November 29, 2006

Unreported Holland, Part III

Follow-up to Unreported Holland, Part II from [TBA]

Now, before I do some work, let me bring you the last bit of disturbing news coming from the Netherlands. Trust me, it’s a big one. Well, at least in the Netherlands people believe so.

Two reporters held hostage by justice department

Basically, the two men reported about leaks within the AIVD – General National Security Service, the Dutch SIS – and that top secret documents were obtained by criminal organisations. At the moment, there’s a case against an former AIVD employee, accused of leaking such documents, and the reporters have been asked to reveal their source.

In general, in the EU, reporters are allowed to keep their sources secret, but may be asked to reveal them in court cases. This all depends on the judge’s discretion, and is the nasty shady area in anything legal. In this case, the source “could possibly” help the defendant, and no one wants to imprison an innocent man. But is this slight possibility of freedom more important than the journalists’ (and the source’s) rights and credibility?

Today, reports come from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia, where journalists are shocked of this turn of events. It wasn’t until recently that the Indonesian secret service had so much power that the local journalists were afraid to report anything but the weather. And now the Netherlands, beacon of democracy, are resorting to measures not dissimilar to those well known to the Indonesians.

Freedom, democracy, national security, credibility. Take your pick.

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I don’t know if my Dutch friends were just seeing if I would drink it, but apparently Dutch toilet water is potable when drunk from a clean bowl.

    Perhaps this could be the subject of Unreported Holland Part IV

    01 Dec 2006, 18:55

  2. I’ve been told the same thing! They sure love to boast about their water!

    06 Dec 2006, 13:28

  3. Isn’t British toilet water potable then? To be fair, I don’t really trust Coventry tap water, so I guess that’s a no.

    But yes, as far as I know, toilets use the same water to flush as what comes out of the taps in the Netherlands, and assuming the piping is the same, toilet water should be potable. Yet, I wouldn’t advise anyone to drink it.

    06 Dec 2006, 14:19

  4. Oh and Natalie, if these are people from Utrecht who are telling you this, don’t trust them. Utrecht has the worst tasting water in the Netherlands, taking it from the river Rhine. Try going to the south or the east and water should be better. Even Amsterdam water is better. Not Utrecht. Yuck.

    06 Dec 2006, 14:20

  5. The water in our taps for some reason always come out lukewarm, so I can’t really drink it anyway! But okay, I’ll tell all these Utrechies that their water is nasty :)

    06 Dec 2006, 23:14

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