Dries van Agt, Former Dutch Prime Minister, Dies at 93

Dries van Agt, a Dutch politician and former prime minister of the Netherlands who became a pro-Palestinian activist later in life, died on Feb. 5 in his hometown, Nijmegen. He was 93.

He died “hand in hand” with his wife, Eugenie, also 93, in a joint act of euthanasia, according to The Rights Forum, an organization he founded that is dedicated to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The announcement of the couple’s euthanasia was a surprise to many people who knew Mr. van Agt as well as to Dutch society as a whole, said Gerard Jonkman, the director of the Rights Forum.

In 2019, Mr. van Agt had a stroke, which caused him to lose some of his faculties, Mr. Jonkman said. “He was in a bad physical condition toward the end,” he added. “That was very difficult for him.”

Mr. van Agt was prime minister from 1977 to 1982 as a conservative member of the centrist Christian Democratic Appeal party. He did advance some progressive laws, however, playing a crucial role, for example, in the decriminalization of the use of cannabis. He continued to move toward the political left later in life.

Mr. van Agt met with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain in 1981. He was prime minister from 1977 to 1982.Credit…Keystone/Hulton Archive, via Getty Images

We are having trouble retrieving the article content.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Want all of The Times? Subscribe.

Related Articles

Back to top button