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Insist that Russian website vk.com stop promoting anti-LGBT/racist thugs

This petition had 319 supporters


Dear Comptrollers DiNapoli and Stringer:

As you know, NY State and NYC pension funds collectively own $1.4 million in stock in a Russian telecom company, MegaFon OAO.  MegaFon is controlled by Alisher Usmanov who, together with MegaFon CEO Ivan Tavrin, also controls a leading social networking website called VK.com.  VK.com, which calls itself "the Russian Facebook," is frequently utilized by anti-LGBT, racist and anti-Semitic vigilante groups operating openly within Russia.  These groups are abducting, beating and torturing dozens of people while using VK.com to publicize and celebrate their heinous conduct.  Because harassment of LGBT persons and other "undesirables" is increasingly a policy of the Russian state, these groups have nothing to fear from Russian authorities and routinely promote their activities and hatred on VK.com.

We are signing this petition to urge you Thomas DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of New York and you, Scott Stringer, Comptroller of the City of New York, to aggressively bring your influence as shareholders in MegaFon to bear on VK.com.  We urge you to contact Ivan Tavrin and insist that MegaFon and its sister company VK.com take down pages controlled by vigilante hate groups such as "Occupy Pedophilia."  We further urge that VK.com be persuaded to actively monitor for any such pages and to swiftly remove them from the web once they are detected.

If VK.com does not act on your urgent request, we further ask that you promptly divest your stakes in MegaFon and refrain from purchasing any MegaFon securities until such time as the company has instituted a policy of promptly, systematically and consistently eliminating anti-LGBT, racist or anti-Semitic pages and content throughout its various web properties.

We reference the following link with documentary evidence of the anti-LGBT abuse being celebrated on VK.com (trigger warning--this web page contains disturbing images of abuse):   http://americablog.com/2014/02/ny-city-state-pension-plans-linked-russian-anti-gay-hate-site.html

We also reference the following related petition on change.org:   https://www.change.org/ru/петиции/stop-propaganda-of-homophobia-in-the-russian-social-network-vk-com-durov

Thank you very much for your assistance in helping to curb the persecution of innocent people in Russia.



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