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09.09.2020

Douwe MIEDEMA, Editor-in-Chief, Luxembourg Times | HYPOCRISY and GENDER-BIAS Tabloid News

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Please find below two letters sent to Douwe MIEDEMA, Editor-in-Chief, Luxembourg Times. Both available for download. The most recent correspondence is a reply to a scandalous and nonchalant letter received from Douwe MIEDEMA in January this year (2020). It has been almost 9 months and FAD is still waiting for reply from Mr. MIEDEMA.

FAD – Fathers Against Discrimination a.s.b.l.
“Both Parents for All Children™”
117, route d’Arlon
L-8009 Strassen
Luxembourg

January 14th, 2020 Luxembourg

Luxembourg Times
Mr. Douwe MIEDEMA
2, rue Christophe Plantin
L-2988 Luxembourg
Luxembourg

Dear Mr. MIEDEMA,

I hope you had good holidays and that New Year 2020 has started well for you. Thank you for taking the time to reply to our correspondence from Dec. 11th, 2019. The content of your email from January 9th, 2020 below.

”Date: Thursday, 9 January 2020 at 17:54

Dear Mr Rybinski,

I am in receipt of your letter of 11 December 2019. In this, you are accusing my newspaper of a “misrepresentation of facts”, of publishing “tabloid-like news” and of neglecting information. These are serious accusations, which I strongly reject. My newspaper has solid fact-checking procedures in place, and we do every effort to present proper balance in every story we publish. I don’t know why you think otherwise.

You also get your facts wrong. In our article of 26 November, we cite a police statistic of 739 incidents of domestic violence last year. More than 85% of victims were women, and more than 90% of the perpetrators were men. I cannot reconcile that with your numbers that “at least 1 of 3 victims of domestic violence is a man”. If you can show me evidence of that, I should certainly be inclined to write a story about it.

If as an activist it was your intention to win me over for your cause, I must say you’re doing a preciously poor job.

Sincerely,

Douwe Miedema.

Douwe Miedema
Editor-in-Chief, Luxembourg Times”

In your above correspondence you refer to an “article of 26 November” (I presume 2019). Unfortunately, we could not find any Luxembourg Times article about domestic violence from that date. There is an article from Sept 25th, 2019 mentioning the 739 figure you refer to and another article from Dec. 4th, 2019 that triggered to send you our first letter but no article from 26 November, 2019.

Also, you sent your email to us in January 2020 but you refer to police report from “last year”. I believe you meant 2018 as to our knowledge report for 2019 has not been produced yet. You conveniently mention global figure of 739 of reported domestic violence incidents, you state that “your newspaper” has “solid fact-checking procedures in place” and that you strongly reject what you refer to as “accusations” from our side.

Assuming that “solid fact-checking procedures in place” exists in Luxembourg Times I am interested to learn where did you acquire information about over 90% male perpetrators and 85% of female victims? Could you also confirm whether you or anyone from Luxembourg Times actually read the 2018 official report on domestic violence in Luxembourg? If so, how do you explain that the already praised “solid fact-checking procedures in place” omitted following facts:

2018 Official Report of Domestic Violence in Luxembourg concludes:
739 domestic violence incidents reported
66,1% reported female victims
33,9% reported male victims
69,46% reported male perpetrators
30,54% reported females perpetrators

2017 Official Report of Domestic Violence in Luxembourg concludes:
715 domestic violence incidents
64,64% reported female victims
35,37% reported male victims
68,60% reported male perpetrators
31,40% reported female perpetrators

2016 Official Report of Domestic Violence in Luxembourg concludes:
789 domestic violence incidents
62,37% reported female victims
37,63% reported male victims
68,08% reported male perpetrators
31,92% reported female perpetrators

2015 Official Report of Domestic Violence in Luxembourg concludes:
802 domestic violence incidents
62,36% reported female victims
37,64% reported male victims
66,66% reported male perpetrators
33,33% reported female perpetrators

You mention you would be keen to write an article should we provide details confirming that your figures mislead the public. I have more interesting suggestion. In 2015 there are 66,66% reported male perpetrators and 33,33% reported female perpetrators. There were 242 evictions, and in 91% of the cases, the male was evicted (which makes 220 men). Would you have an explanation for this?

Wouldn’t you agree that the number should be closer to 66% and not 91%? Why don’t you delegate someone to study the Luxembourg Domestic Violence Reports from the last 4-5 years and take a closer look why male evictions greatly exceed number of male reported perpetrators? You affirmatively state that I got my facts wrong yet the evidence and figures from the official reports presented by the Ministry of Equal Rights between Women and Men confirm my findings. You say that you cannot reconcile that at least 1 of 3 victims of domestics violence are male. Statistical data available in Luxembourg and other countries including Belgium, UK, US, The Netherlands, Australia, Canada overwhelmingly points to that conclusion.

In light of the above I can only assume you must have additional or another source that has produced different data as I am sure you do not suggest that the statistic provided by the Ministry is inaccurate. Especially since the mentioned government office in our opinion not only do not promote equality between genders it is also widely considered as a feminist government organization founded by the state.

As for the rest of your comments from your letter including the one referring to an article from 26 November, 2019 please note that as stated above we could not find any article from the mentioned date and relating to domestic violence. What we can find is periodic gender bias stories publicized by Luxembourg Times. Articles following the same rhetoric and bias narrative commonly presented by the current Luxembourg government coalition disrespecting thousands of Luxembourg fathers and adding to the profound misrepresentation of facts insinuating that men are the only cause of domestic violence and women are the only victims of it.

We have been in contact with Luxembourg Times on numerous occasions in the past. I also spoke with your predecessor about our organization and the reasons why FAD has been created. Unfortunately, our cause so far raised no interest among the editorial team in “your newspaper”. Apparently as it has been explained to us for a single reason that LT usually covers stories linked to Economy, Politics and State Affairs and not really exploring social topics. Yet, domestic violence against women seems to greatly interest Luxembourg Times.

You have a right to disagree with my opinion that Luxembourg Times is a tabloid-like medium but if so, I would be keen to receive a link to at least one article from Luxembourg Times raising awareness of men’s rights, discrimination of fathers in Luxembourg institutions or violation of children’s rights in Luxembourg Family Courts during custody hearings.

Last but not least it is a pity that although this correspondence takes place between two men or maybe even two fathers we must as you “preciously” said “win you over our cause”. Integrity of journalism should have reconciled this dilemma long time ago.

I remain available for any questions or inquiries you may have. We are also available for a meeting as I think written correspondence and good intentions associated with our letters can or already have been misinterpreted. Again, all the best in the New Year 2020 to you and the entire Luxembourg Times’ team.

Most respectfully,

Patryk P. RYBIŃSKI
President
FAD – Fathers Against Discrimination a.s.b.l.

« Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn an mir kënnen e Beispill fir den Rescht vun Europa sinn. » –

– « We want to remain what we are and we can be an example for the rest of Europe. »

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