Don't have 1,000 euros for a lawyer to accompany you to the Dutch police station? Are you afraid that the cop will warp and falsify your statement because your knowledge of Dutch is limited? Tough!
Were you evicted without due process and robbed of all your possessions and documents? That's no excuse, you still won't be afforded a lawyer.
I used to believe that the Netherlands was the most tolerant, liberal place in the world before I moved here. I've never watched any Dutch movies, so I don't know exactly how the country cultivated this image; perhaps because it was the first to have decriminalized weed and gay marriage, but those two things no longer mean a place is liberal, however, since Alaska has gay marriage and even more legal cannabis.
|"It's a crime to talk back, prepare to be charged." EenVandaag|
What made the Netherlands a progressive country has now been rendered globally mundane, with the country's policies toward its most impoverished members instead coming to the 'fore, and with Geert Wilders becoming the country's most recognizable celebrity.
Beyond not affording a lawyer to suspects, the Dutch police will issue warrants for individuals who do not show up to interrogations, even if the crime is offending someone on the internet, an offense our editor-in-chief is currently under investigation for, in a case that has been open for more than a year, with our website maintained under daily scrutiny by the Dutch Ministry of Justice.
The police know that they can exploit suspects who can't afford a lawyer, and often give them an impromptu phone call, telling them that they have to show up at the police station in order to give testimony; being denied the right even to prepare a legal defense.
As the Netherlands does not have legislation in place to protect people's medical privacy, the police will ask a suspect if he has medication prescribed and for which condition.
I was shocked as an American to learn that this all happens in a supposedly tolerant land, but I was even more horrified to learn that our editor-in-chief was put on trial after one of these interrogations, where a policewoman translated his words to her own desire, guaranteeing that he'd see trial for suspicion of growing cannabis.
The Dutch police will interrogate and even deny you the right to call the US Ambassador while they hound you, since calls are forbidden once the aggressive interrogation starts.
You still have some right to silence, but be prepared to stare at the ground and remain fully stoic and silent as a Dutch cop screams at you and tells you that your most basic rights are moot. Depending on how you respond to that aggression, the interrogator will make a note, perhaps alleging that you have a tendency to get easily angry or that you were unusually afraid.
The crime rate in the Netherlands is supposedly low, but I increasingly meet poor individuals who tell me that they have been raped, robbed, have had their houses broken into, etc. but were afraid of going to the police because of the brutal treatment given to the country's most needy.
The Netherlands is a lovely country, but those who aren't white and rich may learn that tolerance has a price.