Appeal court upholds ban on Baudet for comparing coronavirus policy to Holocaust

Appeal court judges upheld the ban on Dutch far-right politician Thierry Baudet for comparing the Dutch government’s Covid vaccination policy to the Holocaust.

The appeal court in Amsterdam has upheld a ban on Thierry Baudet for the politician’s 2022 remarks in which he compared the Dutch government’s coronavirus policy to the Holocaust.

Dutch Jewish organisations took Thierry Baudet, founder and leader of the Dutch far-right party, Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy), to court last year. The case was heard on December 15, when the court found Baudet guilty of “creating a breeding ground for antisemitism.” He was ordered to delete four offensive posts within 48 hours or be fined a daily €25,000 provided the contents remained online. He was also banned from posting images linking the Holocaust to the coronavirus.

Baudet removed the tweets but said he would appeal against what he called a “ludicrous, incomprehensible” judgment.

The appeal court in Amsterdam said Baudet’s comments “trivialised the Holocaust” and may have encouraged “the spread of antisemitic sentiments on the internet”. It said the rights of Holocaust survivors took precedence over Baudet’s freedom of expression and hence upheld the ban on the politician.