Saturday 04 December 2021

Advocate general recommends banning pro-paedophilia group

The advocate general on Wednesday recommended the Supreme Court ban the paedophile association Stichting Martijn, signalling the end of a legal battle which has been going on since 2011.

The Martijn Foundation campaigns for the legalisation of sexual contact between adults and children and has been the subject of a convoluted legal battle for years.

The advocate general, Vino Timmerman, said he recognised his position conflicts with freedom of expression and freedom of association rules. However, the protection of children should weigh more heavily, Timmerman said. This position is also key in European and international law.

Final ruling

The advocate general’s recommendations are usually accepted by the Supreme Court, which is due to make its final ruling on April 18.

Last year the Leeuwarden appeal court overturned a lower court decision and said the foundation cannot be banned because it’s existence does not threaten to cause social disruption.

In 2012, a lower court in Assen banned the paedophile group, saying what the foundation does and says about sexual contact between adults and children contravenes the accepted norms and values in Dutch society.

Founders

The public prosecution department decided to appeal to the Supreme Court, which is now considering the case.

Martijn was founded in 1982. It hit the headlines in 2007 after publishing pictures of crown prince Willem-Alexander’s children on its website.

Several of its high profile members, including founder Ad van de Berg, have been jailed for child pornography offences.

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