The mayor of Veldhoven was not allowed to ban the Eritrean meeting that would take place in his city last year. The administrative judge in Den Bosch ruled that Thursday after the organizers of the conference went to court to claim compensation.
Because of the ruling they can now proceed further. The meeting was to take place last year from 14 to 16 April and was organized by the Dutch Eritrean Platform, the youth section of the only permitted political party in Eritrea. As a result of disturbances, former mayor Jack Mikkers, now mayor of Den Bosch, forbade the event before it even started.
Opponents of the controversial Eritrean regime protested one day before the conference against the arrival of a government representative of the African country. There were disturbances. The police arrested about 120 people.
The Bossche judge gives the burgomaster on Thursday that there was "serious disorder" during the riots around the meeting. But, says the administrative judge, this does not mean that the mayor was allowed to issue an emergency order. He completely relied on the advice of the police without formulating his own judgment on whether there were other options except to completely cover the event.
"For example, the mayor did not ask how many police officers were available and whether these numbers could be delivered."