OM closes two Telegram channels to threaten drivers

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The police have closed two channels on chat platform Telegram on behalf of the Public Prosecution Service. The Public Prosecution Service reports that threats and incitements against public authorities were shared in those chat channels.

The examining magistrate gave permission on Friday to close the Batavian Republic and Batavian News channels on Telegram, the Public Prosecution Service reports in a press release. Conspiracy theories were shared within those groups about alleged pedo networks and ritual infanticide in the municipality of Bodegraven.

Recently, within those chat groups, a new Telegram channel was allegedly promoted, in which videos were shared with threatening, inflammatory and defamatory content. The preliminary relief judge had previously ruled that these videos contained prohibited content and that these videos had to be taken offline and could no longer be republished, the Public Prosecution Service writes. The groups were then closed. The new Telegram channel would have been voluntarily removed by the owner on Friday evening.

As far as is known, this is the first time that the Public Prosecution Service has successfully closed Telegram groups, NOS notes. Users who visit the channels now will see a message that they have been taken offline by the police, “to end crimes committed and to prevent the commission of new crimes”. According to the OM, the two channels together had more than 13,000 members when they were closed.

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