Dutch court fines Orthodox Jew for not carrying ID on Shabbat

(JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish man who for religious reasons failed to produce identifying documents to Dutch police will have to pay a $90 fine, a Dutch appeals court ruled.

Tuesday’s ruling by the Hague Appeals Court, which is a Dutch Supreme Court, struck down a lower court ruling last year regarding a violation that occurred on a Saturday in 2011.

In the incident, a 42-year-old Jewish man  who was stopped by police said he did not have his ID with him on the street as required by Dutch law because he was forbidden to carry anything on the Jewish Sabbath. The officers had suspected the man of being connected to an unspecified offense, according to the Reformatorisch Dagblad daily. He was fined the equivalent of $195.

The man won his appeal in a regional court — the judge wrote in his ruling that the religious duties to which the man was bound took precedence over some legal requirements. But the ruling spurred angry reactions by some lawmakers, including from the Green Left Party, prompting the Dutch prosecutor’s office to take the unusual step of appealing to the Hague Appeals Court.

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