Vereniging Martijn (Dutch pronunciation: [vəˈreːnəɣɪŋ mɑrˈtɛin]; "Martijn Association"; stylized as MARTIJN) was a Dutch association that advocated the societal acceptance of pedophilia and legalization of sexual relationships between adults and children.
|Formation||1982 (dissolved by Supreme Court in 2014)|
|Purpose||To advocate the acceptance of pedophilia and legalization of sexual relationships between adults and children|
|Leader||Ad van den Berg|
|Website||"Dutch homepage for martijn.org". Archived from the original on 17 March 2011.|
The organization began in 1984. It claimed to fight 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."
From 1986 until 2006 the group published OK Magazine, available only through the mail and not in shops, featuring essays, letters, interviews and photographs of scantily clad or naked children, mostly boys.
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.
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 AmaliaEdit
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. 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. In October 2018 he was convicted of possession of child pornography, and sentenced to three years imprisonment.
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 had prior convictions for child sexual abuse. The provincial for the Salesians, Jos Claes, opened disciplinary procedures against Spronck.
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 and as such the organisation could not be prosecuted, banned or disbanded.
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. However, in April 2013, a higher court overturned this decision, upholding the Martijn club's right to freedom of association. On 18 April 2014 the Supreme Court overturned the acquittal and reinstated the trial judge's order. In 2015, an appeal by the association to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) was rejected.
- LEES OOK (23 April 2005). "Subscription magazine for pedophiles" (in Dutch). nieuwsblad.be. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014.
- "About MARTIJN". Vereniging MARTIJN. Archived from the original on 5 August 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Toby Sterling (22 May 2011). "Dutch Catholic Priest Pedophilia Endorsement Shocks Church". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- (in Dutch) Pedofielen: levenslang gestraft of een nieuwe kans? En is geluk maakbaar? Archived 2 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine, RKK, 2 March 2004
- "Demonstratie Stop Martijn verhinderd door anti-fascisten". RTV Rijnmond (in Dutch). 25 October 2003. Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- Prince furious with paedophile website Archived 1 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Dutchnews.nl (30 October 2007).
- Paedophile site must remove royal photos Archived 3 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Dutchnews.nl (2 November 2007).
- NOS Journaal: Koninklijke familie wint kort geding Archived 2 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Nos.nl.
- Official publication court ruling Archived 9 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine (in Dutch) (or use this Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine translation
- "Voorzitter pedovereniging gearresteerd". De Telegraaf. 29 March 2011. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "Robert M. gebruikte valse naam". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- "Dutch priest belonged to pedophile club". The Boston Globe. 20 May 2011. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- "Pater was bestuurslid van pedofielenvereniging Martijn". de Gelderlander (in Dutch). 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- "Gli estremi confini: Salesiani prendono misure contro Spronck". Gli estremi confini. 23 May 2011. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
- "Justitie kan pedoclub Martijn niet verbieden". NU.nl (in Dutch). 18 June 2011. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- "Rechtbank verbiedt pedovereniging Martijn". NU.nl. 27 June 2012. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- Judith Laanen (2 April 2013). "Pedofielenvereniging Martijn mag blijven bestaan, hof verwerpt verbod". nrc.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Annemarie Coevert (18 April 2013). "Hoge Raad: vereniging Martijn definitief verboden en ontbonden". nrc.nl (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- "Pro-pedophile association loses EU court bid". 3 February 2015.