Saturday, October 22, 2011

A forced prostitute from Yugoslavia

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When I read through all these LJN files about forced prostitution on rechtspraak.nl, it strikes me that by far most verdicts related to forced prostitution are about window prostitution. That's also what I find when I analyse all media stories about forced prostitution. This however is not what is found by Comensha (look on mensenhandel.nl). They register all human trafficking cases in the Netherlands that are reported to them. They do find relatively many cases of forced prostitution other than in window prostitution. Even in the clubs and the so-called "privéhuizen".

In the Netherlands we mean by a club: a brothel with a bar where the clients and the prostitutes can meet and drink alcohol, then the clients can choose a woman while chatting and drinking with them, and then they go to a separate room where they have sex. A "privéhuis" is a sex club without a bar, clients are directly introduced to the prostitutes in a separate room, the clients have to choose a prostitute and then go to a room where they have sex. I haven't seen an English word with the same meaning as "privéhuis". I think massage parlour would be an appropriate expression, but in Dutch that means something different. In Dutch a massage parlour is a brothel where no intercourse takes place.

When you look at the verdicts on rechtspraak.nl, forced prostitution cases are often related to window prostitution. Sometimes this is related to clubs. But often this is the case because pimps who operate in window prostitution areas sometimes put their women in clubs. The gang of Saban B also did that, although they mainly put their women in window brothels. There rarely are any mentions of forced prostitution in "privéhuizen" on rechtspraak.nl. And this is not because there are few of these type of brothels in the Netherlands, there are quite many of them. The question is, if there really is rarely any human trafficking in privéhuizen. Then the answer is simple: only go to these types of brothels. But I won't put my money on it.

I will write something about such a case on rechtspraak.nl where a woman was forced to work in a privéhuis. This case has the LJN number: BL6374. You can find the link here:

http://www.rechtspraak.nl/ljn.asp?ljn=BL6374

I find this case very convincing. However, after appeal the perpetrator is totally acquitted! (it has the LJN-number BR1678) No explanation is given in the verdict why he is acquitted. Perhaps there were some errors in the procedures. You can read the appeal here:

http://www.rechtspraak.nl/ljn.asp?ljn=BR1678

Hereafter are some translated parts of BL6374 (which I made a bit more readable):

In September 2005 the victim got to know the suspect during a Yugoslavian party in Rotterdam. They exchanged telephone numbers and since then they maintained contact by telephone. She then visited the suspect during the weekends in the place where he lived. In the third weekend after their first meeting they decided to live together. He wanted to buy a house, but because he had a debt of €13,000 he couldn't get a mortgage. During that period he alternately worked as a welder or he was on sick leave. She then proposed to him that they could only get out of debt by making money with drugs or prostitution. He said that he wanted nothing to do with drugs, but he didn't resist her proposal to work in prostitution. She read an advertisement in the paper of club [X] in Mol in Belgium and she went looking there, after which she decided to work in that club as a prostitute (they probably mean the sex club: "Ritz-clubbing").
At the end of September 2005 she went working in [X]. She has worked there for nine months. The suspect phoned her all day. He always asked how much she had earned and he forced her to phone and to send text messages at the moment she went upstairs with a client. This way he knew how many clients she had. This way he controlled her. She also had to write down what she had earned. After she had given him the money, he counted it again and compared it with the amounts she wrote down on paper. Once, after she hid €1500 in the pocket of her trousers, he found it, after which she was maltreated by him. After a couple of months he started to maltreat and humiliate her. He hit her everywhere on her body. He also kicked with his feet against her legs, belly, back, head and face. He always complained that there was too little money and that the mortgage had to be paid. This way he put pressure on her to work again as a prostitute. He showed her advertisements of clubs in which girls were asked for prostitution.
Witness [B] got to know her at the end of September 2005, when she worked as a prostitute in the [X] in Mol in Belgium. At first he was a client of hers. After this, he kept on meeting her. He saw approximately 6 times that she had bruises on her body. These bruises were on her legs, arms and buttocks. Witness [B] has visited her for approximately 5 months in the [X]. When he saw her, a phone call or text message came every quarter of an hour. The mood then turned bad, she became scared. He concluded that it had to do something with the text messages.
Witness [C] went to the Netherlands in February 2006, at the request of the suspect. After the suspect bought a house, [C] came to live in the house of the suspect and the victim. [C] has witnessed a couple of maltreatments of the victim by the suspect. The suspect maltreated her whenever it suited him. The victim was beaten, kicked, and pulled by the hair and was kicked against the wall. Witness [C] has often seen injuries on the body of the victim, like bruises on her head, bare spots on her head because her hair was pulled out, and swollen lips.
Within a period of four months, witness [C] has lived in the house of the suspect and the victim for approximately two and a half months. In June 2006, he went back to Yugoslavia. [C] has testified to the police that at the request of the suspect he had to remove a little bag with money under the mattress in the bedroom. He has done that and he saw within the bag a big pile of banknotes of €500 and €100. The suspect was often flaunting with piles of money. The suspect told about the money that it was earned by his little woman. He meant the victim by that.
According to the victim, the suspect has tried to bring her to death on March 8 in the year that witness [C] was staying in their house.
That day it was Women's Day in Yugoslavia. She received a text message from a female friend from Yugoslavia. At that moment she was in the living room. The suspect snatched her telephone away from her and read the text message. He became angry. She walked to the kitchen and at the moment she walked towards the living room she felt that the suspect beat her very hard. Because of the blow she fell on the floor. Right after this, she felt that the suspect kicked very hard with his feet on her back. He then grabbed her by the hands and then tried to pull her hands away from each other. She then felt that the suspect pushed a wad in her mouth. She couldn't breathe anymore. It became black before her eyes and she got unconscious. Witness [C] confirms this event and testifies to the examining judge that on March 8, 2006, he knew that there was something going on between the victim and the suspect. On that day he was in their home and was in the living room at the moment when he heard screams coming from the bedroom. He saw that the victim ran towards him and that the suspect was chasing her and that he started to hit her in the face with his fists. Witness [C] demanded from the suspect to stop, but the suspect didn't stop. At one moment she fell on the floor as a result of the beating and kicking. The suspect tried to suffocate the victim. The suspect then took a tea-towel, then sat down with his knee on her chest and pushed the towel in her mouth. Witness [C] saw that she started to suffocate and started to pull with her legs because she couldn't get air anymore. The witness then grabbed the suspect and pushed him away and removed the towel from her mouth. She then was unconscious and appeared blue. Before that day, there were quarrels between the suspect and the victim.
Witness [C] saw that the suspect was looking for addresses of nightclubs on the Internet; for places where she could work. Witness [C] accompanied the victim and the suspect when they visited brothels in the neighbourhood of Antwerpen. After he asked the suspect if she was involved in prostitution, the suspect answered that she was involved in that, and that she worked for the suspect. There were lots of quarrels about money. When she didn't bring enough money, there were quarrels. Every time when she came home she gave money to the suspect. Witness [C] saw that at least 10 times. A couple of times he has seen that the suspect inspected the bags and shoes of the victim, while she was showering. The suspect sometimes said to the victim when she gave money to him that she didn't make many hours.
Witness [C] testifies to the police that there were periods that the victim was away for two or three days in a row to work in sex clubs where she also spent the night. During those days the suspect supervised her by constantly phoning her. After she handed over the earned money to him, witness [C] saw that the suspect counted the money.
Witness [D] testifies to the examining judge that at the end of December 2005, she was in Yugoslavia and that she saw the victim there together with the suspect. The suspect had a separate suitcase with presents for everybody in the family, for example a white fur coat for [E], the sister of the victim. The suspect said very clearly that he bought this all.
Witness [E] testifies to the examining judge that in May 2006 she came to the Netherlands to spend some time with her sister, the victim. For approximately 2 weeks, she resided in the house of the victim who was then living with the suspect. After a couple of days, she witnessed a quarrel between the suspect and her sister. While in anger the suspect said to witness [E]: "did you know that your sister is a whore and works as a prostitute". She saw that the suspect beat her sister and pulled her by the hair. He kicked her and said she was a whore. He pulled out the hair extensions of the victim. Then he threw her on the floor and he kicked her. Next, witness [E] and the suspect brought the victim to the hospital.
The victim testifies to the police that after she worked in [X] in Belgium, she has worked in "[X2]" near Nijmegen, "[X3]" in Eindhoven, "[X4]" in Eindhoven, [X5] in Dordrecht, [X6] in Zundert and [X7] in Rotterdam, and that also in these places she was under the control of the suspect. Everybody in those clubs noticed that, because of the constant telephone calls of the suspect. She had to hand over all the money that she earned there to the suspect. She declared to the examining judge that she has worked for approximately 2 months in a privéhuis called "[X8]" and that she worked in "[X7]" in Rotterdam when the suspect was in prison. That was in 2007. From September 2005 until February 2008, she has worked in prostitution without interruption.
Witness [F] got to know the victim in sex club [X7] in Rotterdam.
They worked together there as a prostitute. In that club she noticed that the victim was phoned all day on her mobile phone. Sometimes 20 times within an hour. She saw that the victim was really nervous and that she started to panic when the phone rang once again. At a certain moment the victim got warnings from the proprietor of the club that she wasn't allowed to be phoned anymore on her mobile phone. This supposedly wasn't good for the other girls in the club and the clients. They also saw that she started to panic and often started to cry when the telephone rang. Witness [F] still remembers that the victim was totally in panic when she didn't earn so much one time.
The owner of sex club [X7] in Rotterdam named [owner] confirmed to the police that he addressed the victim about the fact that she was phoned all day on her mobile phone by her boyfriend. Also the female manager of that same sex club has testified to the police that the victim was phoned all day by her boyfriend. She saw that the victim reacted very nervously when she was phoned.
Witness [owner2] is the owner of the sex business "[X8]" established in Rotterdam.
He testifies on July 8, 2009, that the victim has worked for approximately one and a half week in his privéhuis. That was approximately two and a half years ago. He has seen the boyfriend of the victim two times at his privéhuis. He noticed that there were continuous phone calls on her mobile phone; every 15 or 30 minutes. He heard that a foreign language was spoken. He understood that it was the boyfriend of the victim. He saw that the victim was agitated regularly, because her boyfriend phoned.
Witness [owner3] is the owner of the private club "[X3]", established in Eindhoven. In May 2007, a Yugoslavian girl came working in that club.
On a certain moment, he heard from the other girls who worked there, that the victim was phoned the whole day long by her guy. According to the girls, that guy phoned to the victim to get information from her about how many clients she has had, and how much she has earned. When [owner3] heard this, he asked the victim what was going on. The victim confirmed to [owner3], that her boyfriend asked about the money she earned. [Owner3] then told the victim about the idea to keep money behind. She then gave [owner3] money that he saved for her and that she brought home in the weekend to her house. Before the victim came to work there, she has worked in club [X4].
On February 13, 2008, a female manager of sex club [X9] in the Hague phoned to the police with the message that the victim worked in this club as a prostitute and that she possibly was a victim of human trafficking.

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