From the Algemeen Dagblad (NL):
The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in London ruled on Tuesday that Geert Wilders was wrongly refused entrance into the UK last February.
The Birkenhead Society, a British organisation that strives for freedom of speech, had filed the suit on behalf of the PVV leader (…)
“The political decision by the British government was correctly wiped off the table by the British judge. That’s a boost for freedom of speech”, stated the leader of the PVV Tuesday in The Hague in a first reaction to the news.
Finally, some sanity prevails.
The Volkskrant has an ‘atmosphere sampling’ of the trial (NL).
[UPDATE001] EN reporting on Expatica:
The British government was wrong to deny far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders entry in February, rules the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in London.
In February, Britain refused entry to Wilders whom it accused of inciting anti-Islamic hatred. The politician was sent back home on a plane a few hours after being detained by immigration officials on arrival at London’s Heathrow airport.
Wilders had arrived in the UK for the screening of his anti-Islamic film Fitna at the House of Lords by Lord Pearson of Britain’s Independence Party.
Then, Britain’s Home Office said Wilders was turned back to stop him spreading “hatred and violent messages”.
The Freedom Party leader then launched an official appeal against the British government’s decision to ban him.
When informed of the new ruling, Wilders said it was “fantastic news” and that it shows “there is progress for freedom of expression”.
It remains unclear whether the tribunal’s decision means that Wilders is now free to travel to the UK. The British government has yet to comment on the ruling.
[UPDATE002] Via ITN the reaction of the British government:
A Home Office spokesman said the Government was “disappointed” by the ruling, adding: “We are disappointed by the court’s decision today. The Government opposes extremism is all its forms.
“The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence. We still maintain this view.”
A quote from General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett comes to mind: That’s the spirit! If nothing else works a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
[UPDATE003] Good commentary from the Telegraph.
- Breaking: Wilders not allowed into the UK
- On his way – UPDATE: And back again
- Wilders UK visit wrap-up