Former Pakistani cricketer handed a 12-year sentence for making threats against the Dutch far-right leader.


In a landmark case that has stirred international attention, a Dutch court has sentenced Khalid Latif, a former Pakistani cricketer, to 12 years in prison. The conviction was handed down in absentia after Latif was tried for inciting violence against the Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders. This unprecedented ruling has raised questions about the limits of free speech and the consequences of incitement in the age of social media.

Background: The Controversial Video

The case against Khalid Latif revolves around a video he posted in 2018 while residing in Pakistan. In the video, Latif offered a substantial reward of 3 million rupees (equivalent to around 21,000 euros at the time) to anyone who would carry out the murder of Geert Wilders. This provocative act came during a period of intense protests in Pakistan, triggered by Wilders’ announcement of a cartoon contest featuring caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad. Although the competition was eventually canceled, it had already ignited outrage across the Muslim world.

The Legal Ruling

The Dutch court’s ruling has sent shockwaves through legal circles and international relations. The court deemed Latif’s statements as not only incitement to murder but also as acts of sedition and threats. The judges argued that Latif’s words were explicit, promising a substantial sum of money for the specific act of killing Geert Wilders. Moreover, they pointed out that in the midst of the protests, where Dutch flags were burned, others had also called for Wilders’ assassination. The court expressed serious concern that someone, anywhere in the world, might be compelled to act on Latif’s call to violence.

The Complex Jurisdiction Issue

One of the most intriguing aspects of this case is the jurisdictional challenge it presents. Khalid Latif resides in Pakistan and has never been detained in the Netherlands. The legal systems of the two countries lack any treaties regarding judicial cooperation or extradition. Earlier cooperation requests by the Dutch prosecution went unanswered. This raises questions about the practicality of prosecuting individuals who reside in foreign countries and use the internet to propagate hate or violence.

The Impact on Freedom of Speech

While the court’s ruling has been celebrated by some as a victory against incitement to violence, it has also sparked concerns about the freedom of speech in the digital age. The case brings to light the power and reach of social media, where a single video posted online can have global repercussions. Balancing the need to prevent violence with the fundamental right to express one’s opinions remains a complex challenge in today’s interconnected world.

Geert Wilders: A Polarizing Figure

Geert Wilders, the target of Khalid Latif’s incitement, is a controversial figure in Dutch politics. He has played a pivotal role in shaping the immigration debate in the Netherlands for the past two decades, despite never holding a government position. Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) is the third-largest in the Dutch parliament, making him a prominent opposition leader. Due to the polarizing nature of his views, Wilders has been under constant police protection since 2004.


The case of Khalid Latif’s conviction for incitement to murder Geert Wilders is a striking example of the complexities surrounding freedom of speech and its boundaries in the digital age. While the court’s decision sends a strong message against incitement to violence, it also highlights the challenges posed by jurisdictional issues and the global reach of social media.


  1. What led to Khalid Latif’s conviction in the Netherlands? Khalid Latif was convicted for incitement to murder Geert Wilders, a Dutch far-right leader, based on a video he posted in 2018, offering a substantial reward for Wilders’ assassination.

  2. Why was Geert Wilders a target of controversy in the Muslim world? Geert Wilders sparked outrage in the Muslim world by announcing a cartoon contest featuring caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad, which many Muslims found highly offensive.

  3. What jurisdictional challenges were faced in Khalid Latif’s case? The main challenge was that Latif resided in Pakistan, and there were no judicial cooperation or extradition treaties between Pakistan and the Netherlands.

  4. How has social media played a role in cases like Khalid Latif’s? Social media allows individuals to reach a global audience quickly, making it a powerful tool for spreading ideas, both positive and harmful, and raising questions about the regulation of online content.

  5. Who is Geert Wilders, and why is he a polarizing figure? Geert Wilders is a Dutch far-right leader who has been influential in shaping the immigration debate in the Netherlands. His controversial views have made him a polarizing figure in Dutch politics.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *