The Irish Times has reported that up to a dozen teenage boys may have been castrated while in the care of church-run psychiatric institutions in the Netherlands during the 1950s for expressing homosexual feelings.
The individual stories which have come to light have horrified the Dutch public. The castrations were initially uncovered by the ‘Deetman commission’ – an investigation set up in 2010 to uncover clerical sex abuse – however, they were not included in its 1,100-page report, published before Christmas, despite there being physical evidence in minutes taken by government health inspectors who were present in some cases when decisions were taken to forcibly castrate young boys because they were thought to be homosexual.
The Dutch government has promised to investigate “very serious and shocking” allegations. “It’s now clear that there were instances of abuse that were inexplicably not included in the commission’s report,” said Laura Huisman, a spokesperson for the Liberal Party (VVD), led by Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte