|Purpose/focus||To advocate the acceptance of pedophilia and legalization of sexual relationships between adults and children|
|Leader||Ad van den Berg|
Vereniging MARTIJN is a Dutch association that advocates the acceptance of pedophilia and legalization of sexual relationships between adults and children. The group has been widely reviled but courts upheld the group's right to exist in June 2011. MARTIJN was expelled from the International Lesbian and Gay Association in 1994. On 27 June 2012 a Dutch court ruled that the group was illegal and ordered it to disband immediately. However this decision was overturned by a higher court.
From 1986 to 2006 the group published OK Magazine, available only through the mail and not in retail stores, featuring essays, letters, interviews and photographs of scantily clad or naked children, mostly boys.
In 2003 Vereniging MARTIJN faced opposition by the Actiecomité Stop MARTIJN (Action Committee Stop MARTIJN), which organized demonstrations against them. Formed and led by Michiel Smit of the New Right, Florens van der Kooi of the NNP, as well as Inge Bleecke of Moeders tegen Pedofilie (Mothers against Pedophilia), the committee was labelled as extreme right by their opponents.
Photographs of Princess Amalia
The organization was in the news in October 2007 when it was learned that photographs of Princess Amalia, daughter of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and his wife Princess Maxima, were on display on the website's forum. The Prince went to court to request a €50,000 fine and the removal of the photos from the website. The court agreed that the photos must be removed, and imposed a fine of €5,000 to be paid every time photos of children of the royal family are placed on the site again. The organisation had to pay €1,235 in costs.
The home of the organization's president, Ad van den Berg, was raided by police in October 2010; downloads of illegal material had been traced back to Van den Berg's internet connection. It was announced in March 2011 that large quantities of child pornography were found among the confiscated material, and even more material, including computers, was confiscated when Van den Berg was arrested on 29 March.
Catholic priest controversy
On 20 May 2011 Herman Spronck, the head of the Dutch arm of the Salesian Catholic order, confirmed to RTL Nieuws that a priest under him had been on the board of MARTIJN until the Van den Berg raids. He added, "Of course we reject this and distance ourselves from this personal initiative." RTL obtained interviews both with Spronck and the priest (73-year-old "Father Van B.") in which the two defended adult-child sex as not always damaging. The priest concerned has prior convictions for child sex abuse.
On 18 June 2011 the Ministry of Security and Justice announced that the association's activities are not illegal under Dutch law. Although individual members have been suspected or convicted of illegal activities, the crimes were not committed as part of tasks for the association. Consequently it is not possible to prosecute, ban or disband the association.
On 27 June 2012, a Dutch court in Assen ruled that the group was illegal and ordered the group to cease activities and disband effective immediately. The judge stated that the groups actions and statements regarding sexual contact between adults and children was in conflict with the accepted norms of values of Dutch society. The judge went on to say these activities were against the law and damaged the integrity of children. According to the ruling, the Dutch state is not obliged to tolerate such actions. In his statement, the judge went on to reaffirm the overriding need to protect children. However in April 2013 this decision was overturned by a higher court. The judge motivated his or her decision by stating that Martijn club did not commit crimes and the right of freedom of association.
- Edward Brongersma
- Dutch Society for Sexual Reform
- Party for Neighbourly Love, Freedom, and Diversity
- (Dutch) LEES OOK (23 April 2005). "Subscription magazine for pedophiles". nieuwsblad.be.
- Toby Sterling (22 May 2011). "Dutch Catholic Priest Pedophilia Endorsement Shocks Church". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- (Dutch) "Justitie kan pedoclub Martijn niet verbieden". NU.nl. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- "Rechtbank verbiedt pedovereniging Martijn". NU.nl. 27 June 2012.
- (Dutch) Pedofielen: levenslang gestraft of een nieuwe kans? En is geluk maakbaar?, RKK, 2 March 2004
- (Dutch) Demonstratie Stop Martijn verhinderd door anti-fascisten, RTV Rijnmond, 25 October 2003
- Prince furious with paedophile website. Dutchnews.nl (30 October 2007).
- Paedophile site must remove royal photos. Dutchnews.nl (2 November 2007).
- NOS Journaal: Koninklijke familie wint kort geding. Nos.nl.
- Official publication court ruling (in Dutch) (or use this translation
- "Voorzitter pedovereniging gearresteerd". De Telegraaf. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "Robert M. gebruikte valse naam". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 16 December 2010.
- "Dutch priest belonged to pedophile club". The Boston Globe. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- "Pater was bestuurslid van pedofielenvereniging Martijn". de Gelderlander (in Dutch). 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.