Eindhoven-based Bamenga court victory: military police not allowed to ethnic profile

Military police discrimination
Photo credit: Studio040

The Koninklijke Marechaussee (royal military police) is no longer allowed to select on the basis of skin colour during border controls. That is what the court ruled today. Mpanzu Bamenga from Eindhoven filed the lawsuit together with Amnesty International.

The reason for the case is an incident at Eindhoven Airport. In 2018, Bamenga was picked out of a line at a regional airport by the military police for a check. Many checks by the military police are at airports and on trains. The checks are carried out to prevent illegal stay in the Netherlands. According to Bamenga, he was checked in Eindhoven because of his appearance.

In September 2021, the court still ruled that the military police were allowed to select travellers based on their ethnicity. The court of appeal now dismisses that ruling.

According to the State, the military police in principle do not use skin colour or race to check someone, but the checks are based on analyses of migration flows, NOS (dutch broadcasting foundation) reports. The court disagrees: skin colour is actually decisive for the military police.

“Making a distinction based on race, without objective and reasonable justification, is a particularly serious form of discrimination”, the court’s president said. “Moreover, it has a negative impact on society as a whole”.

Bamenga: “It was a long battle, but the court now finally pronounces what we already knew: that I may be there as a human being and may not be judged on my skin colour. That says nothing about whether someone is criminal or not. It is a victory for myself, for my children and actually for everyone in the Netherlands”, Bamenga told NOS.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob


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