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Senior Dutch diplomat beaten up in Russia

19 Comments

A senior Dutch diplomat at The Netherlands embassy in Moscow was beaten up at his home in the Russian capital by unknown attackers who scrawled the letters "LGBT" on a mirror with lipstick, officials said Wednesday.

The incident comes amid growing tensions between Russia and The Netherlands over the arrest by the Russian authorities of the 30 crew of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship and the brief detention of a Russian diplomat in the Netherlands.

The flare-up between two states whose friendship dates back to Tsar Peter the Great's visits to learn the shipbuilding trade in The Netherlands is particularly embarrassing coming during a Russian-Dutch Bilateral Year aimed at promoting cultural ties.

The deputy head of the Dutch mission in Moscow, Onno Elderenbosch, was approached at his home by men who presented themselves as electricians and then beat him up, Russian news reports and officials said.

The intruders who broke into his flat took nothing but scrawled in pink lipstick the letters LGBT (standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and a drawing of a heart, the Interfax news agency and lifenews.ru website quoted a security source as saying.

The diplomat, 60, was not badly harmed and did not seek medical attention, the reports added.

The Russian Investigative Committee, which handles criminal probes into major crimes, confirmed that a Dutch citizen had been attacked on Tuesday evening.

It said in a statement that the intruders had bound the diplomat with tape and later fled the scene. A criminal inquiry has been opened into an illegal break-in.

The Russian foreign ministry expressed regret over the "sad incident" and said the Russian security forces were doing everything to detain the individuals behind the attack.

"The Russian side is ready for close cooperation with the Dutch partners for an exhaustive explanation of the circumstances of the incident," it said in a statement.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans confirmed the attack on his Facebook page, saying that Elderenbosch was assaulted by two intruders. He said he had called the diplomat, who was now doing fine.

Timmermans added that he was summoning the Russian ambassador for explanations over attack on Elderenbosch, who is the number two diplomat at the embassy in Moscow.

"Our citizens must be able to work in all security and I want assurances from the Russian authorities that they are going to take their responsibilities on this point," he said.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters in The Netherlands that the incident was serious but emphasised "it is very important to work out what happened step by step".

He declined to say whether the attack would affect a visit to Russia by Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima planned in November to mark the end of the Russian-Dutch year.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman condemned the attack, saying Washington was "disturbed by a reported anti-LGBT element".

"It is crucial for the Russian government to ensure a climate of tolerance," she said.

Tensions between Russia and The Netherlands surged last week when police in The Hague detained a Russian diplomat over accusations he was mistreating his children. The Netherlands later apologized for breaching the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

Lifenews.ru said that the intruders to Elderenbosch's flat in central Moscow had told him there was no light on his floor and asked if they could check the electricity in his apartment.

"When the diplomat opened the door, he was hit in the back and he fell, hitting his head on the floor," it quoted a security source as saying. "The intruders then bound him and turned the apartment upside down."

The Netherlands has launched legal action to free the Greenpeace activists, who have been charged with piracy and face up to 15 years in jail.

The Greenpeace crew have been held in Murmansk for almost three weeks after their Arctic Sunrise ship was seized by Russian security forces in a commando-style operation in Arctic waters.

Two of their activists climbed up an oil platform owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom which plans to start producing the first oil from Russian Arctic waters next year.

The so-called "Arctic 30" have been placed in pre-trial detention until November 24 and courts have so far rejected all requests for bail.

© (C) 2013. AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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Did they target this particular diplomat for a specific reason, or is this just the typical human stupidity that blames and targets every person of a country for the actions of their government?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Perhaps it is just me, but you seem to always be angry.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tensions between Russia and The Netherlands surged last week when police in The Hague detained a Russian diplomat over accusations he was mistreating his children. The Netherlands later apologized for breaching the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

That is Tit for Tat.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It might very well be, since it took the Russian police an hour to show up after this diplomat called them and only some minor injuries and damage was inflicted. Instead, Putin should google "drunk Russian diplomat" and see what mayhem they have caused and are causing. Not exactly the behaviour one would expect from diplomats.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

probably the Russian government did and are try to make it look like the LGBT community did it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Perhaps it is just me, but you seem to always be angry

@slumdog--Perhaps its just me, but the news always seems bad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was the Dutch police who overstepped their boundaries according to international diplomacy conventions, thinking they were protecting children. It was thugs who thought they were free to retaliate thinking they were protecting what exactly? Putism?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Putin should google "drunk Russian diplomat" and see what mayhem they have caused and are causing. Not exactly the behaviour one would expect from diplomats.

1 everybody should google "Vienna Convention" "Recalling that peoples of all nations from ancient times have recognized the status of diplomatic agents, "

2 For example US&German diplomats had a lot of incidents in Russia being drunk ... Without any questions from Russian side

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

"Without any questions from Russian side"

You say that like getting drunk and beating up your kids should be somehow excused because you're a diplomat.

Diplomatic has been so abused that it should cease to exist.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Madverts You say that like getting drunk and beating up your kids should be somehow excused because you're a diplomat.

Never.

But if your country has signed Vienna Convention

your police can't arrest foreign diplomats...

You can like it or dislike it , but it is so.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm sure the Vienna Convention also says something about respecting the laws of the host countries, and maybe even common sense. Making people above the law inevitably opens the door to more and more abuse of such unnecessary power. It's time to scrap diplomatic immunity as this Russian thug has proven.

Russia doesn't have a moral to leg to stand on anyway on just about anything these days in Putin's Thugocracy, I'm pretty sure poisoning ex-agents on other people's territories also violates just about every rule in the book....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A predictable move from this country...having ties with a developing country is bound to have its ups and downs. It's impossible to reason with a country with a government consisting out of thugs and alcoholics, especially for the "I don't want to step on any toes" Dutch government.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Madverts I'm sure the Vienna Convention also says something about respecting the laws of the host countries, and maybe even common sense.

Sorry you can read it yourself. Why not ?

Japan US Russia and most other countries have signet it long time ago....

Making people above the law inevitably opens the door to more and more abuse of such unnecessary power

Europian, Japaneese American and all other politician must change it or follow it.

These a the game rules

It's time to scrap diplomatic immunity as this Russian thug has proven.

Anybody has proven that Russian diplomat has done somthing wrong ?

any evidence other than unfounded accusations?

Russia doesn't have a moral to leg

Who have ?

I'm pretty sure poisoning ex-agents on other people's territories

Sorry we have only unforced accusation

and media campaign around it

not enough to prove anything

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Anybody has proven that Russian diplomat has done somthing wrong ?any evidence other than unfounded accusations?

You must be really deep in denial, the Dutch police would never arrest a diplomat, knowing the problems it will cause just out of spite.in this case humanitarian action preceded over diplomatic rules. As a non diplomatic person you should applaud this, as a diplomat you should learn from it. And any Russian national should be deeply ashamed of their governments's reaction to this incident, remember Russian children were abused by a drunk adult. I'd spit on anybody doing this....whether he's a diplomat or the emperor.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It was "tit-for-tat", as already mentioned. Russia does not allow any insult, real or imagined, to go unanswered. It is one of their few admirable qualities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

DutchduckOCT. 18, 2013 - 12:04AM You must be really deep in denial, the Dutch police would never arrest a diplomat, knowing the problems it will cause just out of spite.in this case humanitarian action preceded over diplomatic rules.

First Arctic Sunrise (Dutch Icebraker Gasprom/Greenpeace quarell)

Then Russian diplomat was attacked

Dutch gov refused to punish police officers who have arrested and beaten him.

Then...

sad story

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To the person above "refused to punish police officers who have arrested and beaten him." Yeah, let's punish cops that arrest child abusers! And it's just the Russians saying they beat him. Imo, even if they did, which is unlikely considering they're Dutch cops, give them a medal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ Dave Brouwer

This attack wasn't official. Too bad. They should have planted some drugs in the diplomat's home and made it look like a drug-related incident. Just that Russian citizens often act on these things even quicker than the officials.

"Yeah, let's punish cops that arrest child abusers! "

Proof? Other than frothing at the mouth? None. Case closed pending further evidence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Dutchduck

"And any Russian national should be deeply ashamed of their governments's reaction to this incident, remember Russian children were abused by a drunk adult."

This coming from a nation where they have a legal party promoting paedophilia? Really? So I guess if you are sober, and Dutch, it must be ok. Got it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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