Dutch government refuses to pay for protection of author Hirsi Ali in US

October 4, 2007 17:22


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The Dutch Justice Minister said Thursday the Netherlands is no longer willing to pay the costs - estimated at €2 million (US$2.8 million) per year - to protect former lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali while she lives in the United States. Hirsi Ali, 37, threatened with death for her anti-Islam writings, returned abruptly to the Netherlands on Monday after a year's stay in the US, where her autobiography, "Infidel," has become a best-seller. "When Ms. Hirsi Ali is in the Netherlands, protection measures will be taken for her on the basis of recent threat evaluations," Ernst Hirsch Ballin wrote in a letter to parliament, responding to formal questions by lawmakers asking the details surrounding her return. Hirsi Ali lost her status as a representative of the Netherlands when she resigned as a member of parliament in May 2006, Hirsch Ballin said. "The appropriate regime (for her status) doesn't offer any place for protection abroad," he said.

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