At a protest by climate action group Extinction Rebellion in The Hague on Monday afternoon, a reporter from de Volkskrant arrested. Volkskrantjournalist Mac van Dinther was on site to report on the protest, according to his manager Eelco Meuleman. The Hague police confirm that a journalist was arrested during the protest for “impeding and insulting agents”. According to Meuleman, de Volkskrant called in a lawyer who ‘presses for immediate release’.
The reporter informed his employer that he was summoned by the police to distance himself from the protest. He did not agree, because Van Dinther wanted to see exactly what happened. The police found that the journalist hindered them. He called that “childish,” after which he was arrested. A police spokesperson only says about the incident that Van Dinther is being held on suspicion of insulting an officer. Police expect him to be released on Monday evening. Justice must determine whether the action will have consequences for Van Dinther.
At about three o’clock, Van Dinther wrote on Twitter that he was arrested because he was “too close” to the action. According to the journalist, he was forcibly dragged into the van. The VolkskrantThe editorial staff had their last contact with Van Dinther around 5 p.m. Monday afternoon, who called from the police station. Since then, Meuleman has not been able to reach him. “We take this very seriously,” he says.
According to Meuleman, Van Dinther carried a press card. When he was arrested, he is said to have told an officer that he was a journalist, to which the officer is said to have said that “everyone can say that.” The Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) has also contacted the police after Van Dinther’s tweets, general secretary Thomas Bruning told ANP news agency.
Police have ended Extinction Rebellion roadblocks in three places by asking protesters to leave the protest sites. One of those locations was at an intersection near the temporary building of the House of Representatives. At least more than ten people have been arrested, according to police for not listening and staying at the location. Extinction Rebellion itself speaks of eighty arrests.