Utrecht Riots: Neighbourhood Closed Off
By Brussels Journal, Brussels Journal
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The Dutch police deny that the police officer who killed Rinie Mulder is of Moroccan or Turkish descent. Esther, a Dutch blogger, refers to a post on a Moroccan website saying the police officer is Turkish, not Moroccan. The post has, however, been removed. Yesterday, we reported, relying on sources in Ondiep, that the officer was a Moroccan woman.
It remains unclear what happened in the Utrecht neighbourhood Ondiep on Sunday evening when a police officer shot 54-year old Mulder. According to some press reports, which also rely on rumours, Mulder was drunk when he and a friend became involved in a quarrel with immigrant youths. When the police intervened they shot Mulder. The man had been complaining about harassment by immigrant youths for months. Neighbours accuse the police of turning a blind eye to the youths' behaviour.
Following Mulder's death indigenous Dutch have started rioting. According to the authorities many rioters came from outside the neighbourhood.
The police have placed fences and cameras around the neighbourhood, and have closed it off to non-residents. The closure of the neighborhood will be reviewed day by day. The fines for those entering are going up. On Tuesday the fine amounted to 200 euros, on Wednesday to 300 euros and on Thursday to 400 euros.
Ondiep has now literally become a no-go area.
Paul Belien is the editor of the Flemish quarterly Secessie and the editor-in-chief of The Brussels Journal. He is a columnist at the Flemish weekly Pallieterke and at the Flemish monthly Doorbraak and a regular contributor to the Flemish conservative monthly Nucleus, which he co-founded in 1990. Paul can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other articles by Paul Belien, Brussels Journal