FARC terrorist to keep Dutch nationality

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Tanja Nijmeijer, who for years has been a member of Colombia’s FARC rebel group, will not for the time being lose her Dutch nationality. Christian Democrat MPs had called for her to be deprived of her Dutch passport.

Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal agrees that she belongs to “one of the most violent terrorist organisations”. However, he points out that nationality can only be taken away from someone who has been finally convicted of a terrorist offence and only if the person would not then become stateless.

Although membership of the FARC is a criminal offence in the Netherlands, Ms Nijmeijer has not been convicted of a terrorist offence and she only holds the Dutch nationality. Mr Rosenthal did acknowledge that she is wanted for trial for terrorist offences in both the United States and Colombia.

The Christian Democrats are angry with what they see as the romanticising of “the terrorist” in the Netherlands. They object to the fact that camera crews are able to locate Ms Nijmeijer in the Colombian jungle for interviews while she remains a fugitive from the authorities in Colombia. The latest such interview was aired on Dutch television recently.

There was little support in parliament for the idea of rescinding Ms Nijmeijer’s Dutch nationality.


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