NU.nl – 6th November 2018
Raid on three buildings Jehovah’s Witnesses in investigation into abuse
The police had raids in three buildings of Jehovah’s Witnesses last month because of an investigation into sexual abuse within the faith community.
According to RTL News , it concerns raids at the head office in Emmen and two church buildings. In addition, four houses have been searched. The purpose of the raids on November 19 was to find documents about internal lawsuits.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) deals with nine reports of people who claim to have been abused by members or former members of the denomination.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses try abusers internally. Reports are made of those processes. After the message from RTL News , the OM informed that the search was intended to confiscate documents about that “internal legal process”. Whether or not actual documents have been seized, the Public Prosecution Service can not say because of the investigation.
Board did not want to set up an independent investigation
In August, Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker said that the judicial authorities had started a criminal investigation into sexual abuse within the religious community. Five people would have reported sexual abuse.
The board of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told the minister earlier this year not to conduct an independent investigation, despite requests from the Ministry of Justice and Security.
Declarations came in via foundation
Five declarations had been received via the Reclaimed Voices Foundation. In addition, four separate complaints were received. The cases are assessed individually by different public prosecutors, Dekker said at the time.
Earlier this year it became clear that the administration of Jehovah’s Witnesses did not want to cooperate in a criminal investigation into an incident within their own community.
The board refused to release a document in which a man would confess the sexual abuse of his niece. Because there was enough evidence, the man was still sentenced.
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