Statement Paul van Gageldonk
During my journalistic career, I spent a long time working intensively on groups on the right-hand side of society. In the Netherlands for example, but also in England, Belgium and Germany, I did extensive research on football hooligans and, of course, had to maintain regular contact with these groups over a period of several years. I published four books about this researchs.
Because of the connections that were essential for my journalistic work, I finally came under the attention of the Dutch Federal Intelligence Service (BVD), which observed my activities for a long time. At my request, the BVD also confirmed some time ago that a dossier about me existed. I would like to know if this is still the case today. However, the AIVD – that’s what the BVD calls itself today – does not give me any information.
It should be clear to everyone that the knowing about this monitoring has not only affected my work, but has also been a massive personal burden. The intelligence services have intercepted my phone for years. Some of my informants also knew that, which often made contacts with these sources very tedious. In addition, the surveillance measures were not limited to my search activities within the hooligan scene, but involved substantial interference in my private life.
As part of a research on right-wing populism in the Netherlands, I have recently had also close contacts with supporters of the „Partij van de Vrijheid“ (PVV), the party of Geert Wilders. Since September 2016, I also had regular contacts to members of the „Alternative for Germany“ (AfD), especially with AfD members in Aachen and with supporters of the so-called PEGIDA movement. The research findings were published on September 23, 2017 in the Netherlands in my book „De redders van het avondland“ (Die Abendlandretter).
Of course, I can not prove that my contacts to right-wing and right-wing populist actors in Germany and the Netherlands have led to the BND’s pursuit of my activities. In my experience with surveillance I would not be surprised.