Fining me: For preventing my protest at Dam Square in Amsterdam?

Abdurehim Ghnei Uyghur

On 14th November 2020, I organized an activity commemorating the establishment of East Turkistan Republic at Dam square, Amsterdam. Over 100 Uyghur attendees with the blue flag of East Turkistan, a moon and a star bored on it, and a ball wrote <Independence For East Turkistan> on it in their hands walked around at Dam Square. It was followed by a flag-raising ceremony with East Turkistan national anthem. Then, a speech on the significance of commemorating the establishment of East Turkistan Republic was broadcasted in Uyghur, English, Dutch, and Arabic languages via Facebook. The posters of 13 facts including East Turkistan Republics (1933, 1944), Uyghur history, and genocide against Uyghur people in the 21st century shown with solid pieces of evidence drew huge attention from tourists. This activity lasted peacefully for four hours.

When we were gathering up posters and loading to cars after the activity, a couple of law enforcers showed up and informed me I had to pay a fine for a parking violation. I explained politely that I had been protesting against the Chinese genocide over Uyghur people at Dam Square for about two and half years and driving posters to and back to the Dam Square every time with no troubles. Then I showed the authorization letter from the Amsterdam city council. But they insisted on the forfeit by giving excuses for incomplete documentation. I received a notice of €149 in fines from the Ministry of Justice on 29th December 2020. I appealed to the court against my conviction. I received a refusal notice on 19th January 2021. Then, I appealed to the high court as mentioned in the letter and I have still been waiting for a court decision.

I had to get permission for every protest 24 hours in advance. As more restrictions were imposed after the second wave of the Chinese virus outbreak, most social activities have been restricted since last November. Only fundamental food sectors may run continuously. It is unknown when the restrictions will be lifted.

I hoped to respond to the initiative <From Family Turn to Nation Turn> that started in Turkey and hold my protest, but for not being fined as last time, I applied full license for my protest from Amsterdam City Council. However, I am still waiting for that.

The question is clear: why was my protest, which has been held for two and half years obstructed by fining? Consequently, I will never give up protesting against the Chinese government nor will I ever be intimidated or back down against the Chinese government. I will protect my legal rights by the law.