, a man for whom I have little time, is being prosecuted for the expression of non-violent opinion.
"To refer to the prosecution of people for the expression of non-violent opinion as the extension of fundamental rights is an abuse of language of which twentieth century totalitarian propagandists would have been justly proud."
* This was a debate on a proposed agreement between the United States and the European Union on sharing financial data for the alleged purpose of prosecuting those who finance terrorism.
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