Dutch pro-paedophile club to fight ban at European Court of Human Rights

Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights

The Dutch paedophile society Vereniging MARTIJN is planning to appeal their case at the European Court of Human Rights after being banned by the Supreme Court of The Netherlands last April. The club’s lawyer has announced that the case will be put to the European judges no later than October this year.

Vereniging MARTIJN has been advocating legal and social acceptance of sexual relations between adults and children in the Netherlands since 1982, actively seeking a platform for their ideas through engaging the press and initiating political discourse on the topic.

Last April, the Supreme Court of The Netherlands ruled Vereniging MARTIJN ‘sexistence a threat to public order. Emphasising that forbidding a club should only be considered under extreme circumstances under democratic law, the Supreme Court argued that an exception needed to be made in order to protect children.

“Although in general great caution must be taken when banning a society, the unusually serious actions of Vereniging MARTIJN,which are geared towards removing potential barriers for those seeking sexual relations with children, force the verdict that the organisation be forbidden and dismantled,” the judge ruled.

Gerard Spong, Vereniging MARTIJN ’s lawyer, has announced that the association will be taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights in the hope of getting this verdict overturned. His law firm believes that the ban impeaches on the freedom of speech of the society’s members.

Ad van den Berg, (pictured below) who briefly chaired the organisation until his incarceration for the possession of child abuse images in 2011, is arguably the most well-known member of the club. He has spoken out against what he believes is discrimination of paedophiles and against the taboo on the issue.

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Van den Berg became Vereniging MARTIJN’s leader after co-founding the Party for Neighbourly Love, Freedom and Diversity, more often referred to in the Netherlands as the “paedo-party”. The party planned to run for the 2006 elections, but failed to collect enough signatures to qualify. After failing for the same reason four years later, the party was disbanded.

MARTIJN, a common Dutch boys’ name, was originally the title of a magazine, later rebranded as OK-magazine; “OK” being an acronym of the Dutch words for “Elder” and “Child”. Published quarterly and sent to club members, it contained letters from readers describing their sexual experiences with minors, as well as images of naked and near-naked children.

The editors would also issue advice on how to conduct relationships with children; their official guidelines being that there should be full disclosure towards the parents of the child in question, and that no activities should be undertaken without the full consent of the child itself. They received heavy criticism for voicing the opinion that “mutually pleasurable” sexual relationships between adults and children are not damaging, and should be socially acceptable.

The ban issued last April followed a long list of investigations into the group’s legality. In 2011, the Ministery of Security and Justice ruled that Vereniging MARTIJN s activities were not punishable under Dutch law.

The same year, the parents of an abused child demanded that the organisation face public prosecution for being an accessory in their case, as they believed that in giving the perpetrator advice,Vereniging MARTIJN had incited the crimes their child had suffered. This plea was not taken further by the local courts. 

In 2012, another local court did outlaw the club, on the grounds that it was encroaching upon children’s rights. This ban was reversed a year ago, on the premise that Vereniging MARTIJN wasn’t believed to be causing social disruption.

Following the latest verdict by the Supreme Court, various Dutch politicians warned that the ban would not make the problem of sexual abuse go away. D66’s Magda Berndsen said: “We’ll have to keep track of what the former members of the society do next.”

Richard Korver, chair of the National Lawyer’s Network for the Victims of Violence and Sexual Offences, represented the parents of a large number of children in a high-profile case against one of Vereniging MARTIJN ‘s former members.

In response to the ban, he said: “Sexual abuse of (very) young children can have serious effects in the long term. An abused child will suffer these effects for the rest of their life.”

April 2013

Dutch court overturns paedophile association ban

Founder and former chairman Ad van de Berg (pictured above) is currently in jail for child abuse images offences.

Dutch paedophile group Martijn, which argues for society’s acceptance of consensual sex between children and adults, cannot be banned, an appeals court said on Tuesday, overturning a 2012 ruling.

“According to the court of appeal, the work of the association is contradictory to public order but there is no threat of disrupting society,” the Arnhem-Leeuwarden court in the north of the country said.

The decision came after the head of the association, Martijn Uittenbogaard, appealed a June ruling by a court in nearby Assen banning the group, which has around 60 members.

Martijn Uittenbogaard

The head of the organisation, Martijn Uittenbogaard, (pictured above) said the group’s 60 members would meet to  decide what to do next.

Founded in 1982, the association lobbies for the acceptance of paedophilia but says it is fiercely opposed to any form of sexual abuse.

The appeals court ruled that the fact that some members had previous convictions for sexual abuse was not the association’s responsibility and it had never committed a criminal act.

Words and images on the association’s website are legal and do not advise people to have sex with children, the court said.

Nevertheless, the association is against some principles of Dutch law as it “makes banal the dangers of sexual contact with young children, speaks well of such contact, even glorifies it”, the court said.

But this would not lead to a “disruption” of society, a required condition for an association to be banned, as society is “sufficiently capable of defending itself against undesirable utterances or reprehensible (but not punishable) behaviour”, it said.

Following the ruling, the head of the association tweeted: “Luckily there are still some wise judges.”

A court in Leeuwarden in 2011 declined to pursue criminal proceedings against the association, despite the malaise the group caused even in the liberal-minded Netherlands.

The group’s former head Ad van den Berg was sentenced to three years in jail in 2011 for possession of child pornography.

June 2012 – Court bans paedophile group

A Dutch foundation which campaigns for legalised sex between children and adults has been banned by a Dutch court after years of legal wrangling.

A civil court in Assen on Wednesday banned the paedophile lobby group Stichting Martijn with immediate effect, saying what the foundation does and says about the sexual contact between adults and children contravenes the accepted norms and values in Dutch society.

The foundation’s wish to legalise paedophilia goes against the rule of law and the rights of children, the court said. ‘The Dutch legal system should not give this position any room,’ the Volkskrant quoted the judges as saying.

Prosecution

There have been several efforts to have the organisation banned in the past.

The public prosecution department said last year it could not ban the group, even though at least eight of its current and former officials have convictions for child abuse. Later the department decided to try to have the group disbanded in the civil courts and that campaign has now proved successful.

‘Martijn relishes sex with children and regard this as normal and acceptable. That contracts the fundamental values in the Dutch legal system,’ the court said.

Martijn was founded in 1982. It hit the headlines in 2007 after publishing pictures of crown prince Willem-Alexander’s children on its website. It was ordered to remove them on a court order.

Profile of Ad van den Berg (politician)

Adriaan Pieter (Ad) van den Berg ( Rotterdam , 18 March 1944 ) is a Dutch founder of a political party . 

He is the co-founder and was treasurer of the former Dutch political party Party for Charity, Freedom and Diversity ,  popularly known as the pedo party. This name came about because the party sought to legalize sex from 12 years. Van den Berg is currently Chairman of the Association MARTIJN .

Van den Berg came on 31 May 2006 into disrepute after the cameras of the news show NOVA explained what his newly formed party stood for, and that he himself had paedophilic feelings. According to Van den Berg, prevails in the Netherlands a taboo on paedophilia and that it has been “silenced”. He believes that children “themselves should decide whether or not they are ready for sex . “

Threats

There were threats made by opponents of his former holiday home in the municipality Westvoorne . 

Conviction

In 1987 , Van den Berg was convicted of fornication with an eleven year old boy.  He received a fine of 1000 guilders and a one month suspended prison sentence . The current affairs program Netwerk heard of Van den Berg in October 2006 and that he still has relationships with minors .  In his own words, these relationships were purely platonic .

Lawsuit

In March 2011 it was announced that Ad van den Berg had been arrested in connection with possession of child abuse images. On 4 April, the association announced that Van den Berg had not eaten since 29 March and had no insulin as a protest at his state of affairs.  In response, Van den Berg spoke about a search on his house. He called the state of affairs discrimination for paedophiles and spoke of preventing research.

On October 4, 2011, during the trial of Van Den Berg, four years imprisonment was demanded by the prosecution, of which he got 8 months suspended with probation for five years. He had 150,000 photos and 7500 videos of child abuse images in his possession, and about 12,000 photos which he himself took. The prosecutor said the photos were “very shocking”. 

On November 24, 2011 the civil court banned the association MARTIJN

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