Participants in jihadist training camps to lose Dutch citizenship

Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten has put forward proposals to deprive people of Dutch citizenship if they undergo instruction at a terrorist training camp or work as instructors, passing on knowledge and skills to others at a camp. Such conduct, which already constitutes a criminal offence, will soon be grounds for stripping an individual of their Dutch citizenship.

The Council of Ministers for the Kingdom has approved Mr Opstelten's bill, which forms part of an integrated approach to tackling jihadists.

Under the law as it stands, an individual can be deprived of Dutch citizenship if they are a member of a terrorist organisation or voluntarily participate in the army of a state involved in acts of conflict targeted against the Kingdom or against an alliance of which the Kingdom is a member.

A final and unappealable criminal conviction definitively establishing the facts is necessary to deprive a person of their Dutch citizenship. The government believes that someone who participates in a jihadist training camp has violated the essential interests of the state to such an extent that his bond with the Kingdom must cease to exist. However, the measure must not leave an individual stateless.

The Council of Ministers for the Kingdom has decided to send the bill to the Council of State of the Kingdom, requesting an advisory opinion. The text of the bill and the Council of State's advisory opinion will be published when they are submitted to the House of Representatives.