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Petitioning U​.​S. Senate, U​.​S. House of Representatives, U​.​S. Department of State, Department of Justice

Make it illegal for cops to have sex with detainees

Laws in 34* states allow cops to claim consent as a defense when charged with raping a person in their custody. This allows for legal rape. A prisoner or detainee cannot consent to sex. Because cops are in positions of power, people in their custody cannot consent. Cops can use coercion with no repercussions. People in police custody know that not going along with a cop's wishes could have serious consequences for them. There is also the fact that cops are able to get out of facing charges as they are more likely to be believed by judges and courts than individuals being held in custody. An analysis of a Buffalo News database found that 26 out of at least 158 law enforcement officers charged with sexual assault, sexual battery, or unlawful sexual contact were able to be acquitted or had charges dropped against them by claiming consent. Another Buffalo News analysis found that an officer is accused of sexual misconduct every five days. Another study discovered that 40 percent of young women in New York City reported being sexually harassed by police officers. Some states have introduced bills to make the consent defense illegal, but this issue requires nationwide action. Sign this petition if you believe that the U.S. Government, along with the Department of Justice, should act to make it illegal for police officers and prison workers to have sex with those in their custody. *New York has changed its laws since this graphic was made. Contact your representatives to urge more states to follow suit!

Jane Bowman-Trently
262,654 supporters
Petitioning U​.​S. Department of State, President of the United States, United States Department of the Treasury

Ethiopia deserves its fair share of the Nile water to lift its people out of poverty!

It is MY DAM!  (click to watch) Ethiopia deserves its fair share of the Nile river to lift its people out of poverty. Only a win-win negotiation will enable all parties achieve satisfactory results and a lasting agreement of a fair and equitable use of the common resource. Citizens of Ethiopia, the global Ethiopian Diaspora community and friends of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian-American community would like to shine a light on the current impasse that resulted from the last round of negotiations with Sudan and Egypt on the fair use of the Nile river that is shared by the three nations, pertaining to the GERD dam, where the dam is expected to go in to production in the next few months. As Ethiopian Americans who have a great interest in the US-Ethiopian relations, we welcomed the involvement of the United States to resolve this impasse in the Nile negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.  However, we are gravely concerned by recently circulated media reports that this process has effectively ended and the consensus-building efforts of the previous rounds of negotiations have been tabled due to unfair and rushed decisions made by the United State that could adversely affect Ethiopia. Here are the facts: - Ethiopia contributes 80% of the total water flow of the Nile - With population of over 110 million, Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest nation. - 60% of the Ethiopian Population does not have access to electricity - The GERD will help in poverty reduction in Ethiopia -  As a hydro-electric generation dam, the dam does not cause permanent reduction in the water that flows downstream - Studies confirm that the dam will benefit downstream countries by regulating the water flow thereby avoiding flooding and seasonal fluctuations - GERD is fully financed by the People of Ethiopia with no donor or outside financing With a deep sense of understanding over the concerns of the downstream nations of Sudan and Egypt, Ethiopia took a commendable initiative to successfully harness confidence by signing the Declaration of Principles (DoP) in March 2015. The cornerstones of the DoP were to foster cooperation based on understanding, common interest, good intention and the principle of international law. We believe that the United States Administration and the World Bank have become parties to a neo-colonial treaty that subjects Ethiopia to undue external interference and control in its internal affairs. These entities should also take full responsibility for any future crisis that will be engendered by this rushed and ineffective approach. Their entrance into the mediation process has already undercut decades of efforts to develop multilateral, cooperative approaches for developing the Nile through the Nile Basin Initiative. We also question the motives and independence of the US administration, especially considering its evident desire to solicit Egyptian endorsement for the "deal of the century peace plan". We find historic parallel between this biased position taken by the US administration and the Treaty of Wuchale of May 2, 1889 surrounding sovereignty issue that lead to the battle of Adwa and, fortify years later on the onset of the World War II, on the decision of European powers at the League of nations sacrificing Ethiopia to appease Mussolini’s Fascist Italy. Ethiopians collectively object the United States and World Bank's role of such unfair and unjust pressure on Ethiopia. The framework established in the Declaration of Principles must resume without the coercion and interference of the US and the World Bank. Therefore, we commend and support Ethiopia's refusal to sign the proposed agreement and demand the US and World Bank to cease their undue pressure on Ethiopia to relinquish its national sovereignty. In order to protect Ethiopia’s rights, we ask you to lend your voice and join our effort in defense of Ethiopia by signing this petition and encourage others to do the same.   Long Live Ethiopia in Freedom and Honor It is my DAM! 

Ethiopian American Civic Council
236,226 supporters
Petitioning Prime Minister Imran Khan

Don't Hang Fulbright Scholar for Teaching Women’s Rights: Repeal Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws

On December 21, Junaid Hafeez, a Pakistani academic, was sentenced to “be hanged by neck till his death” for blasphemy. After returning to Pakistan from Mississippi, where he was a Fulbright scholar, Junaid wanted to bring back his passion for literature and social justice to his students.  Junaid was charged with blasphemy after inviting and teaching the works of women’s rights activists. After one lecture, with a female novelist, Junaid was accused of having made blasphemous remarks. This sparked protests by religiously-conservative students, leading the authorities to claim that Junaid had defiled the Prophet Muhammad on social-media.  He was arrested in 2013 and has been held in solitary confinement ever since.  His lawyer, Rashid Rehman, was murdered in his chambers in 2014 for taking up the case. Junaid and I are both alumni of the Fulbright program. As a fellow Fulbrighter, Junaid’s case hit close to home. Days before I learned of his death sentence, I had published a piece on blasphemy in Pakistan.    Pakistan’s penal code prescribes death to “whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).” Since the introduction of the death penalty for blasphemy in the late 1980s, there have been approximately 1500 blasphemy charges. A blasphemy accusation in Pakistan is equivalent to a death sentence, as extremist mobs take it upon themselves to carry out the law. Lawyers, judges, and politicians who criticize the law face death threats and murder. The governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was murdered in 2011 by his bodyguard for speaking out against the law. Asia Bibi, a woman who spent ten years on death row before being acquitted in 2018, galvanized the international community to push for her release. This social outcry put pressure on the Pakistani Supreme Court, which acquitted her, at serious risk to themselves. Asia Bibi herself has been forced into exile. While the Asia Bibi acquittal was a step in the right direction, Junaid’s conviction shows that there is still a long way to go. Junaid’s case will undoubtedly be appealed, but he risks assassination between now and then, as do those associated with him. There is no guarantee that his conviction will be overturned, and it is imperative that the global community speak out against this appalling human rights abuse. As a former Fulbright scholar who has been engaged in research on worldwide blasphemy laws, I am writing to urge the global community to stand in solidarity with Junaid and stand for free speech. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are a weapon that can be used against anyone at any time. The laws prevent individuals from speaking out not only against religion, but also on issues related to women’s rights, curtailing challenges to Pakistan’s conservative status quo. The laws have silenced women’s rights campaigners, human rights activists, journalists, academics, and everyday citizens.  While religious minorities, political dissidents, free thinkers and intellectuals are frequently targeted, the most common victims of the laws are Muslims themselves. Pakistan has the largest Fulbright program in the world and thus, one of the largest alumni networks.  Many Pakistanis have spoken out on social media at great personal risk. The vast majority cannot.  If they do, they could face Junaid’s death sentence.  As an international community, we must stand with the brave Pakistanis calling for justice and be the voices for those who cannot.   Please sign this petition to demand #JusticeforJunaidHafeez and call for a repeal to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.   

Helen Haft
528,069 supporters
Petitioning United Airlines, U.S. Department of State, Department of Defense

United Airlines, please help military families ship their big dogs!

United Airlines has been the industry leader in shipping animals globally. They recently restructured their service in response to safety issues, and have announced their new policies to improve safety. It was courageous for them to still be willing to offer any pet shipping service, that frankly speaking, can generate massive negative PR when it goes wrong, and provides only a tiny fraction of the company's total revenue. Thanks United for coming back, sincerely. However, within this change, they have implemented a new pet travel policy that bans large dogs, due to the maximum height for kennels being set at 30 inches. Labrador, Golden Retriever, Husky, Sheepdog, etc. will no longer be accepted . Also affected are Pit Bulls, Mastiffs, Malinois, and other dogs deemed to be "Strong jawed". This affects Military and State Department families stationed outside the USA, as they now have no way that fits their budgets to bring their pets home when they receive orders for Permanent Change of Station. Historically, United has been the only affordable option for big dogs, as other airlines cost up to 3-4 times as much. For example, sending a Golden Retriever from Seoul, Korea to San Francisco in a "700" crate used to be about $850 on United. Other Airlines cost is about $2,200 (After all additional fees are added). We are asking United to make an EXCEPTION for United States Military families, Department of Defense Civilian families, and State Department families that are being stationed abroad or back Stateside. This petition serves to show solidarity with the families affected, as we ask United to see how deeply appreciated their previous service shipping large pets was, and how desperately they are needed. Without this change, Military and State Department families face some very difficult choices, that could have painful consequences.For years United PetSafe has been a trusted way to move animals around the world, and I personally hope that they continue to serve the public with their excellent standards. US Service members and their families deserve better!  United announcement:  My in-depth analysis:  

Leo Mendoza
135,932 supporters
Petitioning António Guterres, U​.​S. Department of State, Council of the European Union, Ebrahim Raisi

Iran: Stop the Execution of LGBTQ+ Rights Activists

Two LGBTQ+ rights activists, Zahra (Sareh) Sedighi Hamedani, 31, and Elham Chubdar, 24, were sentenced to death on charges of promoting homosexuality by a court in the northwestern town of Urmia. Soheila Sharifi, 52, is another defendant in the same case and still awaiting a verdict.  Hamedani and Chubdar were convicted of "spreading corruption on earth" — a charge which carries the death penalty and is frequently imposed on defendants deemed to have broken the country's Sharia laws. They were informed of the sentence while in detention in the women's wing of the Urmia jail.  In a short statement, the Iranian judiciary confirmed their death sentences but said they were connected to human trafficking and prostitution.  Homosexuality is criminalized in Iran and punishable by imprisonment, flogging, and death. Zahra (Sareh) Sedighi-Hamadani, LGBTQ+ Activist Zahra Sedighi Hamadani, known as Sareh, was arrested on 27 October 2021 by Iran's security forces while trying to cross the border into Turkey to seek asylum.  She was targeted for speaking out in support of LGBTQ+ rights on social media and in a BBC documentary aired in May 2021 about the abuses LGBTQ+ people suffer in Iraqi Kurdistan. Sareh was initially arrested by authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan, where she was based, before deciding to flee Turkey. On 16 January 2022, Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani was brought before the lead investigator of Branch 6 of the Office of the Revolutionary and Public Prosecutor in Urumieh who informed her that she is accused of “spreading corruption on earth” including through “promoting homosexuality”, “communication with antiIslamic Republic media channels” and “promoting Christianity”. The first two accusations stem from her public defence of LGBTI rights, including on her social media platforms and in an appearance in a BBC documentary aired in May 2021 about the abuses that LGBTI people suffer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. According to information obtained by Amnesty International, the latter accusation is for wearing a cross necklace and attending a house church in Iran several years ago. After her arrest, Sareh was held in solitary confinement and subjected to intense interrogations. The Revolutionary Guard insulted her identity and appearance, and threatened to execute her and take away her children. Being Gay In Iran Homosexuality is banned in Iran, with its penal code explicitly criminalizing same-sex sexual behavior for both men and women. The maximum penalty is the death penalty.  In February, Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi were hanged in a prison in the northwestern city of Maragheh on charges of sodomy. They were sentenced to death for "forced sexual intercourse between two men" and spent six years on death row.  LGBTQ+ people in Iran also face severe discrimination and violence in society. In May 2021, Alireza Fazeli Monfared, a 20-year-old Iranian man, was killed in a so-called "honor killing" by family members after learning that he was gay. Being queer in Iran carries harsher punishment than most horrific crimes, such as murder and rape.   

Middle East Matters Organization
124,191 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Department of State

Send the Son Jong Woo, who ran the largest Darknet child porn site owner, to the USA "Dark web child abuse: Hundreds arrested across the 38 countries" More than 300 people have been arrested following the take-down of one of the world's "largest dark web child porn marketplaces", investigators said. The site had more than 200,000 videos which had collectively been downloaded more than a million times. It was shut down last year after a UK investigation into a child sex offender uncovered its existence. But on Wednesday, officials revealed that 337 suspected users had been arrested across 38 countries. US officials unsealed nine indictments against the site's owner Jong Woo Son, 23, from South Korea – where he is currently in prison. The UK's National Crime Agency said arrests had been made in the UK, Ireland, America, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic and Canada - among others. Fifty children saved as paedophile ring bustedChild abuse images being traded via secure appsThe site, named Welcome to Video, was run from South Korea and had nearly eight terabytes of content involving child abuse - enough to store hundreds or even thousands of hours of video footage. Prosecutors said the site had offered videos of sex acts involving children, infants and toddlers – and specifically asked users not to upload videos featuring adults-only pornography The site was "one of the first to offer sickening videos for sale using the cryptocurrency bitcoin," the UK's National Crime Agency said. It was taken down by an international task force that included agencies from the UK, the US, South Korea and Germany after operating for three years. It was discovered during an investigation into paedophile Matthew Falder from England, who was jailed for 25 years for sharing abuse tips and images on the dark web. How global taskforce caught UK paedophileIn the UK, seven men have already been convicted in connection with the investigation, including Kyle Fox who was jailed for 22 years last March for the rape of a five-year-old boy and who appeared on the site sexually abusing a three-year-old girl. Suspects were identified after crime agencies traced the site's cryptocurrency transactions back to them. About 23 children have been rescued from active abuse situations, the joint task force said at a press conference about the operation. -BBC.16 October 2019 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Son Jong-woo, 23, is accused of running a Darknet website 'Welcome To Video' that accepted bitcoin and distributed over 1 million sexually explicit videos involving children. Several other people charged in the case have already been convicted and are serving prison sentences of up to 15 years, according to the US Justice Department. However, Son Jong-woo serving prison sentences only 1years and a half in Korea court. I can't believe the Korea court and their sentences to relieve the criminal.   

발랄 재기
109,812 supporters
Petitioning Primer Ministro Imran Khan, Programa Fulbright, U.S. Department of State, GOBIERNO DE PAKISTAN, Binational Fulbright Commission of Pakistan

¡No a la ejecución de un profesor por enseñar derechos de las mujeres!

El 21 de diciembre Junaid Hafeez, un académico pakistaní, fue condenado a “ ser colgado del cuello hasta la muerte” por blasfemia. Después de volver a Pakistán desde el Mississippi, donde había sido becado por el programa Fulbright, Junaid quería transmitir la pasión por la literatura y la justicia social a sus estudiantes. Junaid fue acusado de blasfemia por desarrollar un taller basado en los trabajos hechos por activistas por los derechos de la mujer. Tras una sesión, con una novelista, Junaid fue acusado de haber hecho observaciones blasfemas. Estas observaciones provocaron las protestas de los estudiantes más religiosamente conservadores, llevando a que las autoridades entendieran que Junaid había profanado al Mahoma en sus redes sociales. El profesor fue arrestado en 2013, desde entonces está encerrado en un módulo de aislamiento. Su abogado Rashid Rehman fue asesinado en 2014 en su bufete por haber llevado su caso. Yo, como Junaid, también fui becado por el programa Fullbright, por eso el caso de mi compañero me afecta tan de cerca. Unos días antes de enterarme de su condena, yo había publicado un artículo sobre la blasfemia en Pakistán. El código penal pakistaní prescribe la pena de muerte “ a todo aquel que de manera escrita, hablada, o representando de forma visual o mediante cualquier insinuación o imputación, directa o indirecta, profane el nombre del Sagrado Profeta Mahoma”. Desde la introducción de la pena de muerte por blasfemia al final de la década de los 80, ha habido más de 1500 personas han sido imputadas con estos cargos. Una acusación por blasfemia en Pakistán es equivalente a una sentencia de muerte, las organizaciones extremistas muchas veces se toman la justicia por su mano al margen de la ley .Los abogados, jueces y políticos que critican la ley se enfrentan a amenazas de asesinato. El gobernador de Punjab, Salman Taseer, fue asesinado en 2011 por su propio guardaespaldas por criticar la ley. Asia Bibi, un mujer que pasó 10 años en el corredor de la muerte antes de ser absuelta en 2018, impulsó a la comunidad internacional para conseguir su puesta en libertad. Este clamor social presionó al Tribunal Supremo Paquistaní hasta conseguir su absolución, suponiendo un riesgo para los propios miembros del Tribunal. Asia Bibi se ha visto forzada al exilio, Sin embargo, al mismo tiempo que ella conseguía su libertad, el caso de Junaid demostraba que aún queda mucho recorrido por andar. Su caso será apelado sin ninguna duda, pero hay un alto riesgo de asesinato hasta que su apelación llegué, así como a los que están a su alrededor. No hay garantía de que su condena sea revocada, y es imperativo que la comunidad mundial se exprese en contra de este espantoso abuso de los derechos humanos. Desde mi experiencia en el programa Fulbright, que me ha llevado a estar ligado a la investigación sobre las leyes relacionadas con la blasfemia alrededor del mundo, escribo para instar a la comunidad internacional a mostrar solidaridad con Junaid y defender la libertad de expresión. Las leyes de blasfemia pakistaníes son un arma que pueden ser utilizadas en cualquier momento contra cualquier persona. Estas leyes impiden a los ciudadanos opinar en contra de la religión o sobre los derechos de la mujeres, reduciendo los desafíos al status quo conservador de Pakistán. Sirven para silenciar a activistas por los derechos humanos, los derechos de las mujeres, periodistas, académicos….  Además los propios musulmanes suelen ser los afectados por estas leyes. Pakistán tiene el programa Fulbright más grande del mundo, y por consecuencia una de las mayores redes de ex alumnos a nivel mundial. Muchos le han defendido públicamente, corriendo un gran riesgo. La mayoría ni siquiera tiene la oportunidad de hacerlo, serían condenados a muerte.  Firma esta petición pidiendo libertad para Junaid Hafeez y pidiendo la derogación de las leyes contra la blasfemia de Pakistán. Debemos apoyar a los valientes pakistaníes que claman por justicia y que son la voz de aquellos que no pueden serlo   #JusticiaParaJunaidHafeez 

Helen Haft
528,069 supporters
Petitioning Federal Bureau of Investigation, U​.​S. Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Defense

To classify the Ku Klux Klan as a domestic terrorist organization.

The Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist organization based in the United States that outwardly opposes civil rights (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and desegregation, specifically targeting Black or African-American citizens and non-citizens. The modern Klan has committed dozens of acts of violence including multiple mass murders (such as the Greensboro Massacres and the Chattanooga Shooting). If these acts had been committed by an organization outside of the United States with the threat of more violence, that organization would be classified as a foreign terrorist organization. The same standard should apply under a new category of threat: domestic terrorist organizations. The KKK instills fear across the country as there are dozens of chapters and thousands of members still active. The group's entire purpose is the genocide of non-White individuals and to dismantle the United States's goals of equality and justice for people of all races and ethnicities. The Klan is a threat to American citizens and residents and is, therefore, a direct threat to the United States of America's national security. We want the federal government to officially create a categorization of national security threats entitled, "Domestic Terrorist Organizations," and to classify the Ku Klux Klan as a domestic terrorist organization.

James Wilhelms
99,475 supporters
Petitioning Primo Ministro Imran Khan, Programma Fulbright, U.S. Department of State, Governo del Pakistan, Commissione Fulbright del Pakistan

Non impiccate il professore Junaid Hafeez per aver insegnato i diritti delle donne

Il 21 dicembre 2019 Junaid Hafeez, professore pakistano, è stato condannato all’impiccagione per blasfemia. Dopo essere tornato in Pakistan dal Mississippi - dove aveva trascorso un soggiorno accademico come borsista del Programma Fulbright - Junaid ha voluto riportare ai suoi studenti la passione per la letteratura e la giustizia sociale. Junaid è stato accusato di blasfemia dopo aver insegnato tematiche come i diritti delle donne. Dopo una lezione cui ha partecipato una scrittrice, Junaid è stato accusato di aver detto cose blasfeme: studenti conservatori hanno infatti protestato e hanno indotto le autorità ad accusare Junaid di aver insultato il Profeta Maometto sui social media. L’arresto di Junaid ebbe luogo nel 2013 e da allora è stato sempre recluso in isolamento. Il suo avvocato, Rashid Rehman, è stato assassinato nel 2014 per aver deciso di difendere il professore.Junaid e io abbiamo preso entrambi parte al programma di scambio accademico Fulbright. Giorni prima di aver appreso della sua condanna a morte avevo pubblicato un pezzo sulla blasfemia in Pakistan. Il codice di procedura penale del Pakistan stabilisce la pena di morte per “chiunque a parole, sia per iscritto che a voce, ovvero attraverso una rappresentazione visibile o insinuazione, diretta o indiretta, denigra il sacro nome del Santo Profeta Maometto (su di Lui la pace)”. Da quando in Pakistan è stata introdotta la pena di morte per blasfemia negli anni 80 si sono verificate 1500 accuse di blasfemia. Un’accusa di blasfemia in Pakistan equivale a una sentenza di morte. Il Governatore del Punjab, Salman Taseer, è stato ucciso nel 2011 dalla sua guardia del corpo per aver criticato la legge. Asia Bibi, donna che ha trascorso 10 anni nel braccio della morte prima di essere assolta nel 2018, ha spronato la comunità internazionale a fare pressioni per la sua liberazione. Mentre il caso di Asia Bibi è stato un primo passo verso una giusta direzione su questo problema, la condanna di Junaid dimostra che c’è ancora tanta strada da fare per poter risolvere questa problematica. Il caso di Junaid verrà sicuramente impugnato in appello tuttavia nel mentre il professore rischia di essere ucciso in qualsiasi momento. Non c’è garanzia che il verdetto verrà ribaltato ed è imperativo che la comunità globale prenda posizione contro questa violazione dei diritti umani. Come ex borsista Fulbright che ha condotto studi e ricerche sul tema della blasfemia chiedo che la comunità globale si attivi in solidarietà con Junaid e a difesa del diritto di parola. Le leggi contro la blasfemia in Pakistan sono uno strumento che può essere utilizzato contro chiunque in qualsiasi momento. Le leggi impediscono alle persone di parlare non solo riguardo alla religione ma anche su tematiche come i diritti delle donne. Le leggi ad oggi hanno ridotto al silenzio attiviste e attivisti per i diritti delle donne, per i diritti umani, giornalisti, professori e cittadini comuni. Mentre minoranze religiose, dissidenti politici, liberi pensatori e intellettuali sono spesso presi di mira, le prime vittime sono gli stessi musulmani. Il Pakistan ha il programma Fulbright più grande del mondo e uno dei network più numerosi di ex studenti e borsisti. Tanti pakistani hanno già preso posizione sui social media ponendo la propria vita in pericolo. La grande maggioranza dei pakistani non possono farlo o rischierebbero di andare incontro alla stessa condanna di Junaid. Come membri della comunità internazionale dobbiamo stare al fianco di quei pakistani coraggiosi che chiedono giustizia ed essere la voce di quelli che non possono parlare. Per favore firmate questa petizione per chiedere #GiustiziaPerJunaidHafeez e chiedere l’abrogazione delle leggi pakistane sulla blasfemia.ENG VERSION

Helen Haft
528,069 supporters