Wilders’ trial: only three witnesses allowed

Wilders had sought three categories of witnesses: 5 free speech experts, 8 Islam experts, and 5 “experiential experts.” This latter category consisted of various Islamists, including Theo van Gogh’s murderer, a Dutch imam who had unsuccessfully tried to sue Wilders, and the Egyptian fundamentalist Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

The court decided to permit only the three Islam experts to testify: Johannes Jansen, Simon Admiraal and Wafa Sultan. In fairness, barring the Islamist witnesses is perhaps excusable. Presumably none would be willing to testify voluntarily, and only one resides freely in the Netherlands. What is much more troubling is the court’s refusal to hear from any of Wilders’ five free speech experts – all of whom would likely have appeared voluntarily.

Certainly troubling but not striking. Unfortunately, not good prospects for Wilders…


Iran: Kermanshahi, Human Rights Activist, Arrested

Leading Human Rights Activist Arrested : United4Iran

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran denounced the arrest today of Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, a leading human rights activist, member of the Central Council of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, and journalist.

“Kermanshahi is one of the most important sources of objective human rights information and analysis in Iran, and one of the few still courageously working to document, in a scientific way, the deprivation of human rights there,” stated Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesperson for the Campaign.

“Kaveh has committed no crime, and his arrest is an apparent attempt to shield the authorities from scrutiny ahead of expected protests on 11 February,” he added.

Just following with the Islamist Govt’s campaign against the opposition, held these last days. Has any Government protested yet?