PvdA – 9th February 2018
Religion can never be a cover
It is perhaps the most horrible crime you can imagine. Child abuse. No words can be found for the suffering suffered by the victims and their parents. If you have experienced something so terrible you must be sure that you are heard and that the perpetrators are being prosecuted.
Yesterday it became known that Jehovah’s Witnesses Netherlands for years has withheld reports of accusations of child sexual abuse. Cases of child abuse were dealt with internally, with the help of their own religious courts. Highest punishment: exclusion from the church. Victims were pressured not to go to the police.
Crimes must not be disposed of through their own religious court that does not fit our rule of law.
This is just incredibly wrong. A religion may never be used as a cover for criminal activities. Crimes must not be disposed of through their own religious court that does not fit our rule of law. Whether Shariarechtbanken or Jehova courts. And not at all in a crime as serious as child abuse. The perpetrators must account for a Dutch judge. Only then can the victims receive some satisfaction.
The minister must now act and instruct the Public Prosecution Service to intervene
Now that the abuses are known, the victims fear that Jehovah’s Witnesses Netherlands will destroy the evidence. We should not let that happen. The minister must now act and order the Public Prosecutor to intervene before the evidence is destroyed. With that proof the perpetrators can be prosecuted. The victims are entitled to this.
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