MDI Fundamental rights

Freedom of expression

The right of freedom of expression is a cornerstone of the Dutch society.

All people living in the Netherlands have the right to seek and receive information, access data and ideas as well as to express their views freely. Freedom of expression is a right that belongs to everyone and like all rights it carries responsibilities.

Bigotry and hate speech are both irresponsible and dangerous. Whereas every person in the Netherlands has the right to peacefully and democratically express opinions, hate and incitement to violence were never a valid exercise of freedom of expression because they may lead to injustice, social disintegration and ultimately to the abolishment of freedom and democracy. The Internet must be a place that stimulates freedom of expression and serves people in their responsible use of democracy and not as a refuge from law where prejudices and stereotypes circulate freely.


Verbal discrimination and incitement to violence are an abuse of the freedom of expression whether they take place online or offline and are illegal.

At the MDI we equally value the freedom of expression and the freedom from discrimination because we believe they are complementary rights. By respecting both freedoms we aim at an equitable and just society both on the Internet and in the real world.