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Netherlands slavery: Saying sorry leaves Dutch divided

The Netherlands is expected to apologise for slavery, with a speech on Monday by the prime minister and ministerial visits to the Caribbean and Suriname.

But the date chosen and the way the announcement has been organised has prompted criticism, so what Mark Rutte is planning to say is not yet clear.

Critics complain of insufficient consultation and claim the way it has been pushed through by the Dutch cabinet has a "colonial feel".

Six Suriname foundations sought a court injunction to push the apology back to 1 July 2023, which would mark the 150th anniversary of slavery officially ending in the Netherlands' colonies.

"If there's an apology, it should be on the first of July, which is the date of our emancipation, when they removed our shackles," says DJ Etienne Wix, whose community radio station mArt was among the groups seeking a different date.


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