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Netherlands: Pedophile Organization Banned

(July 2, 2012) On June 27, 2012, the civil court in Assen, the Netherlands, outlawed the pedophile association Martijn, ordering its immediate dissolution. The reason for the decision, according to a statement from the court, was that the organization “glorifies sexual contact [between adults and children] and presents it as something that should be normal and acceptable.” (Mike Corder, Dutch Court Outlaws Pedophile Association, THE JAKARTA POST (June 27, 2012).)

The group, which was founded in 1982, had been advocating the legalization of sex between adults and children; several past attempts to have the association dissolved had failed. Although at least eight of the former and current leaders of Martijn have been convicted of child abuse, the public prosecution office stated last year that it could not take steps to ban the association. The action in civil court was successful, with the court stating that the group's advocacy contradicts “the fundamental values in the Dutch legal system.” (Court Bans Paedophile Group, DUTCHNEWS.NL (June 27, 2012).)

In response to the court ruling, Marthijn Uittenbogaard, the organization's chairman, said the decision was “an attack on the freedom of expression,” adding that, “[w]e are not happy and we are considering whether to appeal.” (Corder, supra.) In contrast, Dutch prosecutors were pleased with the decision, arguing that it will assist the country in complying with international commitments to protect children from abuse. (Id.)