Jan 25 2019

Dutch journalist deported by Turkey sues Netherlands for damages

A Dutch journalist deported by Turkey over terrorism charges, Ans Boersma, has filed a lawsuit for damages against the Netherlands government for financial and emotional harm connected with her deportation, the DutchNews website reported on Friday.

Boersma said the Dutch state had shared untrue information about her with Turkish authorities, which she said had put her in physical danger, according to DutchNews.

Turkey deported Boersma last week due to possible ties to a jihadist group fighting in Syria, media reports said. Fahrettin Altun, communications director for the Turkish Presidency, said the Netherlands had told Turkey the reporter had links to Jabhat al-Nusra, which was affiliated to al Qaeda, but has disavowed any ties and changed its name.

A Dutch public prosecutor suspects Boersma of helping a former boyfriend, an alleged member of Jabhat al-Nusra, to get papers to come to the Netherlands by committing fraud, DutchNews said. Boersma admits being the guarantor of his application for a tourist visa to the Netherlands, but says she did nothing wrong.

Boersma told a Dutch TV show Nieuwsuur on Thursday that she had no idea about the 32-year-old Syrian’s past. "I’ve been here for a week and my life has been completely turned upside down," she told the broadcaster. "I want my life back."

The Dutch Journalists Union (NVJ) said the public prosecution department had acted irresponsibly by contacting Turkey about her.

After her deportation, her Dutch newspaper, Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), sacked Boersma. The newspaper's editorial team said she had personal motives for going to Turkey before being hired. The Dutch journalist said she had lost her job and had suffered both financial and emotional damage that should be compensated by Dutch authorities.


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