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Dutch MPs debate right to insult king

AFP-Jiji THE HAGUE (AFP-Jiji) — Dutch members of parliament on Thursday debated scrapping 19th-century laws making it a criminal offence to insult the king, with backers of a draft bill saying they no longer fit a “modern monarchy.”

But the issue is a hot-button topic in the Netherlands where the royal family is much loved, and the down-to-earth King Willem-Alexander has proved as popular as his mother, former queen Beatrix, since he succeeded to the throne in 2013.

The lowlands nation of 17 million people remains one of the few countries to still maintain “lese majeste” laws, under which it is a criminal offence to insult or defame the monarch.Speech

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