U.S. Department of State: Belgium Country Report on Human Rights Practices

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U.S. Department of State

Belgium Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997

In January 1998, the American government submits a report on the Belgian situation of children’s  rights who establishes that the country is both a transit point and destination for trafficking of children, who also recognises the prostitution of children. This joins the opinion of Marc Verwilghen, former president of the Dutroux commission, ex-minister of the justice and who writes on 15/10/1996  to the president of Werkgroep Morkhoven: “the events of these last weeks do not leave any doubt of the reality of the pedo- pornographic and the prostitution of children in Belgium.”

The document already foresees that the Dutroux lawsuit will not start before second half of 1998. Yet, it will only begin on the second quarter 2004, according to Marc Dutroux: due to the fact that he was just childen’s provider for a certain elite of politicians, judges and police officers.

Children

Belgium has comprehensive child protection laws, which the Government seeks to enforce. The Francophone and Flemish communities have agencies dealing with children’s needs. Government and private groups provide shelters for runaways and counseling for children who have been physically or sexually abused. The Government provides compulsory education up to the age of 18.

In 1995 the Government enacted laws designed to combat child pornography by increasing penalties for such crimes and for those in possession of pedophilic materials. The law permits prosecution of Belgians who commit such crimes abroad. Another 1995 law provides that criminals convicted of the sexual abuse of children cannot receive parole without first receiving specialized assistance and must continue counseling and treatment upon their release from prison.

Belgium is both a transit point and destination for trafficking in women and children. In the first half of 1997, 120 children from 37 different countries were trafficked in the country, the largest number from Romania (21).

In 1996 the authorities uncovered a pedophile/child pornography and trafficking ring. The criminal investigation of this ring continued through 1997. Five suspects remained in detention; however, their trial was unlikely to begin before mid-1998.

A parliamentary commission continued to investigate allegations of corruption and complicity in the law enforcement and judicial system. By December no judicial or police officers had been imprisoned or sanctioned for collusion related to the pedophile case.

In response to the public outcry over the handling of the pedophile case, the Government established a center for missing and exploited children. The Prime Minister appointed the center’s president and board of directors in May, and the center opened in December.

Children have the right to a voice in court cases that affect them, such as divorce proceedings. The law states that a minor “capable of understanding” can request permission to be heard by a judge, or a judge can request an interview with a child.

Child prostitution is of limited scope, but, in response to recommendations made in a 1994 government study, police have received instructions to be especially diligent in combating prostitution among those who appear to be under the age of 18.

There is no societal pattern of abuse directed against children.

Photo: Morkhoven Group, Action human rights violations Belgian prisons, Royal Palace, Brussels

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Brussels, 23.1.2013

The article above is one of the many articles published on the skynet-blogs of  Werkgroep Morkhoven which is an association fighting childporn and whose former spokesman Marcel Vervloesem revealed the Zandvoort childporn ring (90.000 victims, including babies) in 1998.

But since 22.12.2012 all the blogs of Werkgroep Morkhoven are encrypted by Skynet and almost all the webpages are removed of  internet.

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On 17.12.2012,  Vervloesem’s 14 years old granddaughter received some death threats. The messages with death threats were coming from the phone of Victor V., a member of the Socialist Party which is involved in child abuses, and who is working for the Belgian State Security.

On 20.12.2012 all the (skynet)blogs of Werkgroep Morkhoven were encrypted for unknown reasons. The Skynet Customer Service didn’t reply the many complaints of the Morkhoven Group about the closure of the 20 blogs.

On 3.1.2013, the police of Brussels refused to act the complaint of Werkgroep Morkhoven about the ongoing death threats and, at the same time, the encryption of all her blogs.

On 4.1.2013 Werkgroep Morkhoven received a letter coming from the Ombudsman of Telecommunication. He said that Morkhoven’s complaint ‘had been accepted’ and that Belgacom, Belgian greatest telecommunication company which is for 53% Belgian State owned and is sponsoring E-cops and Child Focus, was given 1 month time ‘to share it’s views’.

Meanwhile thousands of webpages of the blogs with information about the Zandvoort case; prisoners and patient rights; human rights violations; Belgian, European and international news; press freedom; letters (and documents) to ministers, the president of the European parliament; human rights organizations, critical articles about the NATO and so on, were removed from internet.

The Morkhoven Group was filing a complaint with the Minister of Belgian Justice Turtelboom (Liberal Party), the Minister of Home Affairs Milquet (Christian Democrats), the Minister of Civil Services Vanackere (Christian Democrats) and with the President of the High Council for Justice because of the Justice of Turnhout which covered the Zandvoort case, doesn’t start an investigation to the continuous death threats and the almost fatal attack on Marcel Vervloesem’s daughter during the past week.

The Ministers and the president of the High Council for Justice didn’t answer.

It is possible that the case is blocked by the Minister of Justice because the Minister appointed Jan Poels, an attorney of the Court of Justice of Turnhout where the Zandvoort case has been covered, as chief of cabinet.

In 1998 Victor V. who started the recent death threats, accused Marcel Vervloesem who was spokesman of Werkgroep Morkhoven at that time.  As result of these false accusations,  Marcel Vervloesem the Belgian media called Marcel Vervloesem during more than 10 years a ‘self-declaring hunter of pedophiles’ and a ‘cowardly child abuser’. It is on this way that the Zandvoort case was covered by the Belgian authorities which are also responsible for the coverup operation of the well-known Dutroux case.

Belgian authorities, talking all the time about child’s rights, still deny that childporn rings really exist.

Vervloesem was also persecuted during more than 10 years and has, since 6 years an interdiction to talk the press. It is good example of the so called ‘press freedom’.

Since his liberation of prison, he has also a interdiction to contact the members of his own association (Werkgroep Morkhoven) or to work together with associations fighting the childporn industry. The Belgium Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to be part of an association…

In 2005 already, Victor V. demanded in a petition the removal of Werkgroep Morkhoven of Internet.  He was strangely supported by Jan Peeters, a senator of the Socialist Party.  Peeters is the former Belgian State Secretary and Minister for Security Affairs and, as mayor of the city of Herentals where Victor V. is meanwhile appointed Chairman of the Commission of Security and Police, he is head of the police.

Jan Boeykens, Faiderstraat 10, 1060 Brussels, Belgium (president of Werkgroep Morkhoven) – werkgroepmorkhoven@gmail.com

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