Petition to Dianne Feinstein, Danny Habuki, Senator Kamala Harris, Katherine King, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Bryan Penprase
Silenced Victims of Sexual Assault at Soka University Demand Reform
The purpose of this petition is to create a healthy and safe environment in which students can exist on the campus of Soka University of America, without the fear of sexual harassment or assault. This petition also addresses the misconduct of certain administrators, as well as the silent acceptance of a professor who prostituted his students in the past. This petition is based on established facts and first-hand testimonies by students, as well as general observations. Over several years multiple students have voiced their concerns and come forth testifying the inefficiencies of the administration's handling of sexual assault cases on this campus. Recently, a number of students across classes recurred to the director of student conduct for justice after enduring multiple counts of sexual assaults and harassment but were retraumatized by investigatory misconduct. A number of students were encouraged to mediate with their assailant, asked what they were wearing, had their previous sexual histories interrogated, and even told that sexual assault was a part of becoming a woman. These incidents are a gross violation of TITLE IX directives and in contradiction with Federal Law. Under TITLE IX, “[people] in the United States shall not, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Prior to being employed at Soka University of America as a literature professor, James Williams was found to be prostituting a female college student at his former university, the University of North Carolina. He also admitted to having multiple student mistresses, and stole money from school funds at UNC to support an extramarital affair with a student. Despite the circulation of news articles publicizing Williams's actions, Soka University administrators not only hired him, but installed him as Director of the Writing Center and as a member of a board that reviews appeals for sexual assault and harassment cases: both positions were not changed until late. He was given the power to dictate whether or not students would be punished for sexual assault or harassment. He has been reported to make lewd comments and objectify his female students at Soka, including instances in which he told his students that it is natural for older men to prey on young women. He has also been reported to be emotionally abusive and degrading towards students based not only on their academic performances but also on his personal biases towards them. James Williams is an alleged pimp, and his presence on campus is a clear violation of the values that this university claims to hold. (read more: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w4Tt2kpBGYHom0fWd49w7lrTwd4yDOgMnXs4N9no89k/edit?usp=sharing ) Another individual who has contributed to the corrosion of students faith in the administration is Jennifer Cunningham, the Assistant Director of Student Conduct and Resolution. As an administrator, she fails to properly cross-examine perpetrators, examine evidence, provide justice and equality, and communicate with members of the Soka community. She has been reported for telling a student that she should consider sexual harassment to be a “phase” in being a woman, and for interrogating students when they report cases with such questions as: “Have you been sexually assaulted before?” “What were you wearing when he touched you?” “What is your relationship with your family like?” “Sexual assault is a very vague term.” “It’s his word against yours” “He’s creepy, but it’s not wrong.” Her incompetence has inflicted irreconcilable harm to multiple complainants of sexual harassment and assault and therefore we demand she be removed from the responsibility of handling sexual assault and harassment cases. Hyon Moon, the Dean of Students and Soka’s Deputy Title IX coordinator, is another authoritative figure whose behavior is complicit in a culture of distrust within the campus and therefore we demand that she be removed as an officer in the Title IX Coordinator position. Hyon Moon has been known to fish for confidential information from students who report sexual assault or harassment. Hyon Moon also has sent a student an inappropriate email suggesting for her to “see a therapist” after she reported misconduct in her sexual harassment investigation. There is compelling first hand evidence that proves a conflict of interest and overall lack of expertise in Title IX deeming her unqualified to this position. Hyon Moon has demonstrated a lack of expertise in the field of Title IX not just as it pertains to sexual violence, but other title ix protected categories. A notable case is when she refused to change a transgender students name on soka documents to reflect his gender identity. Hyon turned down this students request on the grounds that he had to legally change his name, which is factually untrue and in violation of Title IX, for school records are not actual legal records. Had this student not recurred to faculty who then called the Department of Education on his behalf and settled the dispute in his favor, he would be reminded every day of a name that no longer represents who he truly is. This refusal to accommodate this student is also a violation of FERPA, as a person’s decision to disclose their gender identity is protected by privacy laws. Having to correct faculty on pronouns and reveal to them their gender identity is a form of discrimination. Although now Hyon accommodates transgender students who wish to change their name on records, the fact that a student had to advocate for his needs and go so far as to call the department of education to demand his rights be respected, is a pressing concern and compelling enough evidence to demand her dismissal from her Title IX position. Hyon Moon was also complicit in a problematic administration that denied multiple accommodations for a single parent with a dependent child who was living on campus. This single parent was forced to create multiple petitions to assert her needs. Hyon Moon, who was head of student services at the time, helped create an environment where this student felt she was punished for having a child on campus. First, Hyon refused to let this students child ride on the Soka sponsored shuttle service under claims that no other non student is allowed to use the shuttle, disregarding that this was a dependent child. After submitting various complaints, petitions, and referencing other university sponsored accommodations for single parents and pregnant students, she was allowed to use the shuttle with her child, but only until she passed her driving test and got a car, which she had to save money to buy on her own, and under a time limit of six months! She also had to submit petitions to have family housing. Three years later, we still have no concrete accommodations installed for single parents or pregnant students, another protected Title IX category. The responsibility of Title IX coordinator is a hefty one and that is why we demand someone less busy and with vast experience with Title IX replace Hyon in her position. We cannot continue to resort to the Department of Education to compel the administration to accommodate every Title IX mandated need! The mental duress resulting in every single battle is unnecessary to the students and interfering with our ability to equally access educational resources on our campus. The problem extends beyond these individuals, as students have found that the preventative workshops on consent and bystander intervention, our student conduct policy, and other sexual health awareness trainings are insufficient, culturally inaccessible, and therefore do not contribute to a sex positive and safe campus environment. In addition to the violations of Title IX laws of this university, we fear that Soka University officials have violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law dictates that discrimination in federally assisted programs is illegal, and Soka University is federally funded. Students have generally observed, and also witnessed first-hand that students of color who are victims of sexual assault or harassment more often than not have their cases found not guilty, or the Officer of Student Misconduct cannot identify those accused. The language and tone used with all victims is overall disgraceful, however, it is generally observed and witnessed first-hand that victims of color also face more disreputable and sustained comments. Additionally, when justice is served, the perpetrators punished are almost always people of color. We ask that the President of this University, Mr. Danny Habuki, make a public statement condemning any misaddressment of Title IX policies and Civil Rights Act policies, including a statement reinforcing the rights of all students. Any silence on the matter has and will continue to be perceived by students as complicity. In this statement, students request an explanation for why James Williams was allowed to teach at Soka University for almost two decades. We ask that the university conduct mandatory periodic sexual assault and harassment awareness training for the whole SUA community, including domestic and international students, staff, administrators, faculty, and guidance counselors, and a separate training tailored towards student-athletes. The training can include information on the types of conduct that will be considered sexual harassment and the range of possible consequences, the damage that results from harassment, where students can find help, what to do when a friend needs support from you, ways to oppose harassment, and what to do about it. Because of the diverse makeup of SUA students and community, it is necessary that the training address cross-cultural communication and norms, so that no matter a person’s background knowledge they will leave with the same understanding of sexual assault and harassment. The administration should hire the rape crisis center to lead these workshops as their experience educating spans decades. We would like to see change in the sexual assault and harassment orientation that first year students go through prior to Core 1 to ensure that students are properly informed of the topic before starting their first semester. Ultimately, we demand that Soka University: Immediately dismiss James Williams Remove Jennifer Cunningham from her position as a Title IX coordinator (but allow for her to continue as the Assistant Director of Student Conduct and Resolution in dealing with non-sexual cases). Remove Hyon Moon from her position as Deputy Title IX coordinator and instead create a committee of Title IX officials with extensive background on gender studies, power, and/or culture, such as Dr. Aneil Rallin, Dr. Ryan Caldwell, Dr. Darin Ciccotelli, Dr. James Spady, among other professors, who students trust and are more likely to approach. Together this committee will oversee that sexual assault investigations are conducted ethically and in a timely fashion. Establish Rape Crisis Center of Orange County led sexual assault and harassment prevention programs at least once per school year for the whole campus community, including students, faculty, and staff. Allow a Rape Crisis Center representative as a permanent member of the appeals board. Allow students who report harassment or assault, regardless of whether or not the administration rules in their favor, should have the right not to participate in classes with the accused. We also ask that students be placed in dorms as far away from perpetrators as possible, and given the chance to make arrangements for cafeteria eating, which may include forcing perpetrators to eat sitting outside the cafeteria. Review, if the victim's consent, past cases which may have been overlooked by the administration. Students also ask that the university engage with the campus community in creating a mural in an open space dedicated to uplifting and empowering survivors of all sexual orientations, races, and creeds. Establish transparency and communication between administration and students. In accordance with the Title IX Clery Act, we demand that when a case of assault or harassment is reported, Craig Lee of Campus Security, without revealing identities, notify the community so that students are made aware and take necessary safety precautions and come forward should they have knowledge to provide on a case. Failure to notify the community of the occurrence of sex or gender based crimes is a failure to comply with Title IX and puts student safety at risk. Once a student reports a case of harassment or assault, the student should be notified via email from Craig Lee of Campus Security that a report has been documented and will be kept as a public record, as legally required by the Clery Act. Adopt the Frequently Asked Questions section of the UC sexual violence and sexual harassment policy into the Soka University policy to provide well-rounded information to both complainant and respondent. Provide a comprehensive overview of the resolution and investigation process in its policy as well as alternative resolution options, such as mediation (not in cases of sexual assault) settlement, separation, educational programs, etc. Provide resources for hotline, crisis centers, and counselors available 24 hours a day Students who are found guilty of rape should not be given a gap year, but rather be banned permanently from this campus. We demand Soka University release annual demographics on the ethnicities of victims, witnesses, and perpetrators, and the correlation to guilt in cases to increase transparency and ensure fairness. A reform of the appeals process by: If an appeal is incomplete the appealer should have the right to fix said mistakes and re-submit the appeal. The appealer should also have the right to dismiss a member of the board of appeals should there be a perceived conflict of interest. All members of the board of appeal should be amply trained in Title IX and understanding of state and federal laws that intersect with Title IX upon their appointment to the board. If respondent (s) are found guilty, disciplinary action against them should remain throughout the appeals process until their innocence can be proven. Students who confess to sexual assault or harassment under their own free will should not have the opportunity to appeal their decision as there can be no new evidence to support their cause. The ability to submit an appeal will only result in further trauma for the victim. In one instance, a student who confessed to sexual assault appealed his case because he knew that he would graduate before the case would be decided and therefore it would not affect him. This student has since graduated and left Soka, with no repercussions, and his case has not been resolved, to the detriment of the victim. It is imperative that the administration abide by all of these demands and restore a sense of trust among faculty, students, and staff.
Petition to General Secretariat, The Registrar, The Prosecutor, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, H.E. Joseph Y. Yun, H.E. Christopher Penot, H.E. Chai Xi, H.E. Valery N. Yermolov, H.E. Vicki Treadell, Ms. Elizabeth Cabal, H.E. Dr. Rolf Lenz, H.E. Harry Molenaar
Justice for Malaysia
US Department of Justice on 1MDB - "1MDB treated as their personal bank account... 40% of the company funds were siphoned..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZc-21buoYE&list=PLsUVEOJ9P1I8Wu39jx1eeR65NHAj4slckSaya pohon penangkapan PM Najib Razak untuk disoal siasat oleh United Nations berikutan RM2.6 billion yang "diderma" kepada akaun simpanan peribadinya. Ini adalah dengan kuasa "Treaty" yang ditandatangani oleh Malaysia dengan United Nations yang dikenali sebagai "United Nations Convention against Corruption" (UNCAC) yang memberi United Nations hak penyiasatan dan kerja-sama antara badan-badan negara. Ini termasuk penghalangan perlaksanaan undang-undang UNCAC. The indictment of PM Najib Razak of Malaysia for crimes of corruption and/or money laundering through corrupted activities done globally Every minute of delay in the arrest of the head of a criminal syndicate provides the opportunity for their aids to destroy vital sources of evidence, materials and witnesses. If the PM is truly innocent, he wouldn't mind being questioned professionally.The PM has breached the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and committed treason against his country by creating the Nation's Investment Company called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) that has defrauded its citizens on an 'enormous scale' by siphoning the nation's wealth and its taxpayers' money with no regard to his duty to the country or its citizens. With 1MDB's public accounts never published or completed even after going through three international auditing firms posing questions returned as National Secrets. Wall Street Journal - Deloitte Resigns as 1MDB Auditor http://www.wsj.com/articles/deloitte-resigns-as-1mdb-auditor-1469579900 Financial Times - Deloitte becomes third auditor in a row to quit scandal-hit 1MDB http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3a375b84-53cd-11e6-befd-2fc0c26b3c60.html#axzz4K9ZmHmaW The PM is not new to the face of scandals, most notoriously for having RM 2.6 billion (USD 681million) deposited into his personal bank account and calling it simply as donations. He has since denied any wrongdoings and has been declared free of crime by government officials. He has also allegedly returned the sum of money with USD 61million missing. Justice for Najadi - Ambank https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/najadi-takes-his-case-united-nations-pascal-najadi https://www.facebook.com/pascalnajadi/ Anthony Kevin Morais Asia Sentinel - Slain Malaysian Prosecutor Tied to Najib Probe http://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/murdered-malaysia-prosecutor-anthony-kevin-morais-najib-graft/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Anthony_Morais Teoh Beng Hock - Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission "After studying and scrutinising further the investigation paper and the special task force paper, the AG's Chambers found that no crime committed by any officer of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)," “The death of Teoh Beng Hock was caused by multiple injuries from a fall from the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam as a result of, or which, was accelerated by an unlawful act or acts of persons unknown, inclusive of the MACC officers who were involved in the arrest and investigations of the deceased,” the court said. https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/342078 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teoh_Beng_Hock Altantuya Shaariibuu News Limited - "Military-grade explosives were then strapped to her body and detonated, blowing the young student and interpreter into smithereens." http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/true-stories/malaysias-most-explosive-murder-mystery-is-blowing-up-in-australia/news-story/d8e92bbd5172292a63664f90e2598767 Sydney Morning Herald - "A case involving allegations of high-level bribery, blackmail, betrayal and the murder of a glamorous Mongolian socialite in Malaysia has resurfaced in France, only days after Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak was cleared of corruption charges at home." http://www.smh.com.au/world/troubles-resurface-for-malaysias-najib-in-europe-20160130-gmhmn0.html Straits Times - "French prosecutors have launched a formal investigation into whether Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was paid bribes over a longcontentious US$1.2 billion (S$1.69 billion) arms deal when he was defence minister." http://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/france-investigates-whether-malaysian-pm-najib-was-bribed-in-submarine-deal Defense Industry Daily - Scorpene’s Sting: Malaysia’s Bribery & Murder Scandal http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/scorpenes-sting-liberation-publishes-expose-re-malaysias-bribery-murder-scandal-05347/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Shaariibuugiin_Altantuyaa Asian Correspondent - US says $1bn siphoned from 1MDB fund to finance gambling debts, private jet https://asiancorrespondent.com/2016/07/malaysia-us-1-billion-siphoned/ Wall Street Journal - The secret money behind 'The Wolf of Wall Street' http://www.wsj.com/articles/malaysias-1mdb-the-secret-money-behind-the-wolf-of-wall-street-1459531987 Sydney Morning Herald - Bribery scandal linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak http://www.smh.com.au/national/bribery-scandal-linked-to-malaysian-prime-minister-najib-razak-20150713-gib8nr.html The New York Times - Malaysia Closes Investigation Into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Funds http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/27/world/asia/malaysia-najib-razak-saudi-donation-1mdb.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0 Al Jazeera - Swiss say $4bn may be missing from Malaysia state fund http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/01/swiss-4bln-missing-malaysian-state-fund-160130041005218.html Sydney Morning Herald - $1.4 billion reportedly deposited in Malaysia PM Najib Razak's account http://www.smh.com.au/world/14-billion-reportedly-deposited-in-malaysia-pm-najib-razaks-account-20160301-gn7836.html The Guardian - More than $1bn deposited in Malaysian prime minister's account http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/01/more-than-1bn-deposited-malaysian-prime-minister-account-najib-razak?CMP=share_btn_fb The Guardian - "Human Rights Watch summed up Malaysia’s crisis of governance in its 2016 World Report and country-file: “The ruling Umno-led coalition has remained in power since 1957 through electoral manipulation, censorship, intimidation and use of criminal statutes to punish political opponents." http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/31/observer-view-on-malaysia?CMP=share_btn_fb Wall Street Journal - "A Malaysian government investment fund is embroiled in a corruption scandal that is roiling an important U.S. ally. Government investigators say nearly $700 million was deposited into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account. More money is believed missing. The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., is under investigation in at least five countries. Mr. Najib and 1MDB have denied wrongdoing and say they are cooperating with investigators." http://graphics.wsj.com/1mdb-decoded/?mod=e2fb The Malaysian Government under the administration of PM Najib Razak is also a financier of militants, militants that they have been systematically paying for decades. A clear act of terror as now those militants are well beyond equipped indicating co-operation, bribery and/or extortion in their lengthy relationship. Malaymail Online - "Regular abductions by Filipino gunmen here despite the formation of the Sabah Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) to specifically deter cross border crimes is raising fresh questions about the agency’s function." http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/esscoms-sea-of-troubles Asian Correspondent - Abu Sayyaf got only two-thirds of $3 mil ransom to release Malaysian sailors https://asiancorrespondent.com/2016/06/abu-sayyaf-only-two-thirds-ransom-money/ Malaymail Online - No need for probe on RM12m ransom money, IGP says http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/no-need-for-probe-on-rm12m-ransom-money-igp-says Criminalization under the UNCAC not only covers corruption such as bribery and the embezzlement of public funds, but also trading in influence and the concealment and laundering of the proceeds of corruption. Offences committed in support of corruption, including money-laundering and obstructing justice. Convention offences also deal with the problematic areas of private-sector corruption. Countries are bound by the Convention to render specific forms of mutual legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in court, to extradite offenders. Countries are also required to undertake measures which will support the tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of corruption. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/convention-highlights.html#Criminalization United Nations Convention against Corruption Signature and Ratification Status as of 1st December 2015 - Malaysia https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/signatories.html The law is swift and certain Every minute in the delay to act rightfully, reaffirms, permits and/or allows the wrongdoers of their position and the will to do any criminal acts contributing further to the black market against the interest of all population placing the onus and duty on us to deny, reject and/or to halt immediately those existing crimes in knowledge as their crimes increases in numbers and complexities with the infamous Election Committee missing their ballot boxes, blackouts, phantom voters by planes, and gerrymandering, we have no choice but to organise our voices now. Your support against global corruption and money laundering as a collective country and/or internationally as individuals is rightfully accepted with welcome, gratitude and thanks, towards a progressive Malaysia. What is corruption? Corruption occurs when a high value gift or monetary reward is given to entice the return of an act, favour or omission for which it is contrary to do so against common practice, general knowledge or fiduciary position. What is money laundering? Money laundering is the money transfer of proceeds from corrupted or illegal acts that a wrongdoer has unlawfully obtained against common duty or practice in which it cannot be rightfully deposited into any account and is usually distributed exclusively amongst the wrongdoers or money 'laundered' into the common market through circulation. The author of this petition is a qualified barrister from Lincoln's Inn, United Kingdom. All statements made in this petition were verified to the truth of its contents according to credible sources and to the best of my belief. The fact that the Malaysian Government have not taken any steps against these publications to pursue to mitigate or to rebut these allegations places a certain truth to these allegations and a truth that I cannot deny or to be an ancillary for silence or cover-up.
Petition to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
We request the government of Dubai investigate Gupta money laundering & freeze assets
Your Highness's South Africa is currently undergoing a systematic looting of state assets by the Gupta and Zuma family and their associates, and are in turn using Dubai to launder this money, earmarked for the development of South Africa's economy and its future generations. Under President Zuma's leadership, South African assets have been looted. Scandles are mounting on this corrupt coalition daily, and in time the South African people will have their justice. In the meantime, the UAE and in particular Dubai, are being used as pawns in their systematic fraud. As a progressive country, we seek the wisdom of its leaders to recognise that Dubai holds a special place in South Africans minds as a forward thinking nation who seeks the advancement of its people through investment. However, unlike Dubai, South Africa has problems with corruption, and we ask this esteemed leadership to step in and ensure the stolen assets of the South African people are frozen and protected until the South African people can bring the necessary actions to ensure justice is sought, and these assets are returned to be used for the advancement of a society, and not the enrichment of corrupt officials and business entities. InShaAllah wisdom of man will prevail, and we the people of South Africa will find a friend within the UAE who believes in doing the right thing. As-Salāmu Alaykum
Petition to Janet H. Brown
New Commission of Debates
A "New Commission of Debates" is necessary to ensure all political parties on all ballots are given equal exposure. In order for democracy to be successful, the voting public must know all their options on the ballot. The mission of the New Commission of Debates to be known as "The Commission of Debates" is to simply ensure Free, Open and Fair debates between all political parties on the ballot for Local, State and Federal elections. Debates to be held for every election and include all parties on the ballot.
Petition to Colorado Springs, Wynetta Massey, John Suthers
Force Colorado Springs to Repair the Barr Trail
The City of Colorado Springs acquired ownership of the first two and one quarter miles of the Famous Barr Trail on America's Mountain on December 30th 2016. This high profile trail begins in Manitou Springs at an elevation of 6600 ft., and climbs to the Summit of Pike's Peak at an elevation of over 14,100 ft. It is estimated that at least 60,000 people hike the Barr Trail each year, and over 300,000 people use this section of the Barr Trail to come down from the Manitou Incline each year. This popular trail is in terrible condition. It is composed of tight switchbacks which lack proper drainage. The trail must be modified to meet modern drainage standards. The drainage problems have caused severe erosion damage on the steep hillside. The trail is riddled with obstacles (large rocks), which make hiking slow and dangerous. The fence along the trail that prevents people from cutting across the switchbacks is in desperate need of replacement. It is a terrible eyesore, much of the paint is gone, and poles are rotten and falling off in many places. The City has just finished spending $5 million in grant money on the nearby Manitou Incline, why do they refuse to answer my questions about these important repairs? On the summit of Pike's Peak the City refers to themselves as the Proud Stewards of America's Mountain. Demand that the City tell us the estimated cost of these repairs, and the projected timeline for them. COS Land Swap
Petition to Christy Goldstein Romero, David Montoya, President Donald Trump
Stop Cuyahoga County Land Bank transfer to Cleveland Housing Network -Collusion
The Cuyahoga County Land Bank operates without oversight and should be investigated for misuse of public funds through the United States TARP and federal HUD program. Residents are opposed to transfer of the vacant YMCA at 3881 West 25th St to the Cleveland Housing Network and Eden for permanent supportive housing. Over 118k in back taxes have been wited out by the "Land Bank" - undermining services in Cuyahoga County. See http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2016/08/former_brooklyn_ymca_long_empt.html
Petition to Civil Society, European Commission, US Government, International media, Human Rights Organizations, European Parliament, European Ombudsman, Anti-Corruption Organizations, UK Government, Council of Europe
Justice for Tzvetan Vassilev: Stop the Violent Abuse of Human Rights in Bulgaria Now!
We, the undersigned, express our support for Tzvetan Vassilev’s application under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and believe that the US Government should help Bulgaria fight corruption and abuse of human rights by identifying and sanctioning corrupt State officials who violate human rights. Please sign and share: This is also a chance to raise concern among the Global Civil Society! #justiceforVassilev #stopBulgariancorruption #stopBulgarianmafia #stophumanrightsabuse #globalMagnitsky What is the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act? In 2012 the Obama Administration passed the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act to sanction Russian corrupt officials implicated in abuses of human rights by refusing them US visas and by freezing their overseas assets. The Act is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, who was routinely tortured and ultimately beaten to death while imprisoned in Russia for exposing corruption at the highest level of the Russian government (http://www.billbrowder.com/sergei-magnitsky). The Act was approved with strong bipartisan support. In 2016, the scope of the Act was enlarged to target the abuse of human rights on a global scale. Earlier this year, former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson took personal interest in the case of Tzvetan Vassilev who is subjected to abuse of human rights by Bulgaria as he exposed the corrupt mechanisms of Bulgaria’s political mafia. You can read Governor Richardson’s reasons why he believes that those who victimized Tzvetan Vassilev should be sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act here: http: //www.richardsondiplomacy.org/news/tzvetan-vassilev-bulgarias-magnitsky/ Bill Richardson is also a former US Ambassador to the United Nations and former Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton. He has dedicated his career to fighting against human rights abuses in many countries, including helping the release of American citizens detained in North Korea. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times (http://www.richardsondiplomacy.org/). On 11 August 2017, Tzvetan Vassilev’s lawyers submitted an application to the US Government under the Magnitsky Act, providing concrete evidence of how Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov and Member of Parliament Delyan Peevski have deliberately violated Vassilev’s human rights to hide corruption on a massive scale. According to Wikipedia, Prosecutor General Tsatsarov has been implicated in a number of high profile corruption cases. There are suspicions that Bulgaria's prosecution fabricates charges to attack opponents of politicians and to plunder their business—what is known as “corporate raiding.” See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotir_Tsatsarov Delyan Peevski is a figure from one of the most powerful political parties in Bulgaria who happens to control most Bulgarian media and to use them for tarnishing campaigns which are purposefully aimed at destroying the reputation and business of his political opponents. He has already been called the “iceberg of corruption” by Der Spiegel, a reputed German media, and investigative journalists have raised concern about his negative influence on freedom of speech (https://bivol.bg/en/reporters-without-borders-latest-report-media-when-oligarchs-go-shopping-peevski-is-swinging-media-baseball-bats.html). Who is Tzvetan Vassilev? Tzvetan Vassilev is a Bulgarian bank owner and philanthropist, once ranked the most influential person in Bulgaria by Forbes, who exposed corruption at the highest level of Bulgarian government (www.vassilev.bg). He and his family have been subjected to political repression and abuse of human rights since 2014. Tzvetan Vassilev was a key figure in Bulgarian society who was outspoken about its problems. For instance, in 2013 he criticized the Bulgarian president for defending corporate interests before the Austrian Der Standart: http://derstandard.at/1363705901476/Der-Praesident-vertritt-Unternehmerinteressen. Coverage and translation in English can be found here: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/president-defends-business-interests-says-leading-bulgarian-banker/ In 2014, he explained before the German Handelsblatt that Bulgaria’s biggest problem is that politicians consider themselves ‘untouchable,’ alluding to the rampant corruption in the country: http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/international/freizuegigkeit-in-der-eu-wir-bulgaren-sind-nicht-die-groesste-gefahr/9407520.html. Coverage and translation in English can be found here: http://www.novinite.com/articles/157772/Bulgarian+Banker+Wants+Solidarity+from+EU. In 2014, he also helped the start of a new political project calling for reform. The attack against him and his family started in 2014 when he refused to transfer assets of the bank for ‘free’ to Delyan Peevski. What followed was a classic example of “corporate raiding”: a tarnishing media campaign in media affiliated with Peevski, false accusations, an arrest warrant, an Interpol Red Notice, and a freeze order on all his assets. Needless to say, all of these are accompanied by abuse of process and refusals to appeal. Meanwhile, the assets are plundered by businesses affiliated with Peevski and Bulgaria’s ruling party. Vassilev has been vocal about the blackmailing and threats he has received prior to 2014 and following the onset of the attack by the Bulgarian government. Yet, each time he presents concrete evidence of corruption on the highest level, the government retaliates. When in 2016 he showed documents demonstrating corruption on a massive scale, instead of investigating the case, the prosecution fabricated false charges against his wife, a respected university professor and established scholar, and issued an Interpol Red Notice for her too (https://medium.com/@antoanetavassileva/the-brutal-violations-of-human-rights-in-bulgaria-and-why-the-european-union-should-be-concerned-c913233c836b). When on 11 August 2017, Vassilev's lawyers submitted an application under the Magnitsky Act, the prosecution fabricated fake charges against his daughter, who is also a scholar, two days later and issued an arrest warrant (http://www.vassilev.bg/en/open-letter-to-the-president-of-the-republic-of-bulgaria_7_51). Bulgaria’s Failed Democracy According to Transparency International, Bulgaria is the most corrupt country in the European Union, In fact, even countries, which are not in the European Union, such as Burkina Faso and Ghana, are considered less corrupt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index). According to public opinion polls, public distrust in Bulgaria’s Prosecution is 94%. According to Reporters without Borders, Bulgaria is 109th in the world according to freedom of press. In countries like the Ukraine and Kuwait, journalists have more freedom (https://rsf.org/en/ranking). In fact, many independent Bulgarian journalists not affiliated with Peevski’s media are all facing fabricated criminal charges. According to the International Property Rights Index, Bulgaria is 85th in the world for the respect of private property. Key factors examined by the index are the legal and the political environment. It is among the countries with the highest likelihood of expropriation (https://ipri2017.herokuapp.com/CountryResults). Moreover, according to the Council of Europe, judicial independence in Bulgaria is compromised (https://rm.coe.int/fourth-evaluation-round-corruption-prevention-in-respect-of-members-of/16807342c8). In 2016, the President of the Venice Commission, which advises the Council of Europe on constitutional matters, said the following about the Bulgarian Prosecution: “The Soviet model of the prosecution must be decisively turned down. It turns it into a source of corruption and blackmail and creates opportunities for its use for political aims.” (http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/postponed-eu-monitoring-of-bulgaria-s-prosecution-worries-experts-05-31-2016) Totalitarian and former-communist countries like Bulgaria traditionally abuse Interpol’s Red Notice procedure to attack political opponents (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/27/interpol-accused-red-notice-requests). Social activists have been asking for the resignation of Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General for years (http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bulgaria-chief-prosecutor-s-controversial-meeting-sparks-protests-04-24-2017). In August 2017, Bulgaria implemented amendments to its Code of Criminal Procedure, which have been called anti-constitutional by the Association of Bulgarian judges and the Association of Bulgarian Lawyers and a ‘highway to an authoritarian dictatorship’ by Bulgaria’s civil society. Nineteen NGOs have raised concern about these amendments. Why Should that Matter to You? By signing this petition, you are supporting Bulgaria’s fight against corruption and abuse of human rights and you are helping Bulgarians ensure a better future. While there may be corruption in other places around the world, the scale in Bulgaria is monstrous. The Magnitsky Act is a chance to sanction key figures of Bulgaria’s political mafia. This is not a partisan issue! This is a question of principle and justice. Moreover, applying the Magnitsky Act could be a powerful deterring signal for other corrupt regimes around the globe. This would encourage them to reconsider their practice of abuse. Furthermore, you will be waking up the European Commission which seems to have abdicated from its duty to serve as the Guardian of the Treaties. Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union requires all member states to enforce the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The European Commission has the responsibility to oversee the application of the Treaties and it has powers of investigation, prevention, and sanction. While the European Commission has received hundreds of complaints about the abuse of human rights by Bulgarian authorities since 2014, they keep replying they are not ‘competent to investigate.’ This is not true! The institutions are competent, but some people working in them are turning a blind eye…for now. Moreover, they are sending a dangerous signal to national political leaders in Europe that they can act with impunity! Finally, think about it: What if that happens to you or to somebody you know one day? What if you are accused on falsified grounds? What if you are not allowed to appeal? What if the government changes the laws to create new crimes and apply them retroactively? Do you want to live in a country supporting political repression and abuse to help politicians steal money? #justiceforVassilev #stopBulgariancorruption #stopBulgarianmafia #stophumanrightsabuse #globalMagnitsky ======================================================== Разписвайки тази петиция, изразявате своето недоволство срещу корупцията в България и системното неспазване на европейското право! Тъй като бяха направени много спекулации през последните седмици, бих искала да направя следните уточнения: 1. Целта на закона „Магнитски“ е да идентифицира и санкционира корумпирани държавни чиновници, които нарушават човешките права. С други думи, няма да бъде наказана България, а конкретните личности, извършили нарушенията. Разбира се, ако американското правителство прецени след като разгледа случая! 2. Целта на внесената жалба от Фондацията на губернатора Ричардсън не е Цветан Василев да избяга от правосъдие в България, а да се санкционират корумпирани лица, които нарушават основни човешки права. 3. Целта на тази петиция е да привлече вниманието на международната общност върху случилото се с КТБ и несправедливо обвинените в този казус, за да се гарантира справедлив и обективен съдебен процес! Водещият текст е на английски, за да сезираме глобалното гражданско общество за безобразията в страната. Aко желаете да коментирате защо разписвате петицията, може да изразите мнението си на български или на чужд език. По-долу ще намерите превод на български език! ========================================================= Справедливост за Цветан Василев: спрете бруталното погазване на човешките права в България сега! Ние, долуподписаните, подкрепяме молбата на Цветан Василев по закона „Магнитски“ и вярваме, че правителството на САЩ трябва да съдейства в борбата срещу корупцията и потъпкването на човешките права в България, като идентифицира и санкционира корумпирани чиновници, които системно потъпкват човешките права. Моля подпишете и споделете: това е още една възможност да се привлече вниманието на глобалното гражданско общество! #justiceforVassilev #stopBulgariancorruption #stopBulgarianmafia #stophumanrightsabuse #globalMagnitsky Какво представлява законът „Магнитски“? През 2012 г. администрацията на президента Обама прие закона „Магнитски“ с цел санкциониране на корумпирани държавни служители, които са нарушили човешки права, чрез отказ на визи за САЩ и блокиране на сметките им в чужбина. Законът носи името на Сергей Магнитски - руски адвокат, който умира след изтезания в ареста, в резултат на това, че е разкрил корупционни схеми на най-високите етажи на властта в Русия (http://www.billbrowder.com/sergei-magnitsky ). Законът е получил силна подкрепа и от Демократите, и от Републиканците. През 2016 г. обсегът на закона е разширен – в момента се прилага спрямо поругаването на човешките права от държавни служители в цял свят. В началото на тази година, бившият Губернатор на Ню Мексико Бил Ричардсън лично се заинтересува от случая на Цветан Василев, чийто фундаментални човешки права са системно нарушавани от страна на властите в България, след като отказа да прехвърли активи на КТБ на политическата мафия в страната. Може да се запознаете с причините, поради които Губернатор Ричардсън счита, че държавните служители, които са накърнили правата на Цветан Василев, трябва да бъдат санкционирани по закона „Магнитски“ тук: http://www.richardsondiplomacy.org/news/tzvetan-vassilev-bulgarias-magnitsky/ Превод на български може да намерите тук: https://clubz.bg/57237-zashto_richardsyn_zastava_na_stranata_na_cvetan_vasilev Бил Ричардсън е бил посланик на САЩ в ООН, а така също и Секретар по енергетика в администрацията на Бил Клинтън. Той е посветил последните няколко десетилетия от живота си на борбата за защита на човешките права в много страни. Дори е участвал в преговорите за освобождаването на американски граждани от затворите на Северна Корея. Номиниран е за Нобелова награда за мир четири пъти: http://www.richardsondiplomacy.org/ На 11.08.2017 г. Центърът за глобална ангажираност (Center for Global Engagement) на Бил Ричардсън внесе молба в Държавния департамент на САЩ, съпроводена с конкретни доказателства за това как Главният прокурор на Република България Сотир Цацаров и депутатът Делян Пеевски умишлено са погазили правата на Василев с цел да прикрият мащабна корупция в държавата. Според английската версия на Wikipedia, Главният прокурор г-н Цацаров е замесен в редица случаи, свързани с корупция на високите нива на управление в страната и с практиката на фабрикуване на обвинения за наказателно преследване на „политически неудобни“ лица, с цел разграбване на техния бизнес – явление, познато като „рейдърство с участие на държавните институции“. Страницата в Wikipedia може да разгледате тук: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotir_Tsatsarov Делян Пеевски е член на една от най-влиятелните политически партии в България, който контролира пряко или косвено голяма част от медиите в страната и ги използва за компрометиращи кампании. Той е наречен „айсберг на корупцията“ от известната немска медия Der Spiegel, а според разследващи журналисти неговите действия представляват сериозна заплаха за свободата на словото в страната: https://bivol.bg/en/reporters-without-borders-latest-report-media-when-oligarchs-go-shopping-peevski-is-swinging-media-baseball-bats.html Кой е Цветан Василев? Цветан Василев е български банкер, който публично изобличава корупцията на най-високите етажи на властта в България (www.vassilev.bg ). Той и семейството му са подложени на репресии и нарушаване на човешки права от 2014 г. насам. До 2014 г., е един от най-големите данъкоплатци в страната и дарител на различни благотворителни инициативи. Преди време бе посочен от Форбс като най-влиятелната личност в България. Цветан Василев е считан за ключова фигура в българското общество, с открита позиция по наболели теми. През 2013 г., например, критикува тогавашния български президент пред авторитетното австрийско издание Der Standart, заради защита на корпоративни интереси: http://derstandard.at/1363705901476/Der-Praesident-vertritt-Unternehmerinteressen През 2014 г. Василев разяснява пред известната немска медия Handelsblatt, че най-големият проблем на България е, че политиците се мислят за „недосегаеми“, като намеква за плашещата корупция в страната: http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/international/freizuegigkeit-in-der-eu-wir-bulgaren-sind-nicht-die-groesste-gefahr/9407520.html През 2014 г. той подкрепя старта на нов политически проект, ориентиран към реформи. Репресиите срещу него и семейството му започват през 2014 г., когато отказва да прехвърли „безвъзмездно“ голяма част от активите на Корпоративна търговска банка АД на г-н Делян Пеевски. Това, което последва след това, е класически пример за „рейдърска атака“: „черна“ пиар кампания в медиите, контролирани от Пеевски, фалшиви обвинения, заповед за арест, червена бюлетина на Интерпол и блокиране на всички активи. Всичко това, съпътствано от груби процедурни нарушения и отказ за обжалване. Междувременно активите на банката са разграбени от мафиотските кланове, близки до Пеевски и до управляващата партия. Василев е давал гласност на опитите за изнудване и заплахи за живота му преди и след атаката срещу банката. Всеки път, когато той представя доказателства за корупция на най-високо ниво, държавните институции му отмъщават реципрочно. Когато през 2016 г. Василев показа документи, уличаващи в корупция отговорни фактори в държавата, вместо да разследва случая, българската прокуратура скалъпи фалшиво обвинение срещу съпругата му, уважаван университетски професор и учен, и й издаде „Червена бюлетина“ на Интерпол: http://bit.ly/2wHfnGi Веднага след като Фондацията на Бил Ричардсън, която защитава жертви, чиито човешки права са поругани, внесе молбата по закона „Магнитски“ пред американското правителство на 11.12.2017 г., прокуратурата изфабрикува обвинение срещу дъщеря му, също научен изследовател, и издаде заповед за арест: http://bit.ly/2xBuvl3 Провалът на демокрацията в България Според Transparency International България е най-корумпираната страна в ЕС. Всъщност, дори страни, които не са членки на ЕС като Буркина Фасо и Гана, имат по-ниски нива на корупция: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index Социологически изследвания сочат, че общественото недоверие към българската прокуратура е 94%. България заема 109-то място в света по свобода на словото според „Репортери без граници“. В страни като Украйна и Кувейт журналистите имат по-голяма свобода: https://rsf.org/en/ranking Не е случайно, че много независими журналисти в България, които не са свързани с медиите на Пеевски, са с обвинение от прокуратурата за „криминални“ деяния. Според Международния индекс за право на собственост, България е класирана на 85-то място в света що се отнася до зачитане на правото на собственост. Ключови фактори, които са взети предвид, са правната рамка и политическата среда. България е сред страните с най-голяма вероятност от експроприация: https://ipri2017.herokuapp.com/CountryResults Нещо повече, според Съвета на Европа независимостта на българския съд е компрометирана https://rm.coe.int/fourth-evaluation-round-corruption-prevention-in-respect-of-members-of/16807342c8 През 2016 г. председателят на Венецианската комисия, който консултира Съвета на Европа по конституционни въпроси, каза следното за българската прокуратура: „Съветският модел на българската прокуратура трябва категорично да се разруши. Той е източник на корупция и изнудване и създава възможности да се използва за политически цели.“ http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/postponed-eu-monitoring-of-bulgaria-s-prosecution-worries-experts-05-31-2016 Тоталитарните режими и страните от бившия социалистически блок като България обичайно злоупотребяват с издаването на „Червени бюлетини“ на Интерпол, за да атакуват политически и икономически съперници: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/27/interpol-accused-red-notice-requests Активисти на гражданското общество отдавна искат оставката на Главния прокурор: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bulgaria-chief-prosecutor-s-controversial-meeting-sparks-protests-04-24-2017 През август 2017 г. България прие поправки в НПК, които са определени като противоконституционни и в разрез с международните норми от Съюза на юристите в България и Съюза на съдиите и като „бърза писта към авторитарна диктатура“ от гражданското общество в България. Всъщност, 19 НПО също са изразили сериозни притеснения относно поправките. Защо всичко това ви касае? Подписвайки тази петиция, подкрепяте борбата срещу корупцията и накърняването на човешките права в България и помагате на нейните граждани да имат по-добро бъдеще. Корупция има и на други места по света, но мащабите ѝ в България са чудовищни. Законът „Магнитски“ е една възможност да бъдат санкционирани ключови фигури на българската политическа мафия. Въпросът не е политически, а правен. Прилагането на закона „Магнитски“ може да бъде силен предупредителен сигнал и за други корумпирани режими по света. Това ще ги окуражи да преразгледат практиките си на поругаване на човешки права. И още, вие ще съдействате за събуждането на Европейската комисия, която изглежда е абдикирала от основното си задължение да служи като пазител и гарант за изпълнение на Договора за Европейския съюз (Guardian of the Treaties). Член 2 от Договора за ЕС изисква всички страни членки да съблюдават ценностите на зачитане на човешкото достойнство, свобода, равенство, правовия ред и спазване на човешките права. Европейската комисия има задължението да разследва, да предотвратява и да санкционира страни членки, които не спазват Договора за ЕС. Европейската комисия е получила стотици жалби относно нарушаването на човешките права от властите в България, на които европейските чиновници дежурно отговарят, че „не са компетентни да разследват“. Това е категорично невярно! Институциите са компетентни, но някои хора, които работят в тях, просто си затварят очите…засега. По този начин, те изпращат опасен сигнал до националните политически лидери в Европа, че могат да действат безнаказано. И накрая помислете: Ами ако това се случи с вас или с някого, когото познавате? Как бихте се чувствали, ако ви повдигнат измислени абсурдни обвинения? А ако не ви позволят да обжалвате? Смятате ли, че е нормално властите да променят законите ад хок, за да измислят нови престъпления и да прилагат същите закони ретроактивно, в разрез с фундаменталните принципи на правовата държава? Искате ли да живеете в страна, в която се толерират политически репресии и погазване на човешките права, за да могат политиците да присвояват пари? #justiceforVassilev #stopBulgariancorruption #stopBulgarianmafia #stophumanrightsabuse #globalMagnitsky
Petition to Kathy Bosheers, Dan O'Leary, Rick Snyder, pete lucido, Sebastian Previti, Abby Jacobson, Art Grimes, Gary Kopp, Stanley Babinski, Mike Nicely, Robert Seibert, Carol Marshall, Matt Fahr, Barbara Wolfe
Let's Get an Ethics ordinance in Washington Township
It's no secret that political corruption has plagued Macomb County in recent years and is still ongoing. Washington Township is no exception. Whether it's paying for a sexual harassment case to go away on taxpayers' dime, leaking closed door land deal information to other parties, or developing in a way that is unsustainable for the citizens, one thing is clear: A well drafted ethics ordinance should be established to provide clarity to local public officials so that they are held responsible for abuse of power. Several other townships in Michigan have already established this and have been successful in handling issues that go on at the local level. Even the Macomb Daily quoted Washington Township attorney Robert Seibert as saying that Washington Township does not have an ethics ordinance and under Michigan Township Law no action can be taken by other board members. This should concern community that local officials have a free pass to do whatever they please without any ramifications. By establishing an ethics ordinance, power will be given back to the people.