strawThe owner of a Gelderland news agency is showered with death threats after he was associated on social media with hanging a flag with a swastika along the A1 near Stroe, confirms PersVeilig. Roland Heitink denies any involvement and says that countless people are now trying to find out his address. “I am shocked by the many threats, death wishes to me and my family.”
In the night from Saturday to Sunday, a flag with a swastika was hung along the A1 near Stroe and a fire was set. The police report that hanging a swastika flag is punishable and that the perpetrators are being sought. On social media, the maker of the photo, an employee of Persbureau Heitink, is massively accused of involvement in the action. For example, he would have been to the site of the fire much too soon and he would have known about the fire before the emergency services, which would be suspicious.
Photographer Roland Heitink distances himself from all accusations and threats. “The amount of people trying to find out my address is countless. I have 100 percent confidence in the photographers and cameramen who work for my company. I protect them and I always will,” he said in a written statement.
According to Heitink, a photographer from his team had gone driving that night because of an earlier report of another fire a little further away. At that moment he received a report of a second fire where the Nazi flag was hanging. “Once he arrived there, he made and sent the image. A car tire was on fire, not the roadside suggested. This fire was almost out and the berm was green in color. This means that there was enough moisture present and that is why the fire did not continue to burn”, explains Heitink.
The photographer had not set the time settings of his camera correctly, says Heitink. “This has caused a stir because we would be present before the report went out. There was also a fuss that we said that the farmers had something to do with it, but the email to the media also states that it is not certain whether this has to do with a protest,” Heitink said. He emphasizes that he does not take a position in the farmers’ protest. “We are neutral. Our goal is to bring the news to the public.”
PersVeilig, a joint initiative of the media and the police, confirms that Heitink is constantly threatened. The malice is unprecedented: stop falsely accusing a professional photographer and threatening him and his family!
Residents of the village of Stroe are shocked by the incident. “We have absolutely nothing to do with this,” farmer Gert-Jan Brouwer told Omroep Gelderland. It is not yet known who hung the flag and caused the fire. No one has been arrested. Police say information is being collected for future investigation.
The Jewish interest group CIDI calls it ‘not just a swastika flag’. This is exactly the flag of Nazi Germany. We often see graffiti with a swastika, but this flag is associated even more quickly with hatred and violence,” responds Aron Vrieler of the CIDI.
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