Friday, 8 March 2013

#EU #OSCE Removal Netherlands #DEMMINK #OpCLEANSWEEP

Rebecca Project for Human Rights Applauds Congressman Chris Smith's OSCE Human Trafficking Report that Criticizes Dutch and Turkish Authorities for Not Investigating Sex Abuse Allegations Against Former Dutch Justice Minister
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Thu Mar 7, 2013 9:34am EST
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-- Leading Human Rights Organization Also Calls for Demmink's Removal from the
Netherlands Helsinki Commission --

WASHINGTON,  March 7, 2013  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Rebecca Project for
Human Rights today applauded the Honorable Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the
House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on  Africa, Global Health and Human Rights,
for reporting to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in  Europe 
(OSCE) details of the continued refusal by Dutch and Turkish authorities to
investigate allegations of sexual abuse committed against minors by former Dutch
Justice Ministry Secretary General  Joris Demmink.  As special representative on
human trafficking issues for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Congressman Smith
also details in the "Report on Human Trafficking Issues to the Winter Meeting of
the OSCE General Assembly" the ongoing witness intimidation against Demmink's
accusers in  Turkey  as well as the apparent cover-up of evidence which proves
Demmink's travel to  Turkey  during the time period of the alleged sexual abuse.
 In addition the Rebecca Project for Human Rights slammed the recent appointment
of Demmink to the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, a human rights groups tasked
with combatting issues such as human trafficking and sexual abuse, and called
for Demmink's removal from the organization until an immediate and thorough
investigation into his alleged crimes is completed

The Rebecca Project for Human Rights Executive Director  Imani Walker  and
Policy Director  Kwame Fosu  issued the following statement:  "At a time when
alleged sexual abuser and human trafficking enabler  Joris Demmink  should be
arrested and the accusations against him thoroughly investigated, the
Netherlands Helsinki Committee has appointed him as a committee member.  As an
organization that also is dedicated to combatting human trafficking and sexual
abuse, we are perplexed with the committee's decision to appoint a former
high-ranking Justice Ministry official who has stood accused of sex offenses
against boys for over 20 years without an investigation..  Thankfully, there are
still defenders of the victims of sexual abuse and trafficking such as
Congressman  Chris Smith  (R-NJ), who once again has courageously confronted the
Dutch and Turkish governments for not only the continued stubborn refusal to
investigate allegations against Demmink, but the apparent cover-up of evidence
that demonstrates Demmink's travel to  Turkey  during the attacks, a time period
that Demmink has claimed he was not in Turkey.  Prosecutors in  the Netherlands 
and  Turkey  should read Congressman Smith's report to the OSCE carefully and
feel free to use excerpts in their indictments against Demmink.  The report is
damning and paints a disturbing picture of continued collaboration by both the
Dutch and Turkish governments to keep an alleged sexual offender free, including
allowing the continued intimidation of witnesses who were already victimized by
Demmink during the sexual attacks. It is time for  the Netherlands  and  Turkey 
to realize that the world will no longer tolerate allowing accused human
traffickers and sexual abusers to walk the streets and remain free to attack
other victims.  It is time to arrest Demmink."

The Rebecca Project for Human Right's letter regarding  Joris Demmink's
appointment as a committee member to the Netherlands Helsinki Committee can be
found here:

Excerpts of Congressman Smith's "Report on Human Traffickg Issues to the Winter
Meeting of the OSCE General Assembly" follow below.  The full report is
available at:

Many OSCE participating and partner States struggle to hold government officials
accountable for trafficking crimes, including those against children. My
briefing focused on a case study in  the Netherlands, where serious allegations
of child sex trafficking have been raised against a government official who,
until very recently, was a senior official in the Dutch Ministry of Justice.
This official has been accused by two Turkish boys, now men, of raping them when
they were adolescents in  Turkey. The alleged victims have attempted several
times to open a formal investigation through the Dutch legal system. Multiple
Turkish government officials- including the Turkish security officer who
allegedly brought one of the boys to the Dutch official for abuse-have come
forward to offer evidence and testimony in support of the alleged victims'
stories. Yet the Government of  the Netherlands  has repeatedly refused to
conduct a formal investigation. The Government of  the Netherlands  has not
spoken to any of the five Turkish  government witnesses nor to one of the
alleged victims. The alleged victim offered to come to  the Netherlands  if
given security and allowed the presence of his lawyer during questioning. The
Government of  the Netherlands  refused.

Instead, the Government of  the Netherlands  conducted a few informal inquiries
in which  the investigators did not have full investigatory powers. They spoke
with one alleged victim, and dismissed his account as "inconsistent" without
explanation or opportunity for the witness to clarify any question regarding
what he suffered 14 years before. The accused Dutch official says he was not in 
Turkey  during the years when the rapes allegedly occurred. The Netherlands
Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations says the Dutch official's travel
records were destroyed. And the Government of  the Netherlands  has not, to
date, resolved the conflicting statements on these very serious child sex
trafficking allegations.

Meanwhile, the alleged Turkish victims are in grave danger. They have gone into
hiding  and report threats of rape and murder against them and their families if
they do not withdraw their request for a formal investigation in  the
Netherlands. According to reports, one alleged victim had a spike driven into
his leg and his tongue sliced when he refused to drop the formal investigation
request. In  December 2012, one of his supporters was knocked out on the street
and taken to the hospital after the supporter refused to disclose the
whereabouts of the alleged victims' safe house. The suspected attacker was
caught, but it is not clear if he will face charges. The other alleged victim
reportedly had his face broken by thugs as he left an attorney's office in 
November 2012. A key witness for the case reports an attempt on his life on 
February 6, 2013, as he left his house. He was able to cover his heart with his
hands to avoid being fatally stabbed.  But his attackers warned him as they
fled, saying, "Next time, you will not escape alive."

These reports raise serious questions as to whether the governments of 
Netherlands  and  Turkey  are fulfilling their duty to protect trafficking
victims with the rule of law and ensure victims' access to their respective
justice systems. I have called on the governments of  the Netherlands  and 
Turkey  to conduct speedy and formal investigations of the child sex trafficking
and abuse allegations against the high-ranking Dutch official. I will continue
to encourage these important participating States to thoroughly investigate all
allegations of child sex trafficking- no matter who is accused-and I look
forward to an open dialogue on the topic. I have also introduced legislation in
the U.S. Congress to encourage greater attention to the claims of child sex
trafficking victims.

The Rebecca Project for Human Rights (RPHR) is a transformational organization
that advocates for justice, dignity, and reform for vulnerable women and girls
in  the United States  and internationally. For more information, please visit:

SOURCE  Rebecca Project for Human Rights

Darren Spinck, +1-202-669-4418,

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