es/sms (AFP, dpa)
The Dutch government on Friday banned British conspiracy theorist David Icke from entering the Netherlands for two years. The ban also effectively bars Icke from entering any of the 25 European countries in the Schengen free movement area.
Officials in the Netherlands said he would “disturb public order.”
Icke posted a letter from the Dutch immigration services on his website, calling them “fascist.”
The letter says: “You have been internationally known for years as a propagator of conspiracy theories.”
His presence, as someone who had made “antisemitic and offensive statements in the past,” could lead to unrest in the country at a time when violence and threats against public figures are growing, said the Dutch government.
Who is David Icke?
A former footballer and broadcaster, Icke has in recent decades become infamous for his self-published books and speaking engagements that have espoused increasingly outlandish conspiracy theories.
Icke had claimed that the world is secretly controlled by a race of lizard people, and that the antisemitic hoax text “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” is genuine.
More recently, he has turned to giving speeches claiming that climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are hoaxes.
He had been due to give a speech in Amsterdam on Sunday, prompting concern from officials that there could be clashes with security services or protesters.
This is the second time the Netherlands has banned such a controversial figure. In 2019 they barred Steven Anderson, a virulently homophobic American preacher, from entering the country.