A report on sexual abuse and willingness to report to Jehovah's Witnesses of Utrecht University may be published, reporters from RTL News and Trouw reported Thursday. Jehovah's had gone to court to prevent the publication.
"If the publication of this report were to be stopped, it would limit freedom of expression," the judge said. In addition, it also takes into account that "it is not about a random investigation, but a desired investigation into a socially important topic".
The summary proceedings took place behind closed doors at the request of the Jehovah's witnesses. When discussing the objections of Jehovah's Witnesses, the report would be discussed in such a way that the report would in fact already become public, reports Het Parool.
On Thursday, the AD leaked the contents of the report before the court's decision. According to the newspaper, the investigation concludes that Jehovah's witnesses have "a serious problem" regarding sexual abuse. They would also not or reluctantly report allegations about this to the police.
According to the researchers, stricter state research would be needed, because the Jehovah's are a closed community.
Second Chamber urged investigation
The community went to court because they found the Utrecht University report "scientifically and factually incorrect and defamatory and very offensive". The investigation, commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and Security, focuses, among other things, on how abuse is dealt with within the church.
The House of Representatives had called for an independent investigation before the summer of 2018, following revelations about sexual abuse by newspaper Trouw . Minister Sander Dekker (Legal Protection) initially asked the church to start an independent investigation, but the community did not feel like it.
See also: Abuse in jehova community: "I was not allowed to talk to anyone about it"