No proof of attack on Van Gogh’s son-Dutch police

AMSTERDAM, July 28 (Reuters) – Dutch police said on Thursday they could not substantiate a report that the teenage son of murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh had been attacked by Moroccans.

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

The interview came a day after Dutch-Moroccan Mohammed Bouyeri was sentenced to life in jail for last year’s murder of Van Gogh, a critic of Islam who angered many Muslims by making a film which accused Islam of condoning violence against women.

Police rejected accusations by Van Gogh’s parents that they had not acted on the reported attacks, saying they had been in frequent contact with the boy’s mother since the murder and had also provided Lieuwe with extra security.

“Lieuwe reported threats and assault a number of times but immediate and extensive investigation could not prove it,” the police said, declining to comment further on the matter.


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.

The police had spelt the youth’s name Liewe in a statement earlier on Thursday.


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Reuters, UK
July 28, 2005
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