Mr Van den Berg said that society incites crimes like the ones committed by daycare worker Robert Mikelsons (accused of abusing dozens of young children at work) through its hysterical reaction to paedophiles and the threats it makes against them. “They stop thinking rationally because they are constantly facing serious threats.”

Witch hunt

The paedophile association’s chair made his comments from prison. Mr Van den Berg was arrested at the end of March when police found large quantities of child pornography on his computer. Lawyer Yme Drost has lodged a complaint with the Amsterdam court demanding the association be prosecuted. The lawyer is acting on behalf of the parents of a three-year old girl who was sexually abused in 2009. The perpetrator reportedly stated he received tips from Martijn on how to approach children and avoid being detected. Van den Berg argues that attempts to ban his association form part of a witch hunt. “This will not solve the problem. It’s just like the Nazi era.”

Cry for help

The association’s secretary Marthijn Uittenbogaard has emailed Prime Minister Mark Rutte to ask for help because, as he puts it, he is ‘under fire.’ Mr Uittenbogaard and his partner have been facing near continuous harassment in their home town of Hengelo. Last weekend a brick was thrown through one of their windows and on another occasion all their windows were smeared with pink paint. Local residents have held demonstrations outside the couple’s house demanding they leave the neighbourhood. In his mail to the prime minister, Mr Uittenbogaard also wrote: “We have the same right to protection as anybody else. We are taxpayers too.”

Nowhere to hide

Mr Uittenbogaard said moving house “would not make any difference. People everywhere have got Google. And I don’t want to leave the country.” Prospective employers apparently also use the internet to find out who they are dealing with. “I never get a response when I apply for a job, or the vacancy is suddenly cancelled.”

The Hengelo police have said they will increase surveillance near Mr Uittenbogaard’s home and Mayor Frank Kerckhaert has called for restraint, urging people not to take the law into their own hands. Self-proclaimed ‘paedo hunters’ have already made it clear they will not leave Mr Uittenbogaard in peace.

By RNW News Desk