Dutch police probe attacks on dead filmmaker’s son

AMSTERDAM, July 28 (Reuters) – Dutch police said on Thursday they are investigating reports that the teenage son of murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh has been attacked twice by Moroccans.

Amsterdam police said in a statement they noted with concern comments by Van Gogh’s parents in an interview on Dutch television late on Wednesday that the filmmaker’s son Liewe had been attacked twice on the street by Moroccans.

Dutch-Moroccan Mohammed Bouyeri was sentenced to life in jail on Tuesday for the murder last year of Van Gogh, an outspoken critic of Islam who angered many Muslims by making a film which accused Islam of condoning violence against women.

Bouyeri shot and stabbed Van Gogh as he cycled to work in Amsterdam on Nov. 2, 2004, then slashed his throat and pinned a note to his body with a knife. He admitted the murder, which he said was motivated by his religious beliefs.

The killing stoked tensions with the 1 million Muslims living in the Netherlands, about a third of whom have Moroccan roots, and prompted a wave of tit-for-tat attacks on mosques, religious schools and churches. Muslims make up about 6 percent of the Netherlands’ 16 million population.


Dutch news agency ANP quoted Theo Van Gogh’s parents as saying in the interview with current affairs programme Nova that police had not taken any action on the attacks on Liewe.

“He was walking with the dog and they said to him: is your name Van Gogh? Then Liewe said ‘No’ of course, but they still attacked him,” Anneke van Gogh said.

She said former neighbours of the filmmaker had warned police that Moroccan youths had asked them where Liewe lived.

She said Liewe had also been moved to another school class as fellow pupils had been harassing him about his father.


Amsterdam police said officers would contact Liewe’s mother on Thursday: “The police takes the story very seriously and is looking into what is known about it within the organisation.”

Van Gogh was a descendant of the brother of the 19th century painter Vincent van Gogh.

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Reuters, UK
July 28, 2005
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