The Netherlands has decided not to mandate the wearing of face masks in public, citing the fact that there is no scientific evidence to suggest they are effective against the spread of the coronavirus.
“From a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the Cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks” announced Netherlands Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark.
The country’s National Institute for Health (RIVM) noted that it is aware of studies from other countries that purport to show masks slow the spread of disease, but will not be heeding them.
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Six men have been arrested in Holland over the discovery of shipping containers converted into “torture chambers”.
The containers were found in the town of Wouwse Plantage, near Rotterdam, on 22 June following a joint operation by detectives in Holland and France.
Investigators said that criminal gangs had been planning to use the containers to torture victims.
“Six of the containers were intended as cells in which people could be tied up and one container was intended as a torture chamber,” said Andy Kraag, head of the police’s National Investigation Service.
The criminals’ plans were foiled when French detectives cracked messages sent on their EncroChat encrypted phones.
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Employees of asylum centers in the Netherlands are warning that many North African criminals are posing as ‘unaccompanied minors’ to exploit the system and gain free accommodation.
Workers from the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) say they are terrified of violent males from so-called ‘safe countries’ who have little chance of obtaining legal residence but instead claim to be underage minors and thus qualify for protections afforded to child foreign nationals.
“Often these Moroccans, Tunisians, and Algerians are not minors at all, but have false papers with them. Or no papers at all,” a COA employee told Dagblad van het Noorden.
“They are then assured that they will at least have shelter until the age of 18. They just try and often they succeed.”
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Police arrested dozens of Dutch anti-lockdown protesters in The Hague on the 75th anniversary of Liberation Day, a holiday in the Netherlands celebrating the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany.
On Tuesday, a group of around 200 protesters demanded that the government ease the Chinese coronavirus lockdown measures, waving Dutch flags and carrying placards questioning “Where is our freedom?”
“You can’t fight for your freedom more beautifully than on Liberation Day,” one protester told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
“We want to be free and radiate pride,” said another.
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled on Tuesday, April 21, that it is lawful for doctors to euthanize patients with severe dementia, provided that the patient had expressed a desire to be euthanized while still legally capable of doing so.
Lower courts had previously ruled that a doctor had not acted improperly when he euthanized a 74-year-old woman with advanced dementia, even though the woman had to be repeatedly sedated and physically restrained during the procedure. The case was sent to the Supreme Court for further clarification of the country’s euthanasia law, which permits doctors to kill patients considered to be in “unbearable suffering.”
Per Dutch law, euthanasia is only legal for those with dementia if they had written or discussed an advanced directive with their doctor.
“For some people, the prospect of ever suffering from dementia may be sufficient reason to make an advance directive (living will). This can either be drawn up independently or discussed first with the family doctor. A physician can perform euthanasia on a patient with dementia only if such a directive exists, if statutory care is taken and if, in his opinion, the patient is experiencing unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement,” says the Dutch government’s website.
Catholic News Agency
The Dutch government has recalled over half a million face masks it imported from China after discovering that they were faulty.
The Netherlands said on Saturday that it had asked its hospitals to return around 600,000 face masks which health professionals are using to treat patients of the coronavirus.
“The mouth masks that are not satisfactory have been retrieved,” Holland’s Ministry of Health told Dutch broadcaster NOS.
The NOS reported that the faulty masks fail to meet safety requirements because they did not fit on the faces of doctors and nurses and were failing to prevent particles of the COVID-19 virus passing through.
One hospital worker quoted by the NOS said: “When they were delivered to our hospital, I immediately rejected those masks… If those masks do not close properly, the virus particles can simply pass. We do not use them.
A stunning 44 percent of women in the Netherlands regularly feel unsafe in public spaces, according to findings of a large survey conducted by De Telegraaf.
Over 1,000 female readers were polled on a series of questions pertaining to personal safety and security, and the results indicate a sizable portion of the country’s female population is unable to comfortably move about in public on a consistent basis.
“Avoid public transport in the evening, hold your breath when you pass a group of young men on the street and always have a bunch of keys or a hair spray in your hand to ‘arm yourself’ against sudden danger: for a considerable number of Dutch women this has become the daily reality,” De Telegraaf reports.
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Employees of immigration and naturalization offices (IND) in the Netherlands are being pressured to quickly approve as many residence permits as possible for ‘asylum seekers,’ even if they are known criminals or illegitimate applicants, according to local media.
Internal IND documents acquired by Dutch media indicate an emphasis is placed on green-lighting applications quickly and avoiding investing too much energy in scrutinizing sensitive or difficult cases that could prove time-consuming or costly.
The report comes on the heels of a scandal in which Dutch authorities were found to be grossly misleading the public about the magnitude and severity of crimes being committed by migrants.
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Three vehicles went up in flames in a single day in Gouda, Netherlands, bringing the total number of suspicious car fires in the city to 23 for the month of May, according to local media.
Police suspect arson in all 23 cases.
“On Friday Gouda mayor Mirjam Salet announced that preventative searches would take place in a number of neighborhoods in an effort to stop this series of car fires,” NL Times reports. “Every night from 10:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. the police will search people for flammable and fire-accelerating liquids and fire lighters, among other things.”
Automobile fires in the Netherlands are rising at an alarming rate, according to local media.
Dutch insurance companies have reported a 9 percent increase in car fires from 2017 to 2018, as 4,359 such claims were filed in 2018, up from 4,014 in 2017.
“The number of car fires in the Netherlands increased by no less than 45 percent in the past five years,” NL Times reports. “The provinces of Utrecht, Groningen and Zeeland in particular are seeing more and more cars set alight by vandals and arsonists.”
Some 40 to 50 million euros of damage are being inflicted upon vehicles annually, insurers say.