Record Dooms Dutch Residency Quest by Man Unaware He Lacked Papers

(Pixabay photo via Courthouse News)

STRASBOURG, France (CN) — The European Court of Human Rights backed the Netherlands on Tuesday for deporting an immigrant whose long record of sexual assault dates back to his teen years. 

Given the serious nature of the crimes Hein Pormes had committed, the Strasbourg-based court found that The Netherlands was not obliged to give him residency.

Born in Indonesia in 1987, Pormes was 4 when he left the former Dutch colony and moved to the Netherlands, his father’s homeland, following the death of his Indonesian mother in 1991. Following the death of his father in 1999, Pormes lived with an aunt and uncle, only discovering in 2004, at age 17, that he had no legal right to live in the Netherlands. 

The same year he was convicted of assault, the details of which are not public because of his juvenile status. In 2006 and again in 2008, Pormes was convicted of indecent assault for following women while they were cycling and attempting to make them stop or fall “to perpetrate lewd acts on them.” 

Pormes applied for a residency permit in 2006, which was denied because of his criminal conviction. He appealed the decision several times but was repeatedly denied, in part because his parents had never married and his father made no attempt to obtain legal residency for him. The Regional Court of The Hague concluded in 2011 that it wasn’t clear Pormes was eligible for citizenship as his father had never registered Pormes as his son. 

Having exhausted his options in the Netherlands, he filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in 2014, an international court established by the European Convention on Human Rights that protects the civil and political rights of its 47-member states. 

In 2016, after the Dutch government offered him financial assistance if he dropped his quest for a residency permit, Pormes voluntarily returned to Indonesia, even though he had no family there and did not speak the language.

Emphasizing that he had not reoffended since his 2008 conviction, Pormes argued before the court that the Dutch government had placed too much weight on his criminal convictions in denying his residency request.

The seven-judge panel disagreed: due to the “nature, seriousness and number of the offences committed by the applicant, including at a time when he knew that his residence status in the Netherlands was precarious, the court is satisfied that the domestic authorities did not attribute excessive weight” to his crimes. 

Since Pormes left Indonesia at a young age and had no ties with family in the country, the court found that, had no other factors entered into the equation, he should not have been forced to leave. But as he had committed “a considerable number of offences at the more serious end of the spectrum of criminal activity, being not only sexual but also violent in nature,” the Dutch government was right in deciding in the interest of public safety over Promes’ right to stay on in the Netherlands.

A lawyer for did not return a request for comment.

The court further concluded that Pormes was “a healthy adult man, and it has neither been argued nor has it appeared that he was unable to manage by himself in” Indonesia. Additionally, he has not been banned from returning to the Netherlands to visit his family. 

The ruling is final and cannot be appealed. 

%d bloggers like this: