Fri, Jun 29, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Child sex lobby banned

AFP, THE HAGUE

A Dutch court on Wednesday outlawed an association that lobbies for the social acceptance of sexual relations between adults and children.

“The court has banned and ordered the dissolution” of the Martijn organization, said Luta van der Leij, a spokeswoman for the civil court in the northern city of Assen.

The court said in a statement Martijn glorified sex with children as “something normal and acceptable, or as something that should be.”

“The court finds lobbying for these rights is a grave infraction of the values of our society,” it said.

Dutch prosecutors on May 16 in closing arguments called for the organization, which has been around since 1982, to be banned and dissolved.

With its headquarters in Assen, about 160km northeast of Amsterdam, and running a Web site, prosecutors said Martijn “offered a digital network and office to sex offenders.”

Currently it has about 60 members and lobbies for what it termed consensual sex between adults and children, while stating it is vehemently opposed to sexual abuse.

Its former president, Ad van den Berg, was jailed for three years on Oct. 18 last year in Harlem in western Netherlands for possessing pictures, films and magazines featuring child pornography.

The prosecution took the civil case to the Assen court after an appeals court in November last year refused to prosecute Martijn on criminal charges.

Martijn’s current president, Marthijn Uittenbogaard, said the court’s decision was a “black day for the freedom of expression and the rule of law,” adding “we will talk to our lawyers now to see what to do next.”

Its defense lawyer Bert Swier said on May 16 that it would appeal should the decision go against Martijn.

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