Prison sentence for violence during UvA protests

On Thursday, the Amsterdam single judge sentenced a former student of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to one month in prison for perpetrating violence against the police at pro-Palestinian protests. Meanwhile, demonstrations in The Hague and Nijmegen are leading to new occupations.

photo ronstik / iStock

Three suspects appeared before the Amsterdam single judge in a summary trial on Thursday. 33-year-old Hamza A. was acquitted of throwing stones at the police because the camera footage was inconclusive. The case of 29-year-old Simeon H. was postponed.


A third suspect was sentenced to two months in prison, one of which probational. The judge deemed it proven that this Toby H. struck the police with an umbrella and resisted arrest. The Public Prosecution Service had demanded a sentence of three months, as H. also allegedly threw stones at the police, but the judge was once again unable to determine this because of inconclusive camera footage.

22-year-old Toby H. is originally from the United Kingdom and moved to the Netherlands for his studies. He doesn’t have a criminal record and didn’t want to say anything about his share in the protests during the trial. His lawyer pleaded for full acquittal due to lack of evidence.

Suspicious vandalism

The first summary trials were about the protest that took place on Roeterseiland Monday last week. There, just outside the University of Amsterdam, a tent camp was cleared out.

Last Monday, a 35-year-old suspect was also arrested on charges of vandalising UvA’s ABC building. This suspect is also alleged to have threatened journalists and has been ordered to remain in custody until further notice by the supervisory judge.

Following last Monday’s devastation, the UvA closed its doors for two days. They opened again yesterday. This didn’t lead to new upheaval on the campus.


Protests also took place in other parts of the country. Rotterdam saw its first big pro-Palestine manifestation. For fear of occupations, Erasmus University and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences had closed buildings. The protesters therefore moved their protest to the square in front of the Central Station. The campus is open again today; Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences does continue to monitor access to its buildings.

In Nijmegen and Leiden, protests led to an occupation lasting a few hours on Thursday afternoon. In Nijmegen, those occupying a lecture hall already announced themselves that they’d be leaving again at the end of the day, reports university magazine Vox. In The Hague, the police was called in. They ended up negotiating the exit of about fifty activists. No arrests were made.

Hunger strike

In Maastricht, six students went on hunger strike out of protest on Wednesday. One of them is said to be eating again, reports university newspaper Observant. The other five want Maastricht University to first cut all ties to Israeli education institutions.

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