Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
One of the largest women’s groups in the nation, Concerned Women for America, is urging the U.S. State Department to downground the Netherlands’ ranking among free countries for unresolved allegations that a high government official engaged in child exploitation and sex tourism.
Demmink has been accused multiple times, including by two Turksih men who said he raped them while they were boys, but critics say no investigation has produced results over the years because Demmink, in his government position, simply would order them halted.
“Demmink has a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and that is a sacred right that I’m sure we all want to protect. At the same time, the allegations, when taken in their full context, are credible, and deserve to be properly investigated so that a prosecutor can make a responsible decision whether to proceed with a case against Mr. Demmink. That investigation has never happened – the investigations that have taken place have been a travesty and have done nothing to clear Mr. Demmink’s name. Rather, they have raised further questions,” Smith said at the time.
CWFA noted that the State Department’s 2013 Trafficking in Person’s report – assessing child exploitation, sex tourism and related crimes around the world – is due to come out soon.
“Concerned Women for America joins those concerned about the world’s children and who are calling for answers regarding the pedophilia accusations against Joris Demmink, former Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General, who has been accused of rape,” said Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of the organizations Beverly LaHaye Institute.
“The questions regarding the effectiveness of the Dutch investigation of these accusations are of grave concern to all who care about the protection and well-being of children. The TIP report tier ratings are the most effective way of communicating a professional evaluation of a nation’s efforts against child sexual exploitation. As long as legitimate questions remain regarding the handling of former-Secretary General Demmick’s actions, the TIP office cannot give them the benefit of doubt; they must downgrade the Netherlands to enforce compliance with international standards regarding sex trafficking.”
Smith, who chairs the Subcommittee on Africa, global Health, Human Rights and International Organizations, also has been pressing for answers.
He said he has not been able to obtain a “strong” response from the TIP office to his questions.
Further, he notes that the tier rankings of the TIP office are an “international gold standard” and the “primary means of anti-trafficking accountability around the world.”
Crouse continued, “In a recent letter, I encouraged Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the TIP Office, to take into account in the 2013 tier rankings the lack of serious investigation of the charges against Mr. Demmink. Based on the evidence to date, Holland’s tier ranking needs to be downgraded.”
Kwame Fosu, the policy director for the Rebecca Project, told WND the march at the time was to call “the world’s attention to a shocking and outrageous situation in the Netherlands.”
“For years, Mr. Demmink has used the power of his office to thwart investigations into this despicable behavior,” he said. “This year, as more of Demmink’s victims speak up and demand justice, The Rebecca Project is leading a series of worldwide actions to force the Dutch government to deal with this matter as is required in a civilized world.”
It was the U.S. State Department’s embassy in the Hague that simply dismissed statements by witnesses against Demmink as “unproven.”
The details were provided to WND by a source with access to an email exchange between congressional staff members and the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands.
Embassy officials said, “Demmink has been one of the most influential officials in the past three decades in three consecutive positions at the Ministry of Justice, first as director general for the Administration of Justice, then as director general for International Affairs and Alien Affairs, and since 2002 as the ministry’s highest official as secretary general.”
The officials confirmed that the international child sex trafficking scandal involving Demmink has been going on “since the mid-1990s.”
But the embassy stated to Congress:
However, conclusive proof has never been delivered. The allegations have repeatedly been investigated but proof was never found for his having committed criminal offenses.
In fact, a gay magazine and a tabloid that had published the allegations were ordered by a court in 2003 to rectify their stories. In October 2003, someone filed a complaint against Demmink, [and the complainer] was convicted in July 2004 by a police judge and sentenced to two months of suspended imprisonment for making a false and deceitful statement.
In 2007, a major Turkish drug leader by the name of Hüseyin Baybasin, who was convicted in the Netherlands for murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking and sentenced to life, accused Demmink of conspiring with Turkish officials to get him convicted. He charged that these officials had put [Demmink] under pressure because they allegedly had evidence that [Demmink] abused young boys in Turkey in the 1990s.
The allegation was investigated, but the prosecutor’s office again concluded that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegation. It noted that the allegation was based on “a mysterious report” about which Baybasin’s attorneys could not provide any clarification. His attorneys did not accept this decision and filed in 2008 for an injunction from the appellate court requesting that the prosecutor initiate criminal proceedings. The request was denied and the appellate court dismissed their arguments as unfounded, insufficiently concrete and insufficiently motivated.
However, an attorney in the Netherlands, Adele van der Plas, is representing several of the men who remember being victimized by Demmink. She told WND the Netherlands has decided to back Demmink “in spite of all the overwhelming proof.”
She said there are four police reports naming Demmink as a suspect, and six victims who have come forward to identify him. She said a Turkish policeman who was to provide security but instead was asked to kidnap boys from the street for Demmink to rape has come forward.
See a video report that includes statements from victims and corroborating testimony from investigators: