Dutchman stuck in India for two years over broken marriage vow: Report

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Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton). Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton)

Dutch man Peter de Bruijn has been stuck in India for two years, since an Indian woman accused him of breaking a marriage vow - which could carry a prison sentence of up to seven years in the country. His passport was confiscated and he is awaiting trial. He told his story to the Volkskrant.

In Indian law the breaking of a marriage vow is called "technical rape". According to Indian statistics office NCRB, 7,655 of the 34,651 women who reported rape in 2015 did so because of a broken marriage vow.

De Bruijn's story starts in February 2014. He lived in Bangalore and worked for Nuffic, a Dutch educational organization that distributes scholarships. In that month he received a Facebook friend invite from an Indian woman in her 30's living in Gurgaon, some 2 thousand kilometers away. Thinking nothing of it, he accepted the friend request.

Almost immediately the woman started blackmailing him. She told him that if he does not pay her over 40 thousand euros, she will tell his colleagues and friends that they have a relationship. De Bruijn ignored her.

On September 9th, 2014 the police show up at De Bruijn's door just as he and his girlfriend started dinner, with the woman from Facebook. De Bruijn is taken to a police station. Where the woman tells him they can settle this "amicably" - if he gives her 40 thousand euros, she won't press charges. De Bruijn refuses.

He spent 20 days in jail before being released on bail, his passport confiscated. A year later, after he's lost his job and home, the three witnesses the Indian woman named told the court that their statements were falsified and they never even saw the police officer who allegedly took their statements. The woman pressed new charges against him - saying he forced her to have an abortion - and the documents used to prove his lawyer showed to be fake. Yet the woman is allowed to continue with her lawsuit, filing new charges against De Bruijn every month or so.

On her public Twitter account, she regularly writes to De Bruijn and his girlfriend that she wants money and if he does not settle this "amicably" she will continue litigating "forever".

The Dutch government is doing what it can for De Bruijn, according to the newspaper. At each meeting between Dutch diplomats and Indian authorities, De Bruijn's case is mentioned.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs doesn't dare to assess whether the Dutch man is guilty, as the Netherlands can not interfere in the judicial process of another country. But the Ministry did appoint an independent expert to assess whether De Bruijn is receiving a fair trial.

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