Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe: U.S. Helsinki Commission
Listening To Victims of Child Sex Trafficking
Committee Members Present:
Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ);
Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Survivor of Child Trafficking in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Former Chief of Criminal Intelligence Services for the Netherlands,
Adèle van der Plas,
Bakker Schut & Van Der Plas
The Hearing Was Held in 2255 Rayburn House Office Building,
Washington, D.C., Representative Christopher Smith, CSCE Moderating
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Federal News Service
REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTOPHER SMITH (R-NJ): The Commission will come to order,
and I want to wish everybody a good afternoon and welcome to our briefing on
“Listening to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking.” The sex trafficking and abuse
of children is one of the most despicable, violent crimes on the face of the
Earth, shattering the lives of the victims as well as their families, a crime
from which the victims often cannot recover. And when they do so – and that’s
rarely – they do so with great difficulty. The traffickers and abusers rely on
their ability to frighten the child into silence, or the reluctance of adults
to listen when children speak. They also use their own reputation, standing
and/or power in the community to prevent allegations from being properly
considered and investigated.
As we have seen recently in the tragic Sandusky case, child sex abuse case at
Penn State, many sexually-abused children do not find a way to speak until they
are adults. But when they do so, and are heard, others find the courage to
come forward, putting the traffickers and the abusers behind bars and bringing
an end to a cycle of broken lives.
It is imperative that the justice system be ready to listen to allegations, and
to thoroughly investigate allegations, no matter when they are raised and no
matter who is accused. This year’s Trafficking In Persons report – and I would
note parenthetically, that in 2000, I was the author, the prime author, of the
Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as well as two subsequent reauthorizations
of the TPVA (sic), and one of the provisions of that legislation established
the annual TIP report, and the ratings of countries either Tier 1 to Tier 3.
What the TIP report noted that, although the law – for this year – although the
law in the Netherlands prescribes maximum sentences ranging from eight to 18
years imprisonment for individuals convicted of human trafficking, and that
these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those
prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape, the laws are not being
According to the report, and I quote, “The average sentences imposed on
convicted traffickers continued to be less than two years” – 21 months, to be
exact – 21 months for destroying a woman’s soul and body in the enslavement in
a brothel. Nine convicted trafficking offenders received community service or
a fine as punishment. The leader of a major Turkish-German woman trafficking
organization was sentenced to seven years and nine months imprisonment for
having forced at least 120 women into prostitution. That is just one month in
jail for every life destroyed. And, by the way, the court let him out on bail
and, to no surprise, he fled to Turkey, so he is currently not even serving the
tiny sentence he received. That leaves me speechless. What is going on here?
Do the courts in the Netherlands take human trafficking seriously?
This afternoon, we are going to consider how and to what extent allegations of
trafficking and abuse should be investigated. We’ll do so in the context of a
particular series of cases, in which very, very serious allegations have been
raised against the secretary-general at the Ministry of Justice in the
Netherlands, Mr. Joris Demmink. Mr. Demmink has been accused by a witness –
that will present today – of sexually abusing and raping the witness when the
witness was being trafficked in a brothel in Amsterdam at the age of 15. The
investigation into these accusations was suddenly and inexplicably halted, and
law enforcement officials involved were allegedly sworn to secrecy. Mr.
Demmink has been accused by two Turkish boys, now adults, of having raped them
in Turkey between 1994 and the year 2003. At the time, the boys were 11 and
14, at least one of them was homeless, and trusted the Turkish police officer
who brought to Mr. Demmink. The other was allegedly locked in a hotel room
with Mr. Demmink, who assaulted him sexually.
The allegations are shocking and horrible. Mr. Demmink has a right to be
presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and that is a sacred
right that I’m sure we all want to protect. At the same time, the allegations,
when taken in their full context, are credible and deserve to be properly
investigated, so that a prosecutor can make a responsible decision whether to
proceed with a case against Mr. Demmink. That investigation has never
happened. The investigations that have taken place have been a travesty, and
have done nothing to clear Mr. Demmink’s name; rather, they have raised further
Yesterday, the Netherlands’ minister of Security and Justice, Mr. Opstelten,
wrote to the Dutch parliament regarding this case and listing the actions taken
by the justice department in regards to the allegations against Mr. Demmink.
The letter states and I quote: “The nature of Mr. Demmink’s job warrants a
degree of vigilance,” quote, unquote. I could not agree more. The fact that
Mr. Demmink is the secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice, the very
entity responsible to investigate the charges against him, should mean that the
investigation into the allegations was one of the most thorough, transparent
and well-documented investigations ever undertaken by the Netherlands. Not
only are those making the allegations literally taking on the Dutch justice
system, in person –in the person of one of its top officials, but the
reputation of the Ministry of Justice itself is on the line.
Sadly, the investigation was anything but thorough, transparent or
well-documented. The very serious allegations were never given the courtesy of
a criminal investigation, apparently because Mr. Demmink’s claims and the Dutch
cannot disprove with their own records that Mr. Demmink was in Turkey in the
1990s. Over and over again, the justice minister’s letter to the Dutch
parliament states that there was no cause to launch a criminal investigation.
With all due respect to the justice – Dutch justice minister, this is a tacit
admission that a thorough investigation has never been undertaken. It makes
the justice – Dutch justice ministry look a little bit like an ostrich with its
head in the sand. The Dutch government freely admits that it never so much as
interviewed one of the two alleged victims pressing charges, Mustafa (sp) and a
third victim, who has now come forward, Yacine (sp), who has never been
interviewed – has also never been interviewed.
Moreover, the Dutch investigation into whether there should be a real criminal
investigation never interviewed the Turkish policeman, Mehmet Korkmaz, who
admits that in the 1990s, he abducted boys for Mr. Demmink to sexually assault.
Nor did the Dutch investigation speak to the former chief of police of
Istanbul, Necdet Menzir, who also contradicts Mr. Demmink’s – Mr. Demmink, and
states that Mr. Demmink was in Turkey in the 1990s, and that his officers were
assigned to protect him. Nor did the Dutch investigation into whether there
should a criminal investigation speak to Huseyin Celebi, the senior Turkish
intelligence officer who in 2006, wrote a report on Mr. Demmink’s travel to,
and the various activities in, Turkey, during the 1990s and early 2000s, and
who also says that Mr. Demmink used aliases to enter and to exit Turkey.
I live a long way and work a long way from the Netherlands, and do not claim
expertise in the details of the Dutch justice system. But frankly, from my
vantage point, I have to ask, how can a preliminary investigation not interview
the victims or key witnesses and then claim there is nothing to investigate?
Whether or not Mr. Demmink is guilty of these allegations against him, we
cannot say. But I will state my strong belief that the allegations against him
will not be resolved without an actual and thorough criminal investigation into
the allegations raised by the victims and supported by the Turkish government
officials. The Netherlands owes this to the boys who have been grievously
harmed by Mr. Demmink. And the Netherlands owes this to Mr. Demmink himself,
whose name has been dogged by – by abruptly halted and grossly incomplete
investigations for over a decade. Mr. Demmink himself maintains his innocence.
If he is innocent, should want this investigation to go forward so he can
clear his name. So I appeal to him to state publicly his own request at an
investigation be conducted.
I’d like to now introduce our very distinguished witnesses for today’s
briefing, and then ask them to proceed. We’ll begin in order with BVW, who is
a victim of child sex trafficking, child pornography, and pedophiles. He
identified Joris Demmink as a man who abused him as a child and was the primary
witness giving detail of a pedophilia ring in the Rolodex affair. This was the
leading investigation into a pedophile network of the highest ranking
politicians, civil servants, and influential government and business officials
in the Netherlands, which included Joris Demmink, now the secretary-general of
the Dutch Ministry of Justice. His face must remain hidden due to the highly
provocative and damaging information he is privy to, and regarding the
significant power brokers in the Netherlands and because of threats.
We will then hear from Ms. Adele van der Plas, who has spent the last three
decades as a criminal attorney in the Netherlands. Prior to that, she taught
criminal law at the University of Utrecht. Adele was a member of the
Supervisory Board of the Bar Association of Amsterdam, and as a – in a pro bono
capacity, she has worked tirelessly through the years, fighting injustices and
judicial bias against abuse against the system. Adele is a tireless advocate
for children and brings a valuable awareness to sex trafficking in Holland,
which according to the United Nations, is one of the top 10 destinations for
We will then hear from Klaas Langendoen, who is the chief of Criminal
Intelligence – former chief of the Criminal Intelligence Services for the
Netherlands. Today, Klaas is a private practice and – works in private
practice as an independent investigator. In his capacity as chief, he served
as the lead investigator in the IRT mission, where he (combated?) drug
trafficking and illegal drugs smuggled into the Netherlands.
And then finally, we will hear from Samantha Healy Vardaman, who is the lead on
policy issues for Shared Hope International, coordinating advocacy efforts to
further the protection of sex trafficking victims. And I would note
parenthetically, with whom this commission, and me personally, with my
Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Foreign Affairs Committee, which I am also
a chair, have worked on legislation over the years to ensure that we have the
tools in the United States, in our laws, to combat this heinous crime of
trafficking in persons. So I am very, very grateful for her work and for the
leadership that she has shown all these years.
After directing rule of law program in Moldova for three years, in which human
trafficking issues frequently figured prominently, Samantha joined Shared Hope
International in July of ’05 to direct the Trafficking Markets Project,
resulting in a research report and documentary entitled “Demand,” which
compares sex trafficking markets in four countries: Jamaica, Japan, the
Netherlands and the United States. In 2006, she began directing a three-year
research project in tenuous locations into the sex trafficking of American and
lawful permanent residents, minors, in the United States, funded by U.S.
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and the Bureau of Justice
Assistance. I would just point out that we, in the United States, take a
backseat to no one, and while we look at other countries, we look at ourselves.
And this year’s TIP report, as in some previous ones, likewise rates the
United States just as it does other countries against a backdrop of what we
call minimum standards, first developed in 2000, and then continuously updated
over the years. We want all victims protected, whether it be in the United
States, the Netherlands or anywhere else in the world.
We are joined by Ranking Member (Cohen?), who – sorry to put you right on the
spot, do you want to go back – for any comments he might have before going to
our first witness.
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate
your calling this meeting on this topic, that’s so, so, so important.
The idea of trafficking of children has been going on for a while, but it’s
come to the public’s attention most recently in a glaring manner. I think the
world is more aware of it than ever, and we need to do all we can in the United
States and throughout the OSCE and the world, to end it. The idea of
somebody’s liberty being taken from them is the most heinous thing that I think
one can have happen to them. And for children to be taken from their parents
and to be used as a commodity is so immoral that the world’s attention should
and has come upon it. But the world’s resources should also come upon, and we
should commit ourselves to doing all we can to rid ourselves of this decay that
is within our world society. And I’m appreciative of the chairman for
scheduling this important hearing, and looking forward to the testimony of the
REP. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Cohen. I’d like to now – Mr. B., if you could
MR. B.: Thank you very much.
At the age of 14, I ran away from home due to trauma of my parents divorcing
and the misery that I had encountered at school and at home. I took the train
with the destination Amsterdam, thinking that I would find a job and create a
life. Upon arrival at the Central Station, I was approached by a man who
offered me a place to stay. The following morning, I awoke without any
clothes, and they were taking naked photos of me. I asked him what he was
going to do with those photos. He said that he would send them to my parents if
I didn’t want to do what he wanted. He told me about brothels where young boys
worked. I was then brought the same day to a bar; I was introduced to a man
who had a brothel for young boys. I was afraid to say no, and I was very young
and innocent. The owner of the brothel forced me to work in this boys’ brothel
where more young minors worked. They were all underage minors between the age
of 14 until 18, from various parts of Europe. All of the clients that came to
this brothel were pedophiles. All the boys working, they were given drugs and
alcohol. After a while, this was the daily routine of the sex, drugs and
In addition, we were rented out for escort services to private clients and
parties. The same person who ran the brothel – who ran the brothel – also made
child pornography films. I performed in three of those movies. I also knew
people who made snuff movies. I was offered vast sums of money to perform –
yeah. I was offered vast sums of money to perform in one of these movies, but
refused, due to fact that at the end of the – of these movies, the actor is
As escort, I worked for the same brothel owner and worked out of a bar called
the Festival Bar, where I met Professor van Roon. Professor van Roon was the
man who introduced me to Joris Demmink. We were sitting at a table and he said
that I needed to go outside to meet Joris Demmink in his car. Joris wanted to
have anal sex with me, and I refused. I did have oral sex with him. The
second time that we met, he wanted me to go with him to him home in Den Haag,
Riouwstraat 13. I didn’t want to go with him, as we were forbidden to leave
the city of Amsterdam by our pimp.
In 1998, there was a large investigation into a pedophile network in Amsterdam
and Den Haag. I was approached by several police investigation units to help
with the investigation. I became the key witness of the investigation. I was
offered police protection. During that time, I told of my entire period in
Amsterdam in the child pornography and the child sex business.
This investigation was called the Rolodex investigation, and Professor van Roon
was a key suspect in this investigation. He had a rolodex, a kind of a card
file, of various high-ranking Dutch officials who were his clients and friends.
I accompanied Professor van Roon on trips to Poland, but I don’t know what he
was doing there. Perhaps he was looking for boys for his clients. He was a
broker in children for pedophiles in his network.
After my – after my period in Amsterdam, I lived in various places in the
Netherlands. I also lived in Den Haag where an attempt to kill me was made. I
was shot at three times. After that, I lived underground and tried to hide, as
the Rolodex investigation was killed and never pursued. In addition, I was
asked to cooperate in a Dutch TV news show, investigating Demmink and
high-ranking pedophiles. That show was never aired.
Throughout my time in the child sex industry and after, I have been abused,
rejected, raped, shot at, lied, and treated as dirt. My life has been ruined.
I have to undergo long-term psychological treatment, including very strong
anti-depression medication. My relation with my own two children and wife has
I would like to ask the following: help bring Demmink to justice and his entire
network of influential pedophiles. Those who abused me and many others like
myself should be brought to court and punished if found guilty. Bring back the
rule of law in the Netherlands; please help protect my identity, because I
still fear for my life. I know too much about who are the pedophiles. Thank
you for your time.
REP. SMITH: MR. B, thank you so very much for your extraordinary courage to
come here today in the pain and agony which I can see on your face and hear in
your voice. I can’t say enough how we wish you well and your calls, my hope,
will not go unheeded. And we will do everything we can as a commission,
because if we do nothing else as a commission, it’s all about protecting the
victims, and so, again, I want to thank you for your extraordinary courage for
being here this afternoon.
MR. B: Thank you.
REP. SMITH: I’d like to now ask Ms. Van der Plas if you would proceed.
ADELE VAN DER PLAS: (Off mic.) You hear me now? Better? Yes? A little
REP. SMITH: Yes. Thank you.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Thank you. First of all, I want to thank your commission
for invitation to inform you about four child abuse cases we are working on for
so many years already. I myself represent two Turkish witnesses who raped –
who were raped and sexually abused when they were 11 and 14 years old. The
perpetrator was, according to my sources, a high-ranking Dutch government
official nowadays, Secretary General of the Ministry of Security and Justice in
the Netherlands, Mr. Joris Demmink. I also represent B, who is present today,
and already was giving a testimony to you. B was a victim of the same Dutch
high-ranking official, Mr. Demmink, at a time that he, as a young boy of 14
years old, was forced to work in a brothel. I was informed about crimes
committed by Mr. Demmink in Turkey by official Turkish sources. They informed
me that Mr. Demmink, in ’95, was caught in the act of sex with minors in Turkey
while attending a party in Bodrum.
At this party, minors were abused – sexually abused, and one of the boys tried
to escape and created a great deal of emotion (sic) which brought the police.
Mr. Demmink was then arrested, according to my sources, and subsequently
released, after which his criminal file was used in – to blackmail the Dutch
authorities to take action in a case against a Kurdish activist who at that
time stayed in the Netherlands. I am also the attorney of this Kurdish
businessman named Mr. Baybasin. The two well-documented criminal charges that
were filed against Mr. Demmink by the two Turkish, Osman and Mustafa, were
never investigated, according to Dutch criminal investigative procedure. The
same goes for the criminal charges filed by my other client, Mr. Baybasin,
against Mr. Demmink. The victim who is present today, B, was in ’98 key
witness in the so-called “Rolodex” investigation, but neither his statement
ever led to an investigation. Never led to an investigation or prosecution or
conviction of the real perpetrators, the high-ranking customers, the Dutch
super elite of the numerous minor brothels in our capital, Amsterdam, at the
The question arises, Mr. Chairman: what is going on in the Netherlands? In
your 2012 report on human trafficking, you recognized the Netherlands as a Tie
r1 status country in full compliance with the minimum standards to combat
trafficking in persons, and my experience in the four cases I represent is
completely different. High-ranking government officials and politicians in the
Netherlands seem to form a privileged elite who are above the law when they
sexually abuse minors and will never be arrested, tried, or convicted. In
2000, the Guardian, 12 years ago, described in a very well-informed article,
the Netherlands and especially Amsterdam as a paradise for pedophiles, where
the police seemed to be powerless to act, and we now understand why. In ’98 in
Amsterdam police investigation, B spoke about it, called “Rolodex Affair,” was
conducted into a pedophile network of influential Dutch customers of boys’
The investigation targeted high-ranking Dutch officials and politicians
suspected of abusing young buys in Amsterdam brothels. As a victim, B was one
– what he said – of the key witnesses in that investigation. One of the
suspects in that investigation was Mr. Demmink, but according to leading
investigators who told me that – leading investigators in this case, according
to them, as soon as Demmink became a person of interest in this matter, the
investigation was shut down. Information about intended actions by the
investigating police was leaked. A policeman who worked on this investigation
said that he arrived at the location and the middleman of this network,
Professor Varon (ph), was waiting for the police team, and not surprisingly,
all video evidence was missing and all telephone communication between the
suspects – which was recorded before – suddenly stopped. Law enforcement
officials on the case were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements and were
sworn to secrecy regarding all information pertaining to the involvement of
Demmink and other high-ranking officials in this shocking behavior.
Our present State Secretary of Justice, Fred Teeven, directly under the
minister of justice, was one of the leading prosecutors in this Rolodex
investigation. In 2007, he expressed his frustration about the blocking of the
investigation in a closed court hearing under oath. He then told the court
that this investigation indeed targeted high-ranking representatives of the
Dutch government – among them, prosecutors – who were sexually abusing minors.
He also stated, under oath to the court, that this investigation never has led
to prosecution of these suspects because of certain counter actions. 2007, he
stated that under oath, and when a Dutch publication in the Gay Krant accused
Mr. Demmink in 2003 of being involved in the abuse of minor boys in a park in
the south of Netherlands, the newspaper – the Gay Krant for (homophile ?)
people – the newspaper was forced to withdraw its accusations under threat of
bankruptcy by Demmink’s lawyer.
The editor of the Gay Krant, Hen Krol, at the moment parliament member in the
Netherlands, was told by Demmink in a private meeting directly after – directly
after that he, Demmink, indeed has had sex with young boys without asking their
age. But Demmink let Krol know during that same meeting, remember well, Mr.
Krol, that we are the ones who make the laws in this country.
In 2008 and 2010, I filed three well-documented criminal charges against Mr.
Demmink on behalf of my Turkish clients, Osman and Mustafa, for rape and sexual
abuse of minors under the age of 16. The criminal charges filed by Mustafa
against Demmink were never really investigated. The Dutch authorities
dismissed the allegations after demanding that Mustafa first had to travel to
the Netherlands to officially answer their questions. But meanwhile, the boy
was heavily threatened and abused in Turkey. His tongue was cut with a razor
blade – you have to shut your mouth – in an effort to (squelch ?) his
complaints. The boy was approached by the then high-ranking police chief, Emin
Arslan in Turkey, who offered him a good life in case he withdrew his charges
against Demmink. If not, the boy’s life would be destroyed, so they told him.
The boy was frightened to death, but never withdrew his charges against
Demmink. He had his experience in Turkey where you don’t have any right in
front of such high-ranking officials, and as a result of what happened to
Mustafa, I asked the Dutch prosecutor to arrange official security for Mustafa
during his stay in the Netherlands to give his statement. I also asked the
Dutch prosecutor to allow his lawyer to be present during the police interview,
and these requests were consequently refused despite the terrifying experiences
Mustafa went through.
Mustafa did not travel to Holland to answer questions about his accusations
against Demmink, as a result of this, but he offered again and again to answer
all questions the Dutch police and prosecutors still might have in Turkey in an
official inquiry hearing. But such an inquiry has never occurred.
The second Turkish boy, Osman, traveled to the Netherlands, where he was – also
a client of mine – where he was interrogated by Dutch investigators in
February 2011. However, a thorough criminal investigation was never initiated
in this case either. Five witnesses – and Mr. Chairman (present ?) spoke about
it already – with direct knowledge about this crime were waiting in Turkey to
be interviewed by Dutch prosecutors, but they were ignored until now. The
Turkish policeman Mehmet Korkmaz, who was Demmink's security officer during the
secretary-general's visits to Turkey and who has since admitted kidnapping
minor boys for Demmink to abuse, offered – he offered to be heard by Dutch
police in Turkey, despite risk of his personal safety. No one from the
Netherlands ever contacted him. His testimony can be seen on the video on our
website and I thought will be presented here too for some fragments out of it.
And the same goes for the former chief of the Istanbul police, Necdet Menzir.
He also was willing to testify about Demmink's visits to Turkey in the ‘90s and
the fact that his police officers were ordered to protect Demmink. No one ever
contacted him, either. Subsequently also the offer of a third Turkish boy,
Yacine, who said to have been sexually abused by Demmink in this Bodrum event
in ’95, also he was ignored by the Dutch authorities.
Despite this overwhelming amount of available primary witnesses, the criminal
charges filed by Osman and Mustafa never led to an official criminal
investigation as defined in the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure. The
prosecutors persisted that there was not enough ground to call Mr. Demmink a
suspect and to start an official criminal investigation against him. Only a
so-called exploratory investigation was conducted, and that’s not even existing
in Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure. And without an official criminal
investigation based on the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure, the "hands of the
prosecutors were completely tied", according to their own words to Mr.
Langendoen and me in a meeting.
Without an official suspect and an official criminal investigation, the
prosecutors lacked the authority to travel to Turkey to interrogate the
available witnesses and to properly investigate the data of Demmink's official
and non-official trips in the ‘90s. And in the Netherlands, where it only
takes an anonymous tip to initiate not only a criminal investigation, but also
police actions such as arrest and house search, the reaction of the prosecutor
011 this matter can be called quite absurd.
Instead of performing its own research, the prosecutor's office has simply
taken for granted Demmink's alibi that he never visited Turkey since ‘87. A
Dutch research journalist, however, who asked the Ministry of Security and
Justice to be provided with all the travel dates of their high-ranking
officials in the ‘90s, him was told that all travel documentation older than
five years was destroyed. That was in February 2012. That’s why the final
conclusion of the prosecutor in Osman's case in February 2012 was that it could
not be confirmed that Demmink traveled to Turkey in the ‘90s. That’s why they
refused further investigation.
Moreover, Turkish authorities have leaked documents proving that,
notwithstanding his denials, Joris Demmink did indeed enter Turkey in the ‘90s.
At the time, Mr. Demmink was director-general of international affairs of the
Dutch Ministry of Justice. And as a member of the European Union K4 committee,
he was especially responsible for the Kurdish-Turkish conflict. Even without
the Turkish documents we received, it’s inconceivable for the Dutch to claim
that a high-ranking European official with duties specially focused on Turkey's
conflict with the Kurds would not have visited Turkey during the ‘90s. That
would be equivalent to an American ambassador of Turkey based in Washington who
never visited Turkey. Besides that, it’s a fact that the Dutch authorities who
received copy of the Turkish list of travel dates of Mr. Demmink never did any
effort to check the status of this document in Turkey itself or to entry dates
The travel dates of Joris Demmink are stored in the computers of the
intelligence agencies in Turkey. Several sources confirmed that they have seen
this information available, to me. The latest information confirming Demmink's
travel dates, we received from the Turkish prosecution office in Diyarbakir, in
Kurdish region. This office has started now an investigation against Demmink
and two of his Turkish allies in corruption and child abuse, the former
minister of interior, Mehmet Agar, and the former police and intelligence
chief, Emin Arslan, who was the one threatening Mustafa after he filed his
first criminal charge. One of the first results of the recent Turkish criminal
investigation is that Demmink used three different aliases to enter Turkey at
The validity of Demmink's travel dates to Turkey are also confirmed by sources
including the EK report of the senior Turkish intelligence official Huseyin
Celebi. I gave your commission this report.
Celebi introduces himself in his letter of February 2010 as the Turkish
intelligence official who wrote the EK report in 2006 to inform the highest
military, political and juridical level officials in Turkey. In this – in his
report, he was the first to reveal what Demmink did, travel to Turkey during
the mid-1990s, and how these criminal acts were used to blackmail the
Netherlands in order to force the prosecution and conviction of the Kurdish
activist Baybasin for non-existent crimes, with the help of falsified telephone
In his EK report, Celebi wrote, literally: Demmink also participated in
similar pedophile parties – pedophile parties in Turkey. Because a gun went
off during a party in Bodrum in ‘95, the police arrived. Joris Demmink, who
was especially occupied with the case against Baybasin in the Netherlands,
visited Turkey, he says, as a tourist in ‘95 and for an international meeting
in Antalya in June ’96. And besides that, he writes literally, he entered and
left Turkey in the years ’97 ’98, ’99, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and in most of
the cases he wiped his tracks. This information is collected by official and
special Intelligence Services, Celebi writes. It’s also known, he says, that
he entered Turkey under different names.
The Dutch Prosecution Office, Mr. Chairman, never investigated the sources of
the EK report either. This is surprising because the information of the EK
report is confirmed in an old document of the Ministry of Justice in the
Netherlands itself, in which is said that – and it was in document of ’97 – in
that document is said that the Baybasin case is used as leverage in order to
get something done from the Turkish authorities in another case. It’s very
clear. And it said that the responsible official in this case was Joris
The first reaction of the Public Prosecutor on the EK report was, towards me,
that in his view – and I’ve everything recorded on correspondence – his first
reaction was that in his view, Huseyin Celebi, the intelligence officer, was a
non-existent person. Huseyin Celebi then wrote his letter of February 2010,
together with a photo of him in the company of a high-ranking Turkish
politician of the ruling Turkish AK Party, to the Dutch authorities offering
them – Celebi – to answer their questions regarding his report and
accusations. Also this offer was subsequently ignored by the Public
All these facts lead to only one conclusion. The criminal charges filed by the
two Turkish boys Mustafa and Osman against Demmink were never investigated.
The travel movements of Demmink in the ’90s were never examined. None of the
witnesses presented in Turkey were heard. During the orienting investigation
Demmink simply maintained his position as highest-ranking official of the
Ministry of Security and Justice in the Netherlands. And on the base of this
non¬existent criminal investigation, the Turkish criminal charges against
Demmink were dismissed by the Dutch prosecutor. It seems to be a complete
repetition of what happened in the Rolodex investigation in ’98.
At the moment I’m preparing an appeal against the decision of the Dutch
National Prosecution Office not to prosecute Demmink for the crimes committed
in Turkey and the Netherlands against my clients Mustafa, Osman and Baybasin.
I’m still waiting for a promised copy of the official file of the Turkish
prosecutor who collected the entry dates of Demmink from the different
authorities in Turkey in the ’90s in the nineties and the aliases he used when
he entered Turkey, Demmink. But according to my Turkish sources, there is
considerable pressure exerted on the Turks by the Dutch not to reveal the truth.
One important issue to keep in mind is that the media have not been very
supporting in informing the Dutch public about this horrific, horrific story.
Most of the large mainstream media have not written anything for several years
about Demmink. This weekend probably a large national newspaper is finally
going to publish new material about Demmink and others victims. The power
elite in the government, we are told, have – has muzzled the leading editors
not to write about this story.
I am born and educated in the Netherlands. I’m proud of the values of
democracy and rule of law that govern in our society. I’m here because some of
our leading officials seem to have hijacked our system, abusing all their
official power to cover up their ugly behavior towards young people and others.
And that’s terrifying. Nobody should be above the law when he sexually abuses
minors or abuses his official government position to cover this up. We only
search for justice, that people come in court. And we ask your commission help
and advice to reach this.
In conclusion, I would like to ask you for two things: The State Department
should remove the Tier 1 status from the Netherlands, as they don't deserve it
as long as this goes on. And secondly, the Helsinki Commission of the U.S.
State Department should put maximum pressure to have the official dates
released which prove that Demmink was in Turkey in the ’90s as well as other
convincing evidence in the hands of the Turkish authorities; I know they have
like a video made of them in raping one of the Turkish boys and used as
blackmail towards the Netherlands.
Thank you for attention.
REP. SMITH: Thank you very much, Ms. van der Plas, for your very extensive
I’d like to now introduce our third very distinguished witness, the former head
of the Dutch Department of Criminal Intelligence, who specialized in, as he
points out in his statement, in major cases concerning organized crime. Mr.
KLAAS LANGENDOEN: Mr. Chairman, members of Congress, congressional staff
members, I want to thank you for your kind investigation (sic) to be here today
to explain my findings in a very delicate matter.
Approximately nine years ago I was approached by the law firm Bakker Schut &
van der Plas, who asked me to carry out an independent, objective investigation
in the case of their client Mr. Huseyin Baybasin. The investigation had to
examine alleged manipulation of wiretaps by the Dutch government, which in the
– which in the Turkish case against Baybasin were used, as well as possible
blackmail by the Turkish government of members of the Dutch justice department
in the Netherlands.
At the start of my independent objective research, I wondered whether the
theory of the law firm was not a nonsense fairy tale story. I mused that this –
I mused that this level of corruption could never occur in my country, where
I've worked so hard for fighting against organized crime.
I set up my research based upon the premise that the theory of the law firm was
false. I have tried to prove this. This method is called the reversed burden
of proof. If there is no proof for the falsity of the theory, then the theory
is correct. The research that I did in the Netherlands proved me that it was
possible to manipulate wiretaps and also allowing innocent people to be found
guilty. I completed my research in the Netherlands with the result that a
number of scientific experts were studying the results produced.
Eventually the Dutch justice department hired an expert who was not qualified
to carry out the research and came with his own conclusion. The result – the
results was that this expert gave a wrong assessment upon which Baybasin was
sentenced for life in prison.
After the sentencing, I continued my research, at the request of the law firm
Bakker Schut & van der Plas. I don’t – I did not limit my research to the
Netherlands, but I did extensive research in Turkey. I’ve spoken with almost
all the witness in this case, both individuals and various government
officials. I documented my – thoroughly by both video and audio tape testimony
so that they could be used as evident later.
The result – the result of my research was shocking for – were shocking for me.
By speaking with many witness, a conspiracy became clear against Baybasin, the
victim. There was a set-up or cover-up between Turkish and the Dutch government
officials at the absolute highest levels. The witnesses confirmed what the law
firm kept telling me.
The picture was – what I got was the following: A high-level Dutch justice
official, during visits to Turkey, requested that young boys be brought to him
to order to have sex with them. This was verified and recorded by the secret
intelligence service of Turkey. A high-ranking intelligence service officer
gave me a copy of a Turkish report that explained the story of the Dutch
justice official who had minors brought to his hotel room for sex and the
blackmail that was carried out against him and the Netherlands by the Turkish
I finished my report with the purpose of giving this to the Dutch government so
it could be used to carry out a criminal investigation. We sought to have an
independent commission created to study this case and bring out all the facts.
That committee was provided with all the available information. The commission
also tried to reach the manipulated wiretaps and investigating them. The
result was that the wiretaps were found – were found to be more than likely
However, the research was provided – that was provided was rejected as it was
found not scientific or convincing. This research was never carrying – was
never carried out, and thus the true was never revealed – sorry. At the moment
that I – a decision was make – made by the commission to travel to Turkey to
interview the witnesses again, the justice department intervened again and
blocked this from happening. This research was therefore never taken place and
the truth never revealed.
Mrs. van der Plas filed a police report on behalf of the Turkish victims with
the aim that a criminal investigation will be started into the conduct of the
high Dutch justice official, Mr. Joris Demmink. These type – these type of
investigation in the Netherlands are carried out by the National Investigation
Unit. The National Investigation Union (sic) falls directly under the College
of Prosecutors, who meet regularly with Mr. Demmink, as he is the
secretary-general of the justice department.
All available information were made available by Mrs. van der Plas and myself
at the National Investigation Unit. We even have one of the Turkish victims
travel to the Netherlands to make a statement. In addition, we also had an
important witness come from Turkey to the Netherlands to speak with the
National Investigation Union (sic).
The result was, as the leader of this National Investigation Unit told us, that
there will be no criminal investigation. The National Investigation Union
(sic) had confined itself to a so-called a “fact collection” and has had no
authority to do a proper investigation. Again, a missed opportunity to fully
investigation the allegations in Turkey and take testimony from the important
witnesses did not happen.
In the – in the past years I have done extensive research regarding more
possible child abuse victims in high police and justice officials in the
Netherlands. From this research it is being crystal clear to me that there is
and has been abuse of minors by high police justice officials and that all –
that all efforts to criminal investigations and prosecute these cases have been
blocked and covered up. During my investigation, I came in contact with one of
the victims, who is here today and has told his story. After serious
reflections, I have come to the conclusion that the Dutch government does not
want to and will not investigate this very sensitive issue of manipulating
wiretaps under which someone is wrongfully serving a life sentence and about
the young boys and the one of the highest officials justice (department ?).
It’s also my conclusion that, after many, many years of research by myself, the
theory of the law firm Bakker Schut van der Plas is correct. Their client, Mr.
Huseyin Baybasin, was framed, and several of Mrs. van der Plas’ other client
were abused by justice department secretary general, Joris Demmink, when they
were a minor. My confidence that the Dutch government will ever carry out a
fair, independent investigation in these two issues is completely gone.
1 hope that you can – or the United States can help us in resolving this matter
through diplomatic or severe methods in this very sensitive issue What I –
what I would like to ask the commission is threefold. First, pressure the
Turkish authorities to release all the information about the blackmailing.
Second, pressure the Turkish authorities to release the travel dates of Demmink
during the ’90s. This will resolve the matter once and for all. And third,
pressure the Turkish authorities to release the video made of Demmink raping
one of the Turkish boys. Thank you for your attention.
REP. SMITH: Thank you very much for that, again, very extensive, and – you set
out disprove and came to an opposite conclusion. That’s quite remarkable.
I’d like to now show a very brief video, and then we’ll go our fourth and final
witness. And that is a video of Police Officer Korkmaz who allegedly offered
Demmink security in Turkey and kidnapped boys for him for abuse, and also
Mustafa, who’s identifying Demmink, and we’ll now watch that video.
REP. SMITH: OK, we’ll now go to our fourth very distinguished witness, Miss
SAMANTHA VARDAMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Congressman Cohen, and to the
Helsinki Commission and the Victim’s Rights Caucus for keeping the spotlight on
this critical issue of child sex trafficking.
The victimization endured by this man as a child is heartbreaking. Shared Hope
International has been working to develop responses to child sex trafficking,
restore victims and prevent victimization for 14 years. In 2006 to 2007, under
a grant from the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat
Trafficking in Persons, Shared Hope researched sex trafficking markets in four
countries. The Netherlands was one of those countries. The goal of that
research was to identify commonalities that could refocus our efforts to fight
trafficking on an issue basis, as opposed to a regional basis. Well, the
finding was the commonality is, and was, and continues to be demand. The
second commonality is that exploitation of children through sex trafficking is
occurring around the world, and the Netherlands was no exception. The
exploitation includes giving anything of value in exchange for pornography,
sexual performance or prostitution. All three occur in nearly every country
around the globe. Child sex trafficking and child sex tourism are happening in
all parts of our world, and the reason is that demand exists for commercial
sexual exploitation of children.
Focusing on the findings in the Netherlands illustrates the scope of the
problem. Legalized prostitution led to increased demand, and consequently, a
need for more supply. But there are a limited number of adults willing to
enter the prostitution, quote, “profession,” and the deficiency is filled with
trafficking victims. The ban on brothels was lifted in 2000 in the
Netherlands, and just a few years later, the Amsterdam City Council recognized
the dangers of trafficking, deciding to close 100 of the 350 prostitution
windows in the Red Light District. Amsterdam’s mayor stated, almost five years
after the lifting of the brothel ban, we have to acknowledge that the aims of
that law have not been reached. Lately, we’ve received more and more signals
that abuse still continues. The police admit we are in the midst of modern
In 2003 in the Netherlands, there were 257 registered victims of human
trafficking. A 2004 media piece reported that the Amsterdam city council was
going to close the street prostitution zones. It also reported a public opinion
poll taken on the issue of the resignation of one of the council members
because he had been found to have purchased prostitution in that same street
zone. Seventy three percent of the citizens believe that public officials
should not be stigmatized for buying prostitution, and 63 percent believe the
council member’s actions were a private matter, and certainly not the grounds
for resignation. This is what we call a culture of tolerance, and we find that
where it exists, it makes the job of fighting trafficking that much harder.
In 2004, about 8,000 prostitutes worked in Amsterdam alone, and some two-thirds
of those were of foreign origin. In 2005, Dutch police received more than 600
reports of women who may have been forced into prostitution, and 400 women
contacted anti-trafficking organizations for assistance. In 2007, there were
343 registered victims of sex trafficking, 25 percent of those were under 18
years old. At the time of our research in 2006 and 2007, there was reportedly
no police presence between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. in the official Red Light
District in Amsterdam, a time which one trafficking victim who suffered her
experiences there called, quote, “a black market of prostitution, when children
became readily available.” Only five to six police officers worked in the
entire Red Light District at that time. There was no capacity for
investigating the illegal trafficking occurring. This was an iceberg with
legal prostitution at the top masking the vast illegal activity beneath.
The Dutch criminal code in 2005 extended jurisdiction to reach citizens
committing child sex tourism – that is, sexual exploitation of a child outside
the Netherlands. But in the Netherlands, there continued to be increasing
amount of pimping, organized crime and exploitation of children. In a 2005
news report, a former Vice officer in the Red Light District reported that the
two primary groups of pimps working in that Red Light District were called,
quote, “Loverboys,” and, quote: “the Turks.” He reported that law enforcement
officers had three months to complete investigations, a wholly insufficient
amount of time for these complicated crimes. Shared Hope’s partner Scarlet
Cord worked in the Red Light District in Amsterdam doing outreach and services
to trafficking victims. They identified the Loverboy problem early on, and
began to put programs into schools to educate and to prevent the recruitment of
these mostly teenage victims. The Loverboy pimping method is very similar to
modern trafficking in the U.S., relying on emotional bondage rather than
physical force to maintain control over their young victims. In our research
in the Netherlands, victims reported also that, quote, “magic” was used to
entice them. But this is not limited to the Netherlands, and it’s certainly
not limited to any one country. A weak link in the global dragnet and safety
net will prevent us from protecting the victims of child sex trafficking.
As Congressman Smith noted at the start of this briefing, traffickers rely on
the ability to frighten children, and keep them quiet, and it’s imperative that
the justice system be ready now to listen to allegations and to thoroughly
investigate them. Shared Hope has highlighted some promising practices through
our research here in the United States in the last five years, promising
practices to develop proper responses to child sex trafficking. Some of these
are happening in other countries already, and all of them are transferrable to
any country to take them on. First, the presence of school resource officers
within schools to help build trust between law enforcement and children
undermines the traffickers’ ability to scare their victims by – into
distrusting law enforcement.
Education at all levels of the justice system, from investigation to trial,
will lead to more identifications of child sex trafficking victimization and
better responses. Above all, victim- centered approaches to interviewing and
investigation are critical to a child’s confidence to disclose their
victimization. A few examples exist that were – are worthy of highlighting:
The Dallas police department has a High Risk Victim’s Unit, in which the
process is to flag a file of a child who is a repeat runaway, and direct that
file straight to this High Risk Victim’s Unit where there are child forensic
interviewers ready to investigate with proper child approaches.
Gang units, like the Fairfax County gang unit in Northern Virginia, are being
trained in sex trafficking identification and victim interviewing that can
separate the victim from the influence and gag control of the gang. Human
trafficking task forces across the U.S. and in other countries bring together
service providers and law enforcement to ensure victims are supported and
encouraged to seek justice. And lastly, victim witness coordinators and the
majority of federal law enforcement offices across the country ensure the
victim is supported through the investigation and trial process.
Shared Hope International has developed the Protected Innocence Challenge,
which, though domestic, has relevance for the world. It includes a framework
of laws for effective responses to child sex trafficking. The framework
credits those states that have laws in place providing for victim protections
and support through the investigation and trial process. Currently, 34 states
in the United States currently have some protection, and all are being
encouraged to enact more laws, which will ensure that more victims are heard.
And finally, as I stated several times throughout, attacking demand: Demand is
the root of the problem, and we’ve heard about the exploitation today of
children firsthand from the people representing them. And if we could focus
some of that effort on demand, maybe this wouldn’t have occurred in the first
place. Resources and prioritization of fighting demand are critical and lead
to corroboration of a victim’s complaint, less reliance on victim testimony and
hopefully, and ultimately, a reduction in the number of children exploited.
Child sex trafficking is a threat to our society’s health, undoubtedly. And
it’s truly a national and international security threat as well. It allows
organized crime to prey on the most vulnerable. Until we all, as a global
community and individually within our nations, our state, our cities, get
serious about stopping demand, this fight has no end.
Thank you for continuing to keep this issue at the forefront.
REP. SMITH: Thank you very much, and thank you for the outstanding work that
Shared Hope International has done and continues to do.
You know, I noted in reading your – Mr. Cohen, do you have any questions?
Thank you so much. I noted in your report, you point out that the women in
this area, talking about one of the Red Light Districts, are mostly Latin and
South American, from Colombia, Cuba, Brazil and Venezuela. I was on – in
Brasilia on a trip years ago to talk about an effort to get the Brazilians to
pass a comprehensive strategy on combating sex trafficking, to protect their
own children, because child sex tourism is so huge there. I met with
parliamentarians in Brasilia for several days, but we made a one day trip to
Rio de Janeiro, went to a shelter. And while I was at the shelter, there was a
woman from Brazil who had just been rescued with tears pouring from her eyes –
rescued a couple of days earlier – but as she told her story, she was en route
And I have raised this issue myself with the Dutch as head of delegation for
the United States Parliamentary Assembly, as chairman of this Commission, that
– and as you point out in your report, when you get two-thirds or more, some
put it as high 80 percent or higher, of the women being foreign – even the
indigenous Dutch women, it is highly suspect as to at what level of coercion
have they been brought there – but when so many people from other countries are
present, it begs the question about the – and there have been the rapporteur’s
report in previous years that strongly suggest that there are levels, and I
would suggest high degrees of levels of forced fraud and coercion involved.
And I saw it myself with the one rescued woman who was in a shelter in Rio de
Janeiro who was saved from that nightmare of being sent as a slave to Amsterdam.
I would to ask – and if you could, Ms. Vartaman – you know, Ms. Van de Plas in
her statement, in one of her two, asks was that Holland be removed from Tier 1
– your thoughts on that?
MS. VARTAMAN: Still on? I think that the assessment of Tier placement is a
complicated one. And I would defer – (chuckles) – I would defer. What I would
say though, is that it is clear that efforts are in place in the Netherlands,
and in the United States and in other Tier 1 countries that do reflect an
intention to address trafficking. Whether those efforts are reaching their
goal, I think, is a different question.
REP. SMITH: Let me ask Mr. B., if he could – you mentioned that you were not
allowed to leave Amsterdam by your pimp. What would have happened had you left
Amsterdam? Do you know of anybody who escaped, and what happened to them?
MR. B.: Can you do the – say again?
REP. SMITH: Yes. What would have – what would have happened had you been able
to leave Amsterdam after your exploitation? Do you know of any others who did?
MR. B.: I would have been punished.
REP. SMITH: How? Beatings?
MR. B.: Sorry?
REP. SMITH: You would have been beaten, or –
MR. B.: Yeah. Beaten or worse.
REP. SMITH: Do you know who was maltreated? Who tried to escape?
MR. B.: No, I can only speak for my own.
REP. SMITH: In your presentation, you stated that various high-ranking Dutch
officials were part of a pedophile ring contained in Professor van Roon’s
rolodex. Now you made extensive reports to the police during the
investigation. Were there any law enforcement officials suspected in the
investigation or others officials that might have been in place to stop that
MR. B.: Yes.
REP. SMITH: Was your pimp or anyone else ever charged as part of that
MR. B.: I don’t know.
REP. SMITH: You don’t know, OK. Your presentation indicates that you were
prostituted at the Festival Bar in Amsterdam, along with other boys. Can you
tell us what has happened to the Festival Bar after your police report? Was it
shut down? And were the boys rescued?
MR. B.: The Festival Bar has changed the name, and there are still boys
REP. SMITH: Notwithstanding your complaint.
MS.: (Off-mic.) What’s the name now?
REP. SMITH: Yeah, could you tell us what the name of it is now? Do you know?
MR. B.: No, I don’t know the name, sorry.
REP. SMITH: You know, you are obviously being, you know, we are seeking to
hide your identity to the greatest extent possible. Are you fearful of any
retaliation because you have presented testimony here before the Helsinki
MR. B.: I don’t know what happen with me if I go back to the Netherlands, if I
arrive at the airport. I talked about it with my attorney.
REP. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. B. Ms. van der Plas, if I could ask you, in your
presentation, you mentioned a previous case, of course, the Rolodex case, that
you believe shows a pattern of investigations being shut down by Mr. Demmink.
You mentioned that, quote, “According to the leading investigators in the case,
as soon as Demmink became a person of interest in this matter, the
investigation was shut down and that the sting operation to catch the man who
identified it – Mr. B. – was compromised.” This information came from leading
investigators in the case, did it? And how many investigators on the case were
willing to speak with you about this?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: One investigator visited my office, and told me his whole
story. And he told me this: He was in the preliminary investigation and he
knew very well that this Mr. Demmink was one of the suspects. And he said, we
had some unofficial wiretapping, and we heard all the people speaking, but at
the moment we started the official investigation, it was – all the
communication was closed down. So it couldn’t be different than there was a
leak. And also he said, when we went to this middle man, this Mr. van Roon, he
was waiting for us. He was waiting for us, and his whole house was clean. So
it was very clear, he told us, oh, there you are. We are waiting you. And he
also told me that the victim who is now testifying to you gave him very
reliable information at the time that he found back when he did his searches.
And in question you asked the victim, I can tell you that in that case, one
pimp was convicted, not very large sentence. One of it was conditional. And
the condition was for a part of the prison sentence he could work in a kind of
farm where children came.
So the policeman who told me that was still so angry. The policemen who worked
on that case are really frustrated. And I also heard – but that was through a
middleman, a journalist, who told me that the chief of the investigation team,
a man who really believed in God and in good life, he told the journalist, I
can’t speak. I go every Sunday to the church to sing it away from me. That’s
what the policeman say. And I know that Mr. Langendoen next to me spoke even
to other investigators who – of that team at that time who confirmed exact that
information. Isn’t it?
MR. LANGENDOEN: (Correct ?).
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yeah.
REP. SMITH: You mentioned that the current state secretary of justice, Fred
Teevi (sp) – is that how you –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Teeven.
REP. SMITH: – Teeven stated under oath in 2007 that high-ranking Dutch
officials in the Rolodex case were never prosecuted because the investigation
was blocked. Was there an investigation as to Mr. Teeven’s allegation that the
investigation was blocked, and if so, what was the outcome?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Tell me –
REP. SMITH: Did any – did anybody look into why it was blocked?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: No. Nobody ever looked in. It’s also this case was kept
silenced, and it was very special that our state secretary of justice, Mr.
Teeven, brought that under oath in an – in a complete different case. He said
this was what happened.
And what’s also interesting – that in 1999 Mr. Teeven, when he was still
intelligence prosecutor, he was prosecuting that case, he gave an interview to
a magazine for lawyers and he said there, it’s my knowledge, as prosecutor of
intelligence cases, that it’s known to me that information I gathered that
criminal organizations in the Netherlands have influence on politicians and
even on judges.
So when you hear that, it’s terrifying. He then was still prosecutor.
But the problem is, since Mr. Teeven is secretary of state, we don’t hear him
anymore. So what happened, I asked then, because this is what he said, and
that’s published. I – we even can show you, if you would like – he said that
then, that he has information, because when you see – when this happened in
Turkey, that foreign intelligence agencies have influence, can blackmail our
government and our – that’s terrifying.
But not only them; when criminal organizations deliver kids to those people –
to people in – so high-ranking inside a government, a prosecution office and
justice system, then those criminal organizations also have a – mean to
blackmail those people. And that’s going on for a long time when this already
happened in the ’90s.
And even our state secretary told that to a judge, told that in public, and
REP. SMITH: The situation with Mr. Baybasin – and maybe, Klaas, you might want
to speak to this as well – all of us are well aware of the intensity of the
feelings of Turks for Kurds and vice versa.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yup.
REP. SMITH: I’ll never forget, after the first Persian Gulf War, when Kurds
had made their way to the border. I went over there while it was still a very
volatile situation and saw as these poor people were on the border, being held
by our special forces and others, to simply survive.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yes.
REP. SMITH: There were – the Turks barely allowed them to be across the border.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: That was the –
REP. SMITH: And so my point is, you know, the backdrop of that issue and, you
know, the quid pro quo, perhaps, allegation, that that led to the blackmailing
and the – and the situation –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: That’s very clear, because Mr. –
REP. SMITH: Please, if you could just elaborate on –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: – Mr. Demmink was member of this EU KFOR (sp) committee –
REP. SMITH: Right.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: – and he was specially responsible for the Kurdish-Turkish
conflict. So he had this direct connection with the Turks.
And this Mr. Baybasin, this Turkish activist, was busy to let their – the Kurds
have a better life and some of them who couldn’t have that to run away from
there. So in that way, they were kind of – (inaudible). And that’s why the
Turkish government at the time said, we see this Baybasin as a real main
object. We want to silence him. And you have to help us because we caught you
with those kids. And that’s also what Mr. Langendoen heard in Turkey.
But this whole political thing behind it is very clear, and then it’s so
strange that Mr. Demmink said, I didn’t visit Turkey since ’87. He was the
main person in the Netherlands with this – who was dealing with this
Kurdish-Turkish conflict and had the contacts with Turks.
REP. SMITH: Well, I think your point that an ambassador to another country
would hardly stay in Washington – they would be traveling in – back and forth –
would be staying there of course but in this case, when that’s your duties, it
would – it would be a dereliction of those duties not to be traveling to
Turkey. I think that was a very –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yeah.
REP. SMITH: – very important internal strength to your argument.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yeah.
REP. SMITH: Do you – can you give any indication as to why the current Turkish
leadership, when these Turkish boys were so allegedly abused and exploited and
raped, wouldn’t find it in their own interest to protect, you know, a Turkish
citizen, not want to say, whatever happened before, so be it, but you know –
not so be it; whatever happened before, you know, wherever that goes, you know,
we want to protect our own children and now young adults?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yes, you could say so, but at that moment the Turkish
government that was not the (now – this ?) government –
REP. SMITH: Right.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: – but was focusing on this Baybasin. They wanted to –
REP. SMITH: Oh, sure, that government. But this government, it seems to me –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yes. This – this –
REP. SMITH: – and you know, the Turkish government now –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yeah.
REP. SMITH: – more and more has spoken out against – combating human
trafficking, and this is a case of their kids.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: And that’s why they gave Mr. Landendoen so much information.
So we – all our sources are from Turkey, official sources, other sources.
Isn’t it, Mr. –
MR. LANGENDOEN: (Off mic.)
MS. VAN DER PLAS: That’s why they want to help us, but they – in the same time
they are forced by diplomatic pressure not to give everything, just to give
pieces. That’s why we are hanging in between for so many years already. Yeah.
REP. SMITH: Now the major daily that may very shortly – if you wanted to speak
to that, Klaas –
MR. LANGENDOEN: No, no.
REP. SMITH: OK.
MR. LANGENDOEN: (Off mic.)
REP. SMITH: The major daily or the major newspaper – would this be a
breakthrough in terms of finally bringing some light and scrutiny to the issue?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Telegraaf. This – that will come, yes, because that’s going
to speak about, by the way, all the investigations Mr. Langendoen did, and
there are new Dutch victims who spoke about what happened to them.
MR. : It’s coming.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: And that’s coming very soon.
MR. : (Off mic.)
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Isn’t it?
MR. : Yes, very soon.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yeah.
REP. SMITH: Could I just ask you, if I could, Ms. van der Plas – you talked
about Mustafa. You mentioned that – because I have met with the ambassador of
the Netherlands to the United States. I do believe in hearing from all sides
and doing my due diligence – matter of fact, he did mention in his letter the
Tier 1 status as if that somehow exonerated a country and that would apply to
any country. You know, that may show a good trend, but if there are individual
cases that need to be looked into, they need to be. But that said, you know,
that says nothing about this case. But you know, he – you talked about
Mustafa. He did not feel safe in traveling to the Netherlands. You mentioned
contra-actions, I think, was the phrase you used.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Contra-actions was the Rolodex case.
REP. SMITH: OK. OK. It was the Rolodex –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: We had the contra-actions in the –
REP. SMITH: OK. With Mustafa, it was with safety – he was – he wanted a
guarantee of safety and he also wanted a lawyer present.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yes. That’s what I wrote to the prosecutor. And then the –
REP. SMITH: Why wouldn’t the lawyer be allowed to be present with someone who
wants to come forward like that? That’s baffling.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yes, the – when I asked the prosecutor – and I have it all
in correspondence available – I said because of the threats the boy had, he – I
would like to be present, or his Turkish lawyer, and we want security and –
because he is giving a statement against the highest man at the Ministry of
Justice. And for this kid, as a Turkish citizen, he knows they – those people
And then he wrote back, Mrs. van der Plas, this is – “Det ist Nedeland” (sp).
That means, “This is the Netherlands.”
So no, and I couldn’t guarantee my client full safety when he came. So the kid
was terrified, really scared to death, yeah.
REP. SMITH: With regards to the Turkish prosecution office in Diyarbakir, you
said they had now of – an active investigation against Mr. Demmink and two of
the individuals worked with Turkey. Could you elaborate a little bit more on
that? How long has that been going and –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: This is very recently –
REP. SMITH: Recent.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: – started, somewhere this spring, because the Turkish
authorities want something and then all the time delay, and that’s why I’m
waiting now with this appeal that I got the information from them. But I know
that exactly last week they made some movement and they going to listen to some
witnesses. So there is now some progress in it. And I think, when from United
States side there is support for what they going to do in this respect, that
would help them really.
REP. SMITH: Let me ask you, have you been threatened?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Have –
REP. SMITH: Have you been – personally been threatened yourself at all?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: No. No.
REP. SMITH: That’s –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: But I don’t even see it. When – I’m not – how do you call
it? Available for that or open for that? (Chuckles.) Yeah. (Laughter.)
REP. SMITH: Let me ask you one final question. You mentioned that a current
member of the Turkish state security council, Mr. Salibi (sp) –
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Yes.
REP. SMITH: – of the military wing of the Turkish intelligence service, sent
to the Netherlands a list of the many visits he believed Mr. Demmink made to
Turkey between ’95 and ’03. However, the Netherlands has dismissed the report,
never contacted the author, who remains a special security adviser for, among
other things, the Turkish minister of the interior.
Could you speak for other on that? Why would such information be shelved or
refused to be acted upon? Or is it being acted upon in any way? And did this
Mr. Salibi (sp) run a risk in providing that information himself?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Mr. Salibi (sp) made his report –
REP. SMITH: Because, again, in my conversations with the Dutch, they say that
he just wasn’t there. (Chuckles.) And that, you know, exonerates him and as
you have pointed out others have pointed out, he came under aliases, he came
MS. VAN DER PLAS: I made some attachments for your commission.
REP. SMITH: (Inaudible.)
MS. VAN DER PLAS: His (act ?) report is in there, and Page 23 gives the dates
that according – he was the first one to reveal the dates that Demmink entered
Turkey in the ’90s and how everything happened. But I also attached his letter
to the Dutch authorities, this independent commission Mr. Langendoen spoke
about, and he offered in that – he said who he was, and he offered to give all
the information. But nobody ever asked him to do so and to give it. So what
we gave – it was ignored. It was ignored. And we gave that to you, so what he
said. And I was visiting Mr. Salibi (sp) even with Mr. Langendoen, and we
discussed his report. We have photos of that. Yeah. And we have also, if –
he gave us also a photo showing – look, I write this letter that I was the
special adviser of the minister of interior in Turkey at that time, but here –
look, me, on the airport with this actually second person in the AK Party. So
this is really someone not to ignore, but the Dutch just didn’t even think
When I would have been Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands – (chuckles) – I
am not – I should have said, OK, I – the first thing I do is transparently,
openly ask the Turkish government, what is about this report? They never did,
REP. SMITH: Is it a cover-up? Is it a cover-up?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: What’s a cover-up? You mean that they don’t do anything?
REP. SMITH: Right.
MS. VAN DER PLAS: What we – what we see all the time in this case – whatever
we bring in, in fact, silence is after that. We are ignored.
REP. SMITH: Mr. Langendoen, let me ask you a question. You indicate that
after years in the criminal justice system in the Netherlands, you were very
surprised by the facts presented to you by Ms. van der Plas and her legal unit
regarding the conviction of Baybasin and its relationship to the allegations
against a high-ranking justice official. You said, and I quote, at the start
of your “independent research,” you “wondered if the theory of the law firm was
not a ‘nonsense’ fairy tale story” and you “assumed that this level of
corruption could never occur” in your country, where you had “worked so hard”
against organized crime, close quote.
Is your assessment – is it your assessment that this case is an aberration from
what is normal in the Netherlands, or is the sign of a systemic problem with
MR. LANGENDOEN: Yeah, I was shocked –
REP. SMITH: Put on your – I’m sorry.
MR. LANGENDOEN: I was shocked by what I heard from the – those two lawyers.
When they asked me to some investigation about it, I said, it’s a fairy tale.
I know Holland very well, about organized crime, all those kind of things, but
those things doesn’t happen in Holland. That was my opinion at that moment.
But they asked me, Klaas, please do the investigation. We believe in – we
believe in the story. And after that, I must say, I think that it’s true.
REP. SMITH: You were –
MR. LANGENDOEN: That the Dutch government are blackmailed in the story of the
– of the – of the highest-ranking man of justice.
REP. SMITH: You mentioned that the national investigations unit did only a
facts collection investigation but had no authority to do a proper
investigation. What additional options and powers would have been open to an
investigator if they had been empowered to open an official investigation, just
so we understand the differences? Which witnesses did they not interview as a
result of the limited investigation?
MR. LANGENDOEN: I asked the head of the – of that investigation – I gave him
all the information. I said, I can give you the people who must do this
investigation. I traveled then to Turkey. I was – very good contacts during
these days in contact – intelligence service, police, everything. I can
introduce them. You can do a very good investigation. He said, no, no, we do
REP. SMITH: And why do you think that’s the case?
MR. LANGENDOEN: He said – he said, we don’t see anything for – no facts for a
criminal investigation; no, we don’t do any criminal investigation. And when
there is not a criminal investigation, I can’t do anything.
REP. SMITH: But given your extraordinary credibility and the fact that you are
a man who has made a difference in meting out justice in Holland, didn’t that
add to, you know, the imperative that they do something? I mean, you were
presenting something – I mean, you set out to disprove – you didn’t think it
was real. Then you came to – it seems to me that that’s –
MR. LANGENDOEN: I pressed him. I said, I’ve got all the information for you;
I can travel with you to Turkey; we can speak to the victims, to the – to the
police officer, intelligence officers. And he said, no, I’m not allowed to do
REP. SMITH: Not allowed.
MR. LANGENDOEN: Not allowed.
REP. SMITH: Under pain of being fired or reprimanded in some way, do you
think? Or –
MR. LANGENDOEN: I don’t know.’
REP. SMITH: You don’t know. OK.
I’d like to yield to – without objection, to our – one of our counsels on the
Helsinki Commission, Allison Hollabaugh.
ALLISON HOLLABAUGH: Thank you all for being here today.
Mr. Langendoen, what is the current status of the Baybasin case? Your – you
did extensive research into evidence tampering with the wiretaps. Has there
been any movement in the Dutch government on looking into this case any further
to see if there was any miscarriage of justice?
MS. VAN DER PLAAS: Maybe I will – because there happened something in that
case now. Till now they refused completely to do anything. We asked again and
again for investigating the – because the man was convicted on only telephone
tapes. And Mr. Langendoen even interviewed, in Turkey, all the policemen who
said, I was helping the Dutch to manipulate those telephone tapes at the time.
But they refused till now to do an investigation.
But we made a revision request to the Supreme Court of the conviction of Mr.
Baybasin. And that revision request was done April 2011. And only recently –
and we brought in all the evidence we have, and we have a lot. And recently,
in August 2011, the attorney general of the Supreme Court said, I require to
the Supreme Court that I can do a new investigation into this case because
there is so much material, but we want to verify that material. And just
recently, the day we left for Washington – that was Monday or – no, Tuesday I
got information from the Supreme Court that they made a quick decision. It was
planned on 30 of October, but they made it last Tuesday, and they said the
prosecutor, by new attorney general of the Supreme Court, by the new law, can
do this investigation itself.
So I think now that the attorney general, different than the prosecution
office, sees the value of what we have already, and he is now starting an
investigation. And we just can hope that this will be a real investigation.
He wrote in his conclusion very precisely that he wants to involve the defense
very much into this investigation because also he believes in rule of law. But
he said, I almost can’t believe that this happened in my country, but let’s go
and investigate it. So this is a new development, but very recent, actually
last week before we left.
MS. HOLLABAUGH: Now, will this be a full investigation or a fact-finding
investigation or a completely different type because it’s in court?
MS. VAN DER PLAAS: It is a very special investigation in our criminal law. It
is – and it is just by new law, 1st of October, made possible. And it is a
fact-finding investigation by the highest attorney general of the – of the
Supreme Court into the facts we brought, the new facts for the revision. So
that will be the telephone tapes, but that will also be the interrogation of a
translator who knew everything and who said that this Baybasin was a purpose of
the Turkish government. So he’s going to interview witnesses, and he wants to
make a new investigation on the telephone tapes and all the irregularities,
which you can hear already, but then to investigate it really. So it can take
some time, but it will be very interesting. And of course, then you can’t walk
along Mr. Demmink’s role anymore either.
MS. HOLLABAUGH: Ms. Vardaman, you mention in your statement that legalized
prostitution led to increased demand and thus a need for greater supply in
relation to the Netherlands’ legalization of prostitution in the year 2000.
You also did a study of several other countries at the same time on your – of
your 2007 study. Did you also see a similar pattern there, if any of them
similarly legalized? Or do you have any other examples of legalization leading
to greater demand?
MS. VARDAMAN: The other three countries, Japan, Jamaica and the United States,
do not have legalized prostitution and did not at that time, except for the
rare situation in the state of Nevada, where several counties still have
brothels, legal brothels. And that was really the only thing we could compare
to in that research. However, it did play out similarly in our research in
Nevada. Las Vegas was one of the cities we focused on. And that definitely
was a line of questioning that we had when we went into Las Vegas, and the
similar feeling and evidence came out that there was an increase in demand for
commercial sexual activity in those places where it is legal. And that
included those counties in Nevada, where they saw, actually, people leaving the
city of Las Vegas to travel out to the nearest county that does have legalized
prostitution for that purpose.
REP. SMITH: Before we conclude – and I would ask if there’s anything else you
would like to share with us – I do want to mention that we did invite
Ambassador-at-Large for Human Trafficking Luis CdeBaca to be here today. I
have called over to the office, as has the staff several times specifically on
this case, and have not heard back from them, which is disappointing because I
wrote the law that created that position, both the office and the
ambassador-at-large, and no call back. And you know, again, whether a country
be a great friend of the United States or something less than that, friends
don’t let friends commit human rights abuses, and if they’re – if this is an
aberration or if this is a pattern, there are real victims, including the very
courageous Mr. B, who’s right over here, who have suffered and carry those
scars, and we need to speak truth to power, wherever it is, including our own
country here in the United States. So I note that with disappointment, that
they’re not here to be at this table to speak to this very important issue.
But we will stay at that.
We do – since this is a briefing and not a formal hearing, we do entertain
questions. So if there is anyone who would like to raise a question with our
very distinguished witnesses or me, please proceed.
Q: (Off mic.)
REP. SMITH: Would you take a –
MR.: Do you want to take the microphone at the end of the dais there?
Q: Hello. Hi. My name is Kwame Fosu, and I’m the policy director for the
Rebecca Project for Human Rights. And thank you for holding this very
important hearing. We are very grateful. And thank you for coming, Adele,
Klaas and B.
What is the process? We know that the Netherlands has been cited by the United
Nations as one of the top 10 tourist sex destinations –
MS.: (Off mic.)
Q: Oh, sorry – one of the top 10 destinations for sex tourism. What is the
process of changing their rating from a Tier 1 country to a Tier 2 or Tier 3?
What is the actual process? How do we do this? Because it’s very important to
the Rebecca Project that people like Joris Demmink, who actually are in charge
of prosecuting human trafficking, do come to justice. And we want to make sure
that advocates in the United States are aware of this and know how we can – we
can take steps to change their rating. And so we want to know what’s the –
REP. SMITH: Great question. First of all, as I think many of you know, we
established what we called minimum standards in the 2000 act. We built on
those in the ’03, the ’05 and then the more recent act, adding to information
as to what the backdrop is that we use in our data calls to our embassies in
finding out whether or not there are prosecutions, complicity by government
officials, how well or poorly the military is doing, are they complicit in
trafficking. And it’s a very comprehensive look. And matter of fact, in 2000
we were focusing on arrests, but we didn’t get to the conviction part. And
some countries actually gamed the system and did arrests, but they weren’t
doing anything about jail time. So we changed that in subsequent laws.
The process, very simply, after that backdrop, looking at the facts, then
applying what’s happening on the ground with those standards, the minimum
standards, as we call them – and they are minimum; they’re not maximum; they’re
minimum, but they’re very important – is for the Department of State to make a
call, based on that information, as to whether or not they are Tier 1, Tier 2,
watch list or egregious violators, which would be Tier 3. The process today –
the designation of any country can be changed on any day if the data warrants
it. It is customarily done after the TIP report is released. There’s a
section that has all countries ranked, including the United States. But
frankly, if information comes forward suggesting that there is reason for a
demotion or a change, you know, an improvement, a tier ranking can be changed
on any day of the week of any month of the year. So Holland could be changed,
if the Department of State and the TIP office so desired it, today or tomorrow
or any other day.
But we did – by design, as Congress, did not make tier callings. We felt that
it would be best done by each of our embassies, feeding into the TIP office
itself. And as we all know, there is a political struggle within the
Department of State. There are many ambassadors who don’t want their country
being designated Tier 3. There’s a great deal of push-back. I think that’s
unfortunate. It ought to be all about the Mr. Bs and the victims, because
there is a two-part strategy there: first the designation, and then what do
you do with it. There are a number of actions that can be taken in terms of
penalties. And hopefully, the penalties will be commensurate with the tier
But if a country does start to make some real progress – and we’ve had a number
of countries that have done that. Great allies like Israel and South Korea
were Tier 3 countries. And Israel moved heaven and earth to close brothels and
to make sure that women, especially in Tel Aviv, were not being exploited. And
in like manner, South Korea passed a number of important laws and policies to
mitigate trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, in that country. So, you
know, it’s all about making the call based on the facts.
I have argued for a long time that Holland does not deserve to be on Tier 1
because of the enormously large number of women and boys and young people who
are exploited in the 13, as Ms. Vardaman told us, red-light districts in that
country. And you know, the line of demarcation between a trafficking victim
and a woman who purports to be there on her own volition is very threadbare
indeed. There are levels of (forced ?) fraud and coercion that could be easily
missed by someone who is inclined to think it’s all OK, and added to that,
anyone who has not attained the age of 18. So all of these young boys that are
being exploited, and young girls, in Amsterdam, in the facility that is still
or the brothel that still has people in it with a different name, is a
trafficking crime because, you know, one commercial sex act, our definition in
the law, and anyone who has not attained the age of 18 is, by definition, a sex
trafficking victim. So I would encourage, even admonish the administration to
rethink its Tier 1 designation.
But I’ve done that before and have gotten nowhere. Thank you for the question.
Q: I have a question.
REP. SMITH: Yes.
Q: Dr. Cassie Bavin (ph), used to work on this committee, and for you, Mr.
Chairman. I would like to know, given the fact that we don’t really have
jurisdiction over Holland and there is no real nexus to be able to make much
change in another country, how do we enforce – I mean, one, how do we – how
would we keep the secretary-general or anyone else who’s an offender out of the
United States? And you know, what kind of resolution, what kind of enforcement
could we in the United States have as a Congress to be able to keep someone out?
And the other is to how can we get Holland and other countries that have – that
have voluntarily entered into agreements such as the Palermo Protocols, why is
not – you know, how do you get countries to follow their own agreements that
they agreed to enforce in their own countries? I mean, everybody is saying,
you know, your threes – your three Ps, you’ll protect, prevent and prosecute.
But, you know, we’re not seeing it. And I think it’s outrageous that the TIP
Office doesn’t respond to the chairman of a committee like this and the author
of the bill, who is much esteemed by everyone in this room and in every place.
So that’s outrageous.
REP. SMITH: Thank you, Cassie (sp). Is that for me or the others or for all
of us? Well, I’ll just take a couple –
Q: (Off mic.)
REP. SMITH: OK. Yeah, please. Ms. van der Plas?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: To understand well, you see, you can have nice regulations,
but when something is behind it, like hidden, that even policemen are forced to
silent down. That’s the point. I think it’s very important that the facts we
bring now are included in the conversations, in the estimations. And that’s
the only thing to do, because you can make rules, but – that’s what I say. I’m
educated in a country where I – yeah, rule of law and so on, but when you see
then the reality and the practice, that can really frustrate.
And it’s very important, like you – as the chairman’s already said, we have to
listen to the victims. But it’s also very important in a country like the
Netherlands, that – and that’s what I saw those last years very clearly, that
people working as policemen, really honest policemen, even honest prosecutors,
I have them seen in my office sometimes with tears in their eyes that they
could not go on. They were scared they lose – some lost their jobs because
they didn’t want to go on.
It’s very important that we find a way to support the good people in those
systems who want to do something and that – and when policemen are forced to
shut – to close their mouths, that we find a way to support them, to help them.
And that’s a very difficult thing because what you see is that people shut
their mouths and say, OK, Mrs. van der Plas, I know much more, but I’m not
going to tell you till I’m retired because I’m still scared for my profession,
for my little house. I have children. This is at the moment a mentality in
the Netherlands. And that was shocking me. And I think people have to come
out, and the people who come has to be supported. We have to say, OK, when you
deny it, give – hear are facts. And what are your facts?
So that’s why we come here, because there was a bit discrepancy between – that
she says, yes, but the Netherlands are doing a lot of effort in new laws and
things like that. I don’t deny that; I just see what’s happening behind the
screens that makes – it’s like you paint your ceiling white, but the roof is –
still has holes, and water pours in. That’s the whole problem. And how do we
find a solution for that?
REP. SMITH: I would add there is no statute of limitations on rape and
exploitation of young children. As I said in my opening, I can’t think of a
more egregious crime against a human being than rape and than rape of a child.
And we know with the victims that the scars are lifelong, can perhaps never be
mitigated, but they – we need to stand with them, that there is justice for
those who commit these crimes.
The importance of a hearing like this is to try to bring light and scrutiny, to
try to persuade the Dutch government, who is a close ally of the United States,
that this is an embarrassment. And if we’re wrong, if this information is not
correct, if this is some grand conspiracy, the purpose of which I can’t even
begin to think why, I mean, before we decided to do this, we did our due
diligence on our side. And that doesn’t mean we have absolutely everything.
But that’s why we have asked for an investigation that will go – that will go
on beyond the (cursory ?). And to have a man of Klaas’ stratus – status, I
should say, a man who, you know, who made it his business to put criminals away
for life, you know, that have committed terrible crimes, brings an enormous
amount of credibility, as do you all. And to hear from the victims themselves
In terms of what we should do, our own TIP Office needs – should be here. It’s
not. I will ask again that they engage on this. Maybe they have, and I’d love
to see the information. I wanted it before we actually had this briefing. Our
appeal is to the government, and I hope that they will respond and they will
indicate if the attorney general takes this up, that – you know, for their own
reasons, because they care about justice. You care about – Holland is a
And again, with regards to tiers, as I said before, we did not mince –
designated our best friends in the world who are at risk: South Korea, with
the threat in the north; Israel, who is a – our greatest ally in the Middle
East, close – the only democracy in the Middle East was on Tier 3 during the
Bush administration. And I always applauded that courage to do that.
And I would note, parenthetically, that this bill – and Cassie (sp) remembers
this because she worked with us to help get it enacted in the first place – was
vigorously opposed by the Clinton administration on the record. Harold Koh sat
where you sat – who’s now counsel at State – they did not want to have the
naming of names because it is embarrassing; it complicates all the niceties of
statecraft. And they did not want sanctions. My argument is, everyone will
agree, if it’s all done in the abstract, to combating trafficking; not so when
you really do the data calls, you do the hard work and say there are people –
victims like – you know, like Mr. B, who – that’s why we do this law, period.
And so naming is important. And I hope the TIP Office takes a good look at
this and reviews this.
Finally, I am the special representative for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
I do think it is my job in that capacity to raise these issues in the hope that
very well-meaning and – people committed to the rule of law, which we know the
Dutch government has, as you pointed out, Ms. van der Plas, there are these
great policemen who are frustrated – just do it right – you know, and we’re
trying to form some support for that.
Anybody else? Yes.
Q: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’m HP Schreinemachers. I’m counselor for
justice and home affairs at the Netherlands Embassy.
Just for the record, I wanted to make one comment, please, if you allow me.
And that is that contrary to the impression that the panel might have given
you, the Netherlands takes the fight against child sex trafficking very
seriously. And we could have commented if we would have been invited to this
panel. But it wasn’t until we protested not being included on this one-sided
panel that you came back last Monday offering us the opportunity to ask the
first question and send in a written statement. Well, since just asking a
question or giving a short remark like this one doesn’t compensate for the
one-sidedness, we declined to do so. We did, however, send in the letter –
(inaudible) – the minister of security and justice has sent to the Dutch
Parliament, and I would refer to them. Thank you.
REP. SMITH: Could I ask you, please, if you don’t mind, was there anything you
heard today that caused you to rethink that perhaps there is a very credible
Q: I think that I’m not on the panel, so that’s not the way to address
questions to me. But I – (inaudible) –
REP. SMITH: No, it’s a give-and-take. This is not a hearing. And you have the
floor, and I’m asking you a very serious question.
Q: And I’m – I was in the process of giving you an answer, but I wanted to
make that clear first. And that is that the information that has been given
today is – has all been available. And therefore, I think it’s good that Mrs.
van der Plas indicated that she’s going to take this – what is now amounting to
a public trial to the court of appeals, and I think that’s where it belongs.
REP. SMITH: OK. Any other questions?
Anything you’d like to say in sum, as we – before we close down?
MS. VAN DER PLAS: I would like to thank you very much and your commission. I
have a copy of what I sent, but – we gave it already but with the attachment.
So (there’s ?) one copy with this – (inaudible) – report and the letter of Mrs.
– (off mic) – and thank you so much for what you do in general for the
anti-human trafficking act of 2001. I was reading it from Internet. I could
follow everything. It’s very good, tremendous job. And I even also heard Mr.
Obama speaking when I was (at ?) the United Nations conference that this is a
new form of slavery. And thank you very much for this effort, this emphasize
you made on this already for so many years, and hearing us here and that we
could bring here the problem we are fighting for for so many years already.
REP. SMITH: Thank you so very much. And I will say that if the Dutch
government would like to, we will convene a second hearing and invite you to
the witness table. We’ll work out a date, and I look forward to it. Hearing’s
MS. VAN DER PLAS: Would be marvelous, yeah.