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Dutch prosecutors try 250 for violating ID law

[JURIST] Dutch prosecutors have begun to try 250 of the almost 50,000 people fined for failure to produce valid identification since the country's ID law came into effect on January 1, 2005. The law, intended to stop terrorism and passed in the wake of the murder of outspoken filmmaker Theo Van Gogh [JURIST report] by an Islamic extremist, requires all Dutch citizens over the age of 14 to produce a passport, driver's license or national ID card at the demand of a police officer, or face a fine of 50 euros ($60). Dutch civil rights groups have criticized the legislation as infringing on civil liberties and being an ineffective protection against terrorism and crime in general. Similar concerns have been voiced elsewhere with regard to UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke's proposal [Guardian report] to require those in the EU with ID cards to also provide their fingerprints, and government plans in the US to speed travel through voluntary iris scans, finger printing and background checks. US federal identity legislation inserted in an emergency appropriations bill [JURIST report; Real ID Act JURIST news archive] in May of this year mandates that after 2008, anyone without an approved state ID issued under the act will not be permitted to travel by air or Amtrak, enter federal buildings, or open a bank account. Bloomberg has more.

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