A complaint has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on behalf of the imam Fawaz Jneid. An area ban was imposed on Jneid on 15 August 2017 by the Minister of Justice and Security. He was denied access to two neighbourhoods in The Hague, the Schilderswijk and Transvaal for half a year. Jneid was said to encourage young people in these neighbourhoods to jihadist violence in his lectures. The measure is based on the Temporary Administrative Measures Against Counterterrorism Act (Tijdelijke wet bestuurlijke maatregelen terrorismebestrijding – ‘Twbmt’).

Jneid challenged the measure before the District Court of The Hague and the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, which rejected his appeal (see here and here). As a result, Jneid had no other option than to submit the case to the ECtHR.

The measure against Jneid and the judgments of the District Court and the Council of State have led to criticism in the press and amongst scholars, who concluded that his fundamental rights were insufficiently guaranteed. In particular it has been emphasized that it is unclear which behaviours do and do not fall within the scope of the Twbmt. In addition, criticism has been expressed about the fact that far-reaching measures have been imposed outside the criminal law framework and without the requisite legal guarantees and standards of proof. The statements that led to the imposition of the area ban do not call for violence or terrorism – Jneid has renounced violence and terrorism on several occasions – and the Public Prosecutor examined the statements and did not find them to be punishable. In addition, statements he made before the entry into force of the Twbmt in 2010 have also been held against him. As such, it had not been foreseeable for Jneid that his constitutional rights would be restricted in this way, whilst it is also unclear how he could get the restrictions lifted. The measure has already been extended by six months twice.

In ECtHR-complaint, violations of the following rights have been raised: the right to a fair trial (article 6 ECHR), the prohibition of punishment without law (article 7 ECHR), freedom of religion (article 9 ECHR), freedom of expression (article 10 of the ECHR), freedom of assembly and association (article 11 ECHR) and the right to freedom of movement (article 2 Protocol No. 4 to the ECHR).

Mr. Jneid is represented in these proceedings by lawyers Tom de Boer and Tamara Buruma.

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