Monday, May 29, 2006

Verdonk broke rules!

Oh, oh… the Iron Lady who has always maintained that “rules are rules” has broken rules herself! It was revealed by the College Bescherming Persoonsgevens (CBP, Directorate of Privacy Protection). In the case of Kosovar girl
Taïda Pasic, who was forced to leave the Netherlands in April, Minister Verdonk of Immigration Affairs apparently revealed details of the girl to a newspaper in violation the law protecting privacy of individuals. The violation, according to the CBP resulted in unnecessary publicity and infringements to the life of the 18 year old high school student, and says Verdonk acted “carelessly and unjustly” in the matter.

CBP report: “Authorities and government officials are require to respect the fundamental law on the protection of personal living space in the performance of their duty. Attention in the media for policy [matters] or the performance there of […] does not [deprive of] this fundamental legal protection.”

Verdonk in her defence says that when the situation is urgent she has the ministerial capacity to reveal such facts to the public, and points the fault at the media for “uneven reporting”.

Taida came to the Netherlands in 1999 after the outbreak of the war in Kosovo. She and her family returned to the country in 2005, with less a year to go until Taida completes her high school examination (VWO). In original article Verdonk accuses Taida of “trying to sell nonsense” trying to slander IND [immigration service] workers. According to Verdonk rejected Taida’s two request to return to the Netherlands to complete her high school examination. Verdonk accuses Taida of committing fraud, because she came to the Netherlands anyways, but on a French tourist visa.

UPDATE 3 juni 2006

Here is minister Verdonk’s reaction to the CBP’s accusation that she broke the law.

Part of the ‘reasoning’ is that because of new media like the internet reporting and discussion of individual cases are receiving unprecedented public attention in ways that may jeopardise decision making. She argues that misinformation or wrong reporting can affect public opinion, so in revealing information to the newspaper she was simply trying to strengthen “social support for policy and the social confidence in the careful and legitimate execution of immigration-related legal procedures”. By revealing personal information of Tadic, she was trying to “bring balance to the case”

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