30th August. The Dutch government has denied access to the armed police security detail of former Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb El Rhazoui. She is therefore unable to speak at Celebrating Dissent, the Freedom Festival organized by De Balie that starts today. At the festival, more than 50 freethinkers from all over the world come together to celebrate freedom of thought and ironically, freedom of expression.
“Dear friends @DeBalie, my suitcase was packed, 40 minutes before jumping in the train, I was informed by my security officer @PoliceNationale that the @GovNetherlands refused to give him a firearm license. I’m sorry my voice can’t be heard in Amsterdam #CelebratingDissent” El Rhazoui writes on Twitter.
El Rhazoui was supposed to speak at the first programme of the festival tonight, the Interview Marathon, together with other female activists who fight for equal rights and against oppression. They all made sacrifices in order to live their lives according to their own ideals. During the hour El Rhazoui was supposed to be interviewed, her seat will stay empty and De Balie will show a silent one-hour protest break on the live-stream.
ArtsTalk Magazine will be covering the event. Click here for more details
Photo by Gabriela Hengeveld