The Rebecca Project for Human Rights (RPHR), today, March 7, released a statement applauding Chris Smith (R-NJ) for Smith’s work as Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. Specifically, for Smith’s report to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) regarding allegations of sexual abuse committed against minors by former Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary General Joris Demmink.
Demmink is accused of raping two Turkish men, when these men were children. The victims have made a multitude of attempts to open a formal investigation via the Dutch legal system. Turkish government officials, including a Turkish security officer who allegedly brought one of the boys to Demmink, have come forward to offer evidence and testimony in support of the victims' stories.
Unfortunately, the Government of the Netherlands has repeatedly refused to conduct a formal investigation. According to Smith’s report, the Government of the Netherlands has not spoken to any of the five Turkish government witnesses or to the alleged victims. What’s even more mind-boggling is that until very recently, Joris Demmink was a senior official in the Dutch Ministry of Justice and that Demmink has been appointed as a member to the Netherlands Helsinki Committee. Not a good look for the Netherlands.
And while Smith’s report and call to action is admirable and hopefully effective, have we forgotten Smith’s actions in January 2011? While Smith is busy defending the rights of victims in Turkey and calling upon officials in Denmark for justice, just over 24 months ago, Smith was very busy sponsoring a bill in the United States, which redefined the meaning of the word rape … irony.
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