Vereniging Martijn

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Vereniging MARTIJN
Logo of Vereniging MARTIJN.jpg
Formation 1982 (dissolved by Supreme Court in 2014)
Purpose To advocate the acceptance of pedophilia and legalization of sexual relationships between adults and children
Region served
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Official language
Dutch
Leader Ad van den Berg

Vereniging MARTIJN ("Martijn Union") was a Dutch association that advocated the societal acceptance of pedophilia and legalization of sexual relationships between adults and children.[1]

Establishment[edit]

The organization began in 1984. It claimed that it fought for "the social and societal acceptance of child-adult relationships", emphasising what they called the "consent of both child and adult" and the "freedom for the child to withdraw from the relationship". It claimed to be in favour of "objective, scientifically verifiable truth and against political terror and discrimination."[2]

OK Magazine[edit]

From 1986 till 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.[1]

Opposition[edit]

MARTIJN was expelled from the International Lesbian and Gay Association in 1994. The group was seen as "widely reviled" though Dutch prosecutors initially formed the view that it could not be prosecuted.[3]

Logo of Actiecomité Stop MARTIJN

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),[4] the committee was labelled as extreme right by their opponents.[5]

Photographs of Princess Amalia[edit]

The organization was in the news in October 2007 when it was learned that photographs of Princess Catharina-Amalia (then aged 3½), daughter of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange (now King) and his wife Princess Maxima (now Queen), 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.[6] 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.[7][8][9]

Police investigations[edit]

Ad van den Berg

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.[10]

Suspects in the Amsterdam sex case, an investigation into the abuse of tens of children in Amsterdam kindergartens, were members of MARTIJN.[11]

Catholic Church involvement[edit]

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.[12] The priest concerned had prior convictions for child sexual abuse.[13]

Disbandment[edit]

On 18 June 2011, the Ministry of Security and Justice announced that the association's activities were not illegal. Crimes committed by its members could not be attributed to the association could not be prosecuted, banned or disbanded.[14]

On 27 June 2012, a Dutch court in Assen ruled that the group was illegal and ordered the group to cease activities and disband immediately. The judge stated that the group's actions and statements regarding sexual contact between adults and children were in conflict with the accepted norms and values of Dutch society. In his statement, the judge emphasised the overriding need to protect children.[15] However, in April 2013, a higher court overturned this decision, upholding the Martijn club's right to freedom of association.[16] On 18 April 2014 the Supreme Court overturned the acquittal and reinstated the trial judge's order.[17] On 3 February 2015, an appeal by the association to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) was rejected.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b LEES OOK (23 April 2005). "Subscription magazine for pedophiles" (in Dutch). nieuwsblad.be. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "About MARTIJN". Vereniging MARTIJN. Archived from the original on 5 August 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Toby Sterling (22 May 2011). "Dutch Catholic Priest Pedophilia Endorsement Shocks Church". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  4. ^ (in Dutch) Pedofielen: levenslang gestraft of een nieuwe kans? En is geluk maakbaar?, RKK, 2 March 2004
  5. ^ (in Dutch) Demonstratie Stop Martijn verhinderd door anti-fascisten[permanent dead link], RTV Rijnmond, 25 October 2003
  6. ^ Prince furious with paedophile website Archived 1 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Dutchnews.nl (30 October 2007).
  7. ^ Paedophile site must remove royal photos. Dutchnews.nl (2 November 2007).
  8. ^ NOS Journaal: Koninklijke familie wint kort geding Archived 2 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Nos.nl.
  9. ^ Official publication court ruling (in Dutch) (or use this translation
  10. ^ "Voorzitter pedovereniging gearresteerd". De Telegraaf. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Robert M. gebruikte valse naam". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 16 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Dutch priest belonged to pedophile club". The Boston Globe. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Pater was bestuurslid van pedofielenvereniging Martijn". de Gelderlander (in Dutch). 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Justitie kan pedoclub Martijn niet verbieden". NU.nl (in Dutch). 18 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Rechtbank verbiedt pedovereniging Martijn". NU.nl. 27 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Judith Laanen (2 April 2013). "Pedofielenvereniging Martijn mag blijven bestaan, hof verwerpt verbod". nrc.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Annemarie Coevert (18 April 2013). "Hoge Raad: vereniging Martijn definitief verboden en ontbonden". nrc.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Pro-pedophile association loses EU court bid