The court in Utrecht has sentenced two men and two women for threatening and insulting writer Pim Lammers. The four, aged 22 to 34, have been sentenced to community service of 50 and 60 hours, half of which are suspended.
Sheryll W. (34) from Amsterdam received the highest sentence of 60 hours because she had made her threat publicly on Instagram, and not via a private message. One 19-year-old suspect has been acquitted due to lack of evidence. Although his account was used to send a threat, he would not have done that himself. The judge gave him the benefit of the doubt.
“Social media has an indirect character, but that does not mean that there are no boundaries,” said the magistrate. “It must also be clear to society that criminal law clearly states what people can say to and about each other, also online.”
Children’s Book Week
At the beginning of this year, Lammers retired as a writer of the poem for the Children’s Book Week after receiving death threats.
As a 21-year-old, he wrote a story for adults in 2015 about the relationship between a 12-year-old boy and a football coach, based on the experiences of someone close to him. The Christian organization Family in Danger, Member of Parliament Wybren van Haga, model Kim Feenstra and presenter Monique Smit shared fragments from the story. Lammers was accused of being a pedophile activist, among other things.
Subsequently, Lammers received “hundreds of messages, photos of burned people and messages that described in detail how I should be tortured,” he said in an interview with Nieuwsuur in March. When people in his environment were also mentioned, he decided to withdraw as a writer of the poem for the Children’s Book Week.
Lammers was not present at the hearing. He said in a written response that the threats haunt him to this day and that the enjoyment of his work has been seriously affected.
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