Border checks based on ethnicity are not racist, Dutch court rules

Dutch border police should be able to continue stopping travellers for identity checks on the basis of their ethnicity, a district court in the Hague ruled today.

It threw out a legal challenge brought by Amnesty International and black Dutch citizens to the Marechaussee frontier police’s mobile security surveillance unit, known as MTV.

Formal border checks cannot be carried out within the European Union but police controls to prevent illegal residence in the Netherlands, or other countries, are permitted.

The Dutch court defined ethnicity as “unchangeable physical characteristics, especially skin colour or race” and gave approval for continued checks as long as other “risk indicators” were involved in the decision to stop a traveller.

The indicators used by the Dutch, French, German and other border

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