Instant Karma

Four Men Charged in Federal Court for Attempting to Tear Down Statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square Amid Protests

justice.gov

            WASHINGTON – Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, of Virginia; Connor Matthew Judd, 20, of Washington, D.C.; Ryan Lane, 37, of Maryland; and Graham Lloyd, 37, of Maine, were charged by criminal complaint yesterday with destruction of federal property, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division James A. Dawson, and Acting Chief of the United States Park Police (USPP) Gregory T. Monahan.

            The complaint, unsealed today, alleges that on June 22, 2020, the four men along with other unidentified individuals, damaged and attempted to tear down the statue depicting Andrew Jackson located in Lafayette Square.  The complaint further alleges that Cantrell was captured on video attempting to pry the statue off its base with a wooden board and trying to pull the statue down with the aid of a yellow strap.  The complaint alleges that Judd is seen on video trying to pull down the statue, and that Lane is seen on video affixing a rope to one part of the statue and then pulling on another rope tied to the statue.  The complaint also alleges that video of the incident shows Lloyd as he breaks off and destroys the wheels of cannons located at the base of the statue.  Lloyd is also captured on video pulling on ropes in an effort to topple the statue, and handing a hammer to an unidentified individual involved in the incident.

            Judd was arrested on Friday and appeared in Superior Court of the District of Columbia today.  The matter will be transferred to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday, June 29, 2020, where Judd will make his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather.  The remaining defendants have not yet been apprehended. 

            A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

            “The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will not stand idly by and allow our national monuments to be vandalized and destroyed.  This Office remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the sacred First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, but these charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital:  your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.

            “The FBI respects the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights, but we will not allow opportunists to hijack peaceful protests to incite violence and destruction of property,” said James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.  “We will continue to work with our partners to enforce federal laws prohibiting damage to government facilities and property.”

            “Members of the United States Park Police are working tirelessly to provide quality law enforcement, safeguard lives, protect our national treasures and symbols of democracy, and preserve the natural and cultural resources entrusted to its service.  We are committed to ensuring that citizens are able to freely exercise their constitutional rights in a safe and peaceful manner.  The deplorable acts of violence and destruction of property are unacceptable and will continue to be pursued through ongoing collaborative investigations and enforcement efforts,” said Gregory T. Monahan, Acting Chief of the United States Park Police.

            In announcing the charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin, Special Agent in Charge Dawson, and Acting Chief Monahan commended the work of the FBI agents and USPP officers who apprehended the four men and are investigating the incident.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gilead Light, Sara Vanore, and Laura Crane of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

            This joint investigation was conducted by the United States Park Police and the FBI Washington Field Office’s Violent Crime Task Force.  Significant assistance was also provided by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.  The Violent Crime Task Force is charged with investigating acts of violence impacting the District of Columbia.  Tips associated with this matter or other acts of violence can be reported to the FBI at 202-278-2000 or tips.fbi.gov.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/four-men-charged-federal-court-attempting-tear-down-statue-andrew-jackson-lafayette

“Compound King” and Wife Sentenced in $21 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme; Fugitive Sought | OPA | Department of Justice

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, June 25, 2020

A Houston pharmacist and his wife were sentenced today for their roles in an approximately $21.8 million Department of Labor (DOL) – Office of Workers Compensation Programs and Federal Employees Compensation Act fraud scheme.

George Philip Tompkins, 75, of Houston, Texas, the self-proclaimed “Compound King” and former owner of Piney Point Pharmacy, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Marene Kathryn Tompkins, 68, also of Houston, the former vice president of Piney Point Pharmacy, was sentenced to 30 days of home confinement and three years of supervised release. Both were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas, who presided over the trial of George Thompkins and the guilty plea of Marene Tompkins.  Judge Lake also ordered George Tompkins to pay $12,300,381.36 in restitution (and forfeiture) and Marene Tompkins to pay $950,745.10 in restitution (and forfeiture).

On March 10, 2020, after a six-day trial, George Tompkins was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, 11 counts of health care fraud, and three counts of wire fraud. Kathryn Tompkins pleaded guilty on Jan. 3, 2020, to one count of conspiracy to pay kickbacks.

According to the evidence at trial, George Tompkins and others billed the DOL approximately $21.8 million for medically unnecessary compound gels and creams that were predicated on illegal kickback payments. George Tompkins and Anoop Chaturvedi, 48, a legal permanent resident from India who remains a fugitive on related charges, created the scheme to generate compounded pain cream prescriptions and bill health care programs for injured state and federal employees. George Tompkins and Chaturvedi used separate entities—including George Tompkins’s company, Wellington Advisors—to receive and launder the proceeds of their crimes.  Further evidence presented at trial showed that George Tompkins sought to disguise illicit kickback payments as legitimate “marketing” expenses and continued to ship patients compound gels and creams even after patients repeatedly complained they did not want them.     

Marene Tompkins pleaded guilty before trial.  As part of her guilty plea, she admitted that she conspired with her husband and others to pay illegal kickbacks as part of the scheme. 

George and Marene Tompkins were charged in a superseding indictment in November 2018 along with Chaturvedi. Chaturvedi is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest in connection with the charges. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG) at 1-888-877-7644.

A federal criminal indictment is merely an accusation. Chaturvedi is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

USPS-OIG, DOL-OIG, IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security-OIG, and Department of Veterans Affairs-OIG, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Redlinger charged the case and, with Trial Attorneys Leslie Garthwaite and Devon Helfmeyer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, provided substantial assistance in its prosecution. Trial Attorneys Drew Pennebaker and Sara Clingan of the Fraud Section tried the case and continue to prosecute it.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years. Topic(s): Financial FraudHealth Care FraudComponent(s): Criminal DivisionCriminal – Criminal Fraud SectionUSAO – Texas, SouthernPress Release Number: 20-591 Updated June 25, 2020

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https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/compound-king-and-wife-sentenced-21-million-health-care-fraud-scheme-fugitive-sought

Now what moron will be brave enough to go to jail for 10 years

AG Barr Orders Executions of 4 Federal Inmates Accused of Child Rape, Child Murder

PHOTO CREDIT: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Attorney General William P. Barr today directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to schedule the executions of four federal death-row inmates who were convicted of murdering children in violation of federal law and who, in two cases, raped the children they murdered. 

In July 2019, Attorney General Barr directed the BOP to revise the Federal Execution Protocol to provide for the use of a single-drug, pentobarbital — similar to protocols used in hundreds of state executions and repeatedly upheld by federal courts, including the Supreme Court, as consistent with the Eighth Amendment.  A district court’s preliminary injunction prevented BOP from carrying out executions under the revised protocol, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated that injunction — clearing the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after a nearly two-decade hiatus.

“The American people, acting through Congress and Presidents of both political parties, have long instructed that defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes should be subject to a sentence of death,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our Constitution and laws.  We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes, and to the families left behind, to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”

In accordance with 28 C.F.R. Part 26, the BOP has scheduled executions for the following death-sentenced inmates:

  • Daniel Lewis Lee, a member of a white supremacist group, murdered a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou.  On May 4, 1999, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas found Lee guilty of numerous offenses, including three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, and he was sentenced to death.  Lee’s execution is scheduled to occur on July 13, 2020.
  • Wesley Ira Purkey violently raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl, and then dismembered, burned, and dumped the young girl’s body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in state court for using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane.  On November 5, 2003, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri found Purkey guilty of kidnapping a child resulting in the child’s death, and he was sentenced to death.  Purkey’s execution is scheduled to occur on July 15, 2020.
  • Dustin Lee Honken shot and killed five people — two men who planned to testify against him, and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters. On October 14, 2004, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa found Honken guilty of numerous offenses, including five counts of murder during the course of a continuing criminal enterprise, and he was sentenced to death.  Honken’s execution is scheduled to occur on July 17, 2020.
  • Keith Dwayne Nelson kidnapped a 10-year-old girl rollerblading in front of her home, and in a forest behind a church, raped her and strangled her to death with a wire. On October 25, 2001, Nelson pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to the kidnapping and unlawful interstate transportation of a child for the purpose of sexual abuse which resulted in death, and he was sentenced to death.  Nelson’s execution is scheduled to occur on August 28, 2020.

Each of these inmates has exhausted appellate and post-conviction remedies, and no legal impediments prevent their executions, which will take place at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.  Additional executions will be scheduled at a later date.

https://breaking911.com/breaking-ag-barr-orders-executions-of-4-federal-inmates-accused-of-child-rape-child-murder/

Update on the murder of Captain David Dorn

Information needed…help bring Justice for the murder of Captain David Dorn

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Justice Department Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud

justice.gov Justice Department Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud 7-8 minutes The Department of Justice announced today that it has taken its first action in federal court to combat fraud related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The enforcement action filed today in Austin against operators of a fraudulent website follows Attorney General William Barr’s recent direction for the department to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of illegal conduct related to the pandemic. As detailed in the civil complaint and accompanying court papers filed on Saturday, March 21, 2020, the operators of the website “coronavirusmedicalkit.com” are engaging in a wire fraud scheme seeking to profit from the confusion and widespread fear surrounding COVID-19. Information published on the website claimed to offer consumers access to World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine kits in exchange for a shipping charge of $4.95, which consumers would pay by entering their credit card information on the website. In fact, there are currently no legitimate COVID-19 vaccines and the WHO is not distributing any such vaccine. In response to the department’s request, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued a temporary restraining order requiring that the registrar of the fraudulent website immediately take action to block public access to it. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate criminal exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will use every resource at the government’s disposal to act quickly to shut down these most despicable of scammers, whether they are defrauding consumers, committing identity theft, or delivering malware.” “Attorney General Barr has directed the department to prioritize fraud schemes arising out of the coronavirus emergency,” said U.S. Attorney John F. Bash of the Western District of Texas. “We therefore moved very quickly to shut down this scam. We hope in the future that responsible web domain registrars will quickly and effectively shut down websites designed to facilitate these scams. My office will continue to be aggressive in targeting these sorts of despicable frauds for the duration of this emergency.” “At a time when we face such unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 crisis, Americans are understandably desperate to find solutions to keep their families safe and healthy,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office. “Fraudsters who seek to profit from their fear and uncertainty, by selling bogus vaccines or cures, not only steal limited resources from our communities, they pose an even greater danger by spreading misinformation and creating confusion. During this difficult time, protecting our communities from these reprehensible fraud schemes will remain one of the FBI’s highest priorities.” The United States filed today’s announced action to shutter the website immediately while an investigation of the website and its operators continues. In so doing, the government is employing a federal statute that permits federal courts to issue injunctions to prevent harm to potential victims of fraudulent schemes. The Department of Justice recommends that Americans to take the following precautionary measures to protect themselves from known and emerging scams related to COVID-19: Independently verify the identity of any company, charity, or individual that contacts you regarding COVID-19. Check the websites and email addresses offering information, products, or services related to COVID-19. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov.” Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 or requesting your personal information for medical purposes. Legitimate health authorities will not contact the general public this way. Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is operating and up to date. Ignore offers for a COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment. Remember, if a vaccine becomes available, you won’t hear about it for the first time through an email, online ad, or unsolicited sales pitch. Check online reviews of any company offering COVID-19 products or supplies. Avoid companies whose customers have complained about not receiving items. Research any charities or crowdfunding sites soliciting donations in connection with COVID-19 before giving any donation. Remember, an organization may not be legitimate even if it uses words like “CDC” or “government” in its name or has reputable looking seals or logos on its materials. For online resources on donating wisely, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website. Be wary of any business, charity, or individual requesting payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail. Don’t send money through any of these channels. Be cautious of “investment opportunities” tied to COVID-19, especially those based on claims that a small company’s products or services can help stop the virus. If you decide to invest, carefully research the investment beforehand. For information on how to avoid investment fraud, visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, consumers may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO websites. In addition, the public is urged to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or by e-mailing the NCDF at disaster@leo.gov. The enforcement action taken today is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas A. Parnham, Jr. and Michael C. Galdo of the Western District of Texas, and Senior Litigation Counsel Ross S. Goldstein of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch. The FBI’s San Antonio Field Office is conducting the investigation. The claims made in the complaint are allegations that, if the case were to proceed to trial, the government must prove to receive a permanent injunction against the defendant. For information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to stop COVID-19 fraud, visit http://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, visit its website at http://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-files-its-first-enforcement-action-against-covid-19-fraud

Sign the Petition: help support rape survivor Brittney Smith

change.org

Brittany smith started this petition to Alabama Governor

Let me introduce myself. My name is Brittany and I am being accused of shooting my rapist in self-defense, which could send me to prison for life. I’m a mother of four beautiful, amazing children. They are the best thing that could ever have happened to me and they are what keep me going.

In January of 2018, I agreed to let an acquaintance named Todd sleep on my couch for the night in order to escape a snow storm. Todd ended up holding me captive in my own home for hours. He threatened to kill me if I tried to contact anyone, brutally raped me multiple times, tried to break my neck and choked me until I urinated on myself and went unconscious more than once. He beat me so badly my fingernails were ripped off, and I had 33 visible wounds on my body, not to mention internal injuries.

Eventually I was able to get a message to my brother who came to help. Todd attacked him, and was choking my brother to the point where i feared for my life, while yelling that he was going to kill all of us.

Todd was shot. My brother and I called 911 and did CPR and chest compressions for 20 minutes waiting on someone to get there. When the police arrived, they made us stop the CPR.

The next day I was arrested for murder.

Afterwards, I found out Todd had been arrested 80 times, many of them for domestic violence. While they were married, he bit his wife’s face, broke her nose, ribs and even her jaw. He was a very violent man. He was a monster. A predator to women.

I am facing life in prison, away from my children, for defending myself. I am innocent. I need your help. Up until this point I have only been able to acquire court appointed attorneys that do not have the experience with Stand Your Ground cases that I so desperately need.

My children are my reason for living, and I don’t know if I’ll survive being separated from them. Please, my life depends on your support.

https://www.change.org/p/survivedandpunished-org-help-support-rape-survivor-brittany-smith

Sign the Petition closure for Cloud

change.org
Sign the Petition

Our rescue, Husky Education And Rescue Team, Inc ((H-E-A-R-T)). was contacted two weeks ago by the staff of Dorchester Paws, an open intake shelter, asking for our assistance with Cloud. Cloud was a Siberian Husky who had been brought to the shelter by someone who found him roaming the streets and he began to deteriorate in the shelter environment. He struggled with allowing strangers to handle him but once you earned his trust there was no concern.

Dorchester Paws is a 501c3 organization who serves Dorchester County, SC. The important thing to note here is the shelter uses the NO KILL designation as stated right on their website. We received many videos and notes on Cloud over the next week.

H-E-A-R-T’s Director had a conversation earlier this week with the Shelter’s Behavior Manager who was very invested in Cloud’s best interest. She wanted Cloud to go to a breed specific rescue who understood the breed. She told us about some neck sensitivities and his low grumbling when he was uncertain. These are all things H-E-A-R-T is accustomed to handling and rehabilitating in our beloved breed.

We were concerned about how best to get Cloud to MD. If he was unsure of strangers, a volunteer transport with multiple legs was not going to be successful, however maybe we could meet someone from the shelter halfway. But the Shelter staff was able to arrange a flight in which Cloud could be loaded into a crate and then the crate into the plane and then reversed once safe in MD. This would allow Cloud to be handled safely getting in and out of the plane.

We were all set! H-E-A-R-T sent the necessary paperwork to facilitate the Rescue pull and PAID the rescue pull/transfer fee of $100. Cloud was ours and he was coming to MD! We even shared his photos with our followers on our Facebook page on Thursday.

THAT’S WHEN EVERYTHING WENT WRONG!!!

At 5 pm on Friday, we received a ‘refund’ of Cloud’s adoption fee. Our Director immediately called the Shelter’s Behavior Manager and when she answered the phone she was devastated and in tears. The medical staff came to issue Cloud his health certificate so he could travel across state lines and when they went to examine him he became defensive, jumped on the medical staff and gave her a ‘pressure’ bite. He did NOT break the skin.

Now Husky lovers….how many of you have male Sibes who need to be muzzled at the vet’s office? It’s actually VERY common. Huskies are generally known for misbehaving or becoming defensive during a medical exam. Heck….this information is even on our Education page on our website.

The Shelter’s Behavior Manager was called in to assist with Cloud at this time. She was able to safely muzzle him for the vet to finish her examination and Cloud was issued a Health Certificate. But then the Executive Director of Dorchester Paws, Kim Almstedt ordered the immediate euthanasia of Cloud. They did not call H-E-A-R-T. They did not consult us about OUR dog. This NO KILL shelter simply ended his life and refunded our pull fee. Kim stated she could not endanger anyone on the transport. Well, we had a well laid out plan so no one needed to handle Cloud on the short flight to MD and we had a plan b in which we would have transported Cloud by ground! Even if Cloud had really hurt someone, we had committed to him. It should have been our decision on Cloud’s fate. And we would have tried to save him! Cloud was confused and being defensive with medical staff. Normal breed stuff but sadly this person who runs the Dorchester Paws shelter clearly hasn’t educated herself on our breed!

We are beyond crushed over this news. The tears haven’t stopped flowing yet. We’ve never worked with a shelter staff so extensively to save a Husky to simply have their Executive Director overrule a breed specific rescue and their own Behavior Manager and euthanize a dog when they pride themselves on being NO KILL. We immediately called the Executive Director, Kim on her cell phone and have not received a call back. And while the Board of Directors do not have contact information on the Dorchester Paws website, one of our Directors messaged 6 of the 7 on Facebook. The President has responded that he will “do some investigation and connect back with us”. But honestly, what could he possibly say that would justify what they’ve done? NOTHING.

We cannot let this injustice go. We must get CLOSURE FOR CLOUD. We must demand Kim Almstedt be removed from her position. She certainly has no business working in Animal Welfare. Not when there are volunteer organizations like H-E-A-R-T who are fighting so hard to save these beings when Kim is using her paid position to kill them.

So H-E-A-R-T network, we call on YOU. Help us be the voice for Cloud – a voice that we will never get to hear. A Husky who we will never get to hug. We must stop Kim Almstedt from killing another innocent being. Please sign the petition to have her terminated as the Executive Director of Dorchester Paws.

You can also call the Dorchester Paws Shelter at 843-871-3820, ask to speak with or leave a message for a Board Member and demand Kim Almstedt be removed from her position for the death of Cloud.

BRING CLOSURE FOR CLOUD!

https://www.change.org/p/dorchester-paws-board-of-directors-closure-for-cloud?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=11932780&grid_position=5&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAA3MOQEAAAAAXmGLmPbBDl0wZTQ5NGY3ZQ%3D%3D

Defense Department Linguist Charged with Espionage

justice.gov
Defense Department Linguist Charged with Espionage
6-8 minutes

Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was charged today in the District of Columbia with transmitting highly sensitive classified national defense information to a foreign national with apparent connections to Hizballah, a foreign terrorist organization that has been so designated by the Secretary of State. According to the affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, the information Thompson gathered and transmitted included classified national defense information regarding active human assets, including their true names. By compromising the identities of these human assets, Thompson placed the lives of the human assets and U.S. military personnel in grave danger.

The announcement was made by John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Timothy J. Shea, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia; Robert Wells, Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division; and Timothy R. Slater, the Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office.

“While in a war zone, the defendant allegedly gave sensitive national defense information, including the names of individuals helping the United States, to a Lebanese national located overseas,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “If true, this conduct is a disgrace, especially for someone serving as a contractor with the United States military. This betrayal of country and colleagues will be punished.”

“The conduct alleged in this complaint is a grave threat to national security, placed lives at risk, and represents a betrayal of our armed forces. The charges we’ve filed today should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider disclosing classified national defense information to a terrorist organization,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Shea for the District of Columbia.

“This case shows the value of cooperation across the U.S. Government. Working closely with the Department of Defense, the FBI was able to investigate this willful disregard for keeping national defense information safe and partnered to bring the defendant to the United States to face justice,” said Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division Robert Wells.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the U.S. government’s commitment to protecting the U.S. from the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that can put our country at serious risk of damage – damage to people and damage to our country’s capabilities,” said Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Human assets are the core of the U.S. government’s intelligence, and they have our assurance that we will go above and beyond to protect them. I want to thank the men and women at the FBI and our partners here and abroad who answered the call to assist on this fast-moving investigation. The FBI is charged with protecting our nation’s security and information for a safe and secure tomorrow for all Americans – we take this duty seriously and will not stand by while supposedly trusted individuals violate that trust in such an egregious way.”

Thompson was arrested by FBI Special Agents on February 27, 2020, at an overseas U.S. military facility, where she worked as a contract linguist and held a Top Secret government security clearance.

The investigation leading to this arrest revealed that starting on or about December 30, 2019, a day after U.S. airstrikes against Iranian-backed forces in Iraq, and the same day protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Iraq to protest those strikes, audit logs show a notable shift in Thompson’s network activity on United States Department of Defense classified systems, including repeated access to classified information she had no need to access. Specifically, during a six-week period between December 30, 2019, and February 10, 2020, Thompson accessed dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information, and photographs of the human assets, as well as operational cables detailing information the assets provided to the United States government.

A court-authorized search of Thompson’s living quarters on February 19, 2020, led to the discovery of a handwritten note in Arabic concealed under Thompson’s mattress. The note contained classified information from Department of Defense computer systems, identifying human assets by name, and warning a Department of Defense target who is affiliated with a designated foreign terrorist organization with ties to Hizballah. The note also instructed that the human assets’ phones should be monitored.

Thompson transmitted the classified information in the handwritten note to a co-conspirator, in whom she had a romantic interest. The FBI’s investigation revealed that Thompson knew the co-conspirator was a foreign national whose relative worked for the Lebanese government. The investigation also revealed that the co-conspirator has apparent connections to Hizballah. Further investigation revealed that, in a separate communication, Thompson also provided information to her co-conspirator identifying another human asset and the information the asset had provided to the United States, as well as providing information regarding the techniques the human assets were using to gather information on behalf of the United States.

In today’s Criminal Complaint, Thompson was charged with Delivering Defense Information to Aid a Foreign Government in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 794(a) and conspiring to do so in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 794(c).

Thompson is scheduled to make her initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather later this afternoon. A Criminal Complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. If convicted, Thompson faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for violating § 794. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Trial Attorneys Jennifer Kennedy Gellie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, Jennifer Levy of the Counterterrorism Section, and Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia John Cummings are prosecuting the case.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/defense-department-linguist-charged-espionage

The Justice System is a Joke!!!

Disabled Dog Abducted and Found Dead Deserves Justice – Animal Petitions

Zorra, a partially paralyzed husky mix and an emotional support dog was in a locked car with the air on and parked in handicap parking outside the convenience store while Zorra’s guardian went in to pick up a bag of ice, a illegal immigrant stole the car, after a massive search they found the car and Zorra dead. Demand that justice be served for this helpless animal victim.

Source: Disabled Dog Abducted and Found Dead Deserves Justice – Animal Petitions

Judicial Watch Petition

Sign Petition: These Dogs Are American Heroes, So Why Is Our Government Letting Them Die Painful Deaths

thepetitionsite.com

After a whistleblower told the U.S. government that the Explosive Detection Canines (EDCs) were being neglected, the inspector general’s (IG) office for the State Department began to investigate. What they discovered was horrifying.

At least ten bomb-sniffing dogs given to Jordan over the past 8 years have perished. Some of the dogs were young and healthy pups when they left but died shortly after they arrived in the Middle Eastern nation.

Zoe, for example, a 2-year-old female Belgian Malinois, died of heatstroke just 9 months after she arrived. Another dog, Mencey, a 3-year-old of the same bread, got so sick in Jordan from a tick-borne disease that she had to be returned to the United States for treatment. He died shortly afterward. Other dogs were found to be parasite ridden, emaciated, and lacking in proper medical attention. In light of their investigation, IG’s office determined that no more dogs should be sent to Amman. Yet, despite the initial complaint and the devastating findings of the IG’s report, dogs are still being sent.

These dogs are American heroes. They keep us and our allies safe by doing the jobs that are too dangerous for humans. The least we could do is make sure that they are well taken care of and have happy, healthy lives.

If Jordan or any other country that receives American EDCs cannot treat them humanely then they shouldn’t be allowed to have them. It’s just that simple.

Please sign the petition and demand that the U.S. State Department stop giving dogs to countries that can’t take care of them.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/695/197/429/

Judicial Watch Petition

Sometimes Animal Abusers get exactly what they deserve and it’s called Karma

MALAWI POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED NOTORIOUS CHINESE IVORY KINGPIN – DNPW Malawi

wildlife.gov.mw

The Malawi Police Service, in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, have arrested one of Malawi’s most wanted suspected wildlife trafficker, Yunhua Lin.

Lin, 46, a Chinese national, was arrested on Friday, 16 August 2019, in Lilongwe after a three months manhunt. He has been placed on remand in Maula prison, Lilongwe until 11 September when the next hearing will take place.

He is allegedly involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales among other trophies and has been on the run following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals and four Malawians in May this year including his wife Qin Hua Zhang.

Police received a tip that Lin was in hiding and managed to arrest him in Lilongwe during a joint operation with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.

He is connected to the recovery of, a number of wildlife trophies including 3 live pangolins, 556 pangolin scales, 103 pieces of rhino horns, 2 hippo teeth, ivory made chopsticks and processed ivory.

Currently Lin is facing charges of ; illegal possession of listed species contrary to section 86 of National Parks and Wildlife Act as read with section 110 and Dealing in Government trophies contrary to section 91 of National Parks and Wildlife Act. Investigations are on going.

His arrest comes barely three months after nine other Chinese nationals were arrested in connection to the syndicate.

The nine–Yanwu Zhuo (37), Guohua Zhang(47), Jinfu Zeng(58), Guozong Zhang, Lio Hao Yuan(42), Qiang Chen(43), Shine He, Ya Shen Zhuo(51) and Qin Hua Zhang (43)- are currently being remanded to Maula Prison.

Four Malawians suspected accomplices James Mkwezalamba, Cosmas Sakugwa, Julius Sanudia and Steven Daza were also arrested in May this year and are remanded at Maula Prison.

Lin Hao Yuan was previously convicted of attempting to export processed Ivory at KIA in 2014. His wife Qin Hua Zhang and others are on court bail, case under senior resident magistrate , His Worship Msokera, following their arrest in Wildlife related offences in December 2017.

http://wildlife.gov.mw/2019/08/19/malawi-police-arrest-suspected-notorious-chinese-ivory-kingpin/

Take that you SCUMBAG!!!!

Petition: Urge Police to Catch Drunk Guy Who Climbed Onto a Giraffe at a Zoo!

onegreenplanet.org

By Sharon Vega
Some giraffe subspecies are endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict and more. These wild animals suffer enough. They don’t belong in zoos. Yet many are forced to live there in confinement. One giraffe recently went through a terrible ordeal when a drunk guy in the zoo climbed on top of a fence and got on top of him. It was all caught on video. How and why was this allowed to happen? These wild animals are not even supposed to be there, and to top it all off, they aren’t being protected or guarded?

People who are reluctant to recognize the truth about zoos are probably unaware that animals in zoos suffer more than just being in captivity. They are subject to the behaviors of the human spectators around them. For instance, some zoos host parties and play loud music right next to the animal enclosures. This is completely unfamiliar to them and is terrifying and can even be damaging to their hearing or health. What’s worse is that when alcohol is served at zoos, there are cases of belligerent people not just putting themselves in danger but terrifying the animals by climbing into their enclosures or throwing things at the animals.

In the case of this giraffe, the man appears to have arrived drunk at the zoo. He was filmed by someone as he climbed a fence and then got on top of a giraffe and proceeded to actually ride the poor animal. This happened at the Shymkent Zoo in the city Shymkent in Kazakhstan, Central Asia. The zoo has over 1500 animals, including a herd of giraffes. If animals are going to be kept in captivity this way (which they shouldn’t), there should at least be security measures that keep the animals safe.

How was the drunk guy not stopped while attempting to climb the fence. He should never have been able to get on top of the giraffe. It’s a prime example of why animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity this way. Giraffes, like all wild animals, belong in the wild.

Apparently police are searching for the drunk guy in the video. Sign this petition to put pressure on the police to catch him. People have to know this is unacceptable behavior.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/petition-drunk-guy-climbed-giraffe-zoo/

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Dallas Police Department needs information if anyone knows the identity of this female

 

Petition: Ban Brooke Houts from YouTube

sub-buzz-611-1565210005-1737076271.png

change.org

Nina France started this petition to YouTube and 1 other

Brooke Houts, a YouTuber with 320,000+ subscribers, has recently come under fire after accidentally uploading raw footage of a video she was making with her Doberman, Sphinx.

The video, posted to YouTube.com on August 6, shows her hitting the dog, smacking the dog, pinning him to the ground and shouting “NO!,” and spitting on the dog.

The video was quickly taken down and replaced with the edited version, but many had already seen it by the time she took it down, and the footage can still be found online.

Houts has since uploaded her attempt at an apology, in which she claims “On the day in particular that the video was filmed, and actually this past week, things in my outside life have been less than exceptional.”

Does having a bad day excuse hitting your dog? How about pinning your dog to the ground and spitting on him? Does anything excuse this?

This wasn’t a mistake. No one hits and spits on a living creature by mistake. If this is what Houts is comfortable doing on camera, what could she be doing to her dog off camera?

Multiple videos on Houts’s YouTube channel focus on Sphinx, and she even has created an Instagram account for the dog. This would be fine if she properly cared for him, but when you witness her mistreatment of her dog, it seems that Sphinx was only ever an accessory for Houts to show off and a tool to use to gain YouTube fame.

Of course, the best outcome for this would be that Sphinx would be rehomed and Houts would be charged with animal abuse. Unfortunately, this is a lot to ask for, so instead I ask for the bare minimum to be done: ban Brooke Houts from YouTube. Delete her channel, her videos, any reupload of her abuse, and never allow her to have a channel or any sort of influence ever again.

YouTube – To allow Brooke Houts to continue on your platform after blatantly violating YouTube guidelines and proving herself to be a violent, dangerous individual towards animals is the same as condoning her behavior. A person like her should never be allowed to have influence or an audience, and keeping up her channel and videos reflects very poorly back onto YouTube itself.

By allowing Houts’s videos and channel to remain online, YouTube is essentially normalizing the mistreatment of animals, particularly for the young and impressionable viewers that are a majority on YouTube’s website. To see Houts escape from this drama with her channel intact with no punishment from the platform in which she used to broadcast her abuse also creates a risk for copycat behavior by those desperate for YouTube fame and attention.

 

https://www.change.org/p/youtube-ban-brooke-houts-from-youtube?recruiter=false&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_term=psf_combo_share_initial&recruited_by_id=8de072d0-b9ef-11e9-af52-c9f287210ee8&share_bandit_exp=initial-17131652-en-US&share_bandit_var=v1

Police Are Investigating A YouTuber After She Was Filmed Hitting Her Dog In A Prank Video

buzzfeednews.com

A YouTuber who recorded a prank video about her dog is now the subject of an investigation into possible animal abuse, Los Angeles police told BuzzFeed News, after unedited footage showed her hitting the animal.

Earlier this week, some among Brooke Houts’s nearly 340,000 subscribers realized she may have uploaded an incomplete version of her “plastic wrap prank on my doberman” video.

According to some viewers, a first upload of the video on YouTube purported to show disturbing and unedited footage in which Houts appears to hit, shove, and spit on her dog.

The current version of the video, which had its comments disabled and was downvoted over 27,000 times, does not include any of these clips. (BuzzFeed News could not independently confirm whether the unedited footage was in an earlier upload or made its way online through some other means.)

Still, the footage began spreading quickly across social media after popular YouTube drama commentator Keemstar got ahold of it and posted it on Wednesday. (Warning: Scenes from this video are disturbing.)

Within hours, the viral spread of the footage caught the attention of officials at the LAPD’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.

“LAPD is aware of this incident. Animal Cruelty is looking into this, and there is an open investigation,” a representative for the police department told BuzzFeed News.

The representative could not share any other information about the case or say whether Houts has been made aware of the investigation or is cooperating.

Houts did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. On Tuesday, she decided to write a lengthy statement via the Notes app addressing fans’ concern for her dog and allegations of animal abuse against her.

“I want to clarify that I am NOT a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape or form,” she stated. “Anyone who has witnessed or heard true animal abuse will be able to clearly see that.”

In discussing what she called “uncut footage,” Houts said that she was upset during filming and had been “playing up [her] mood in the video.”

However, she denied spitting on her dog.

“In my heart and from the words of the people that spend the most time with me, I know that I am a great dog mom,” she wrote, describing all the ways she “spoil[s]” her doberman, like giving him treats and ordering him toys.

“This does not make my actions in the footage okay, but I’m just explaining what my day-to-day life is really like, whether you believe me or not,” she added.

Online, people were distressed and angered by what they saw — especially because her dog is often the subject of her lively vlogs.

Some are now demanding Houts be banned from the platform.

Representatives for YouTube didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/tanyachen/police-investigating-youtuber-brooke-houts-uncut-animal?bftwnews=&utm_term=4ldqpgc&__twitter_impression=true

Watch “Leaked video of youtuber Brooke Houts hitting her dog” on YouTube

 

 

Please share this video…This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s terms of service.sub-buzz-611-1565210005-1737076271.png

UPDATE: police are now investigating her for animal abuse

Police Are Investigating A YouTuber After She Was Filmed Hitting Her Dog In A Prank Video

Wilma needs your help: He Abused His Puppy and Showed It Off Online. Korea Must Strengthen its Animal Protection Laws, Now!

by: Care2 Team
recipient: The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea

First he caught his pet dog, a sweet-looking husky, in a headlock from which it could not escape. Then he punched the animal in the face repeatedly, leaving it scared and battered. And then, he picked up the dog and bit it right on its head.

The poor little dog only ever wanted to do right by its owner. But that didn’t stop his human — a popular YouTuber from Korea, known as Sseungnyangie — from vilely abusing the animal for public entertainment and streaming it to viewers all over the world.

Even worse, this isn’t the first time he’s viciously attacked his pet dog. Outraged netizens have reported him to the police for animal abuse numerous times over the past two years. But still, he’s been able to get away with cruelty.

In fact, during one recent livestream, he even successfully shooed police away. A concerned viewer had called the authorities, who came over to his apartment while he was recording a video. Police told him he wasn’t allowed to hurt his dog. He argues with the police until they leave.

Sseungnyangie then told his audience: “I can do whatever I want. I warned you. They can’t do anything to me if I hit my dog.”

Luckily, Sseungnyangie was ultimately wrong. Later, authorities did arrive and rescued the dog from him home, and an organization called Catchdog posted a photo showing the animal safe and well in its headquarters.

But there are two problems here — first, Sseungnyangie was allowed to keep this dog for far too long. Second, even though this dog was saved, that doesn’t mean other animals are safe from the YouTuber. That’s because the only Korean animal welfare law ever passed, back in 1991, offers minimal protection for pets suffering from abuse. For example, the law doesn’t allow officials to ban abusive people from owning more animals in the future; and neither does it more harshly penalize repeat-offenders.

This needs to change. Lawmakers in Korea must make their animal protection laws tougher! Sseungnyangie and people like him must never again be allowed to abuse animals for their own entertainment.

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/885/992/260/he-abused-his-puppy-and-showed-it-off-online.-korea-must-strengthen-its-animal-protection-laws-now/?taf_id=63508566&cid=fb_na

Judge blocks Rosemont copper mine, overturning Forest Service decision

amp.azcentral.com
Ian James | Arizona Republic | 1 hour ago

A federal judge blocked construction of a giant copper mine in Arizona’s Coronado National Forest, overturning a decision by the federal government and handing a major victory to environmental groups and tribes that have been fighting plans for the mine.

Federal District Judge James Soto said in his decision Wednesday that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its duty to protect the Coronado National Forest” when it failed to consider whether the mining company held valid unpatented mining claims.

Conservation groups sued the government seeking to stop construction of the $1.9 billion Rosemont copper mine by Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. The company secured federal approvals for the open-pit mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, but opponents argued it would tear up the landscape, destroy streams and ravage habitat for rare animals, including endangered jaguars that roam the wilds of southern Arizona.

“This is a crucial victory for jaguars and other wildlife that call the Santa Ritas home,” said Randy Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups that filed cases seeking to stop the mine. “The judge’s ruling protects important springs and streams from being destroyed. We’ll move forward with everything we’ve got to keep protecting this southern Arizona jewel from this toxic mine.”

Other groups that sued to challenge the federal government’s approval of the project included the group Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and three Native American tribes: the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Hopi Tribe. The tribes object to plans to excavate remnants of ancestral villages and burial sites, and say the mine would dewater springs and seep they consider sacred.

Soto said in the ruling that he was overturning the Forest Service’s decision and environmental impact statement “such that the Rosemont Mine cannot begin operations at this time.”

The judge said the Forest Service had “no factual basis to determine that Rosemont had valid unpatented mining claims” on 2,447 acres, and that the claims are invalid under the Mining Law of 1872.

“The unauthorized dumping of over 1.2 billion tons of waste rock, as well as about 700 million tons of tailings, and the establishment of an ore processing facility no doubt constitutes a depredation upon Forest Service land,” Soto wrote in the decision. He said the agency implemented the wrong regulations, misinformed the public, and “failed to adequately consider reasonable alternatives.”

The mining company said it will appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Hudbay believes that the Court has misinterpreted federal mining laws and Forest Service regulations as they apply to Rosemont,” the company said in a statement. It said the Forest Service issued its decision in 2017 after a “thorough process of ten years involving 17 co-operating agencies at various levels of government.”

Peter Kukielski, Hudbay’s interim president and CEO, said the appeal will proceed as the company evaluates its next steps on the project.

“We are extremely disappointed with the Court’s decision,” Kukielski said. “We strongly believe that the project conforms to federal laws and regulations that have been in place for decades.”

Representatives of the Forest Service were unavailable to comment on the decision.

The judge said “defects pervaded” the Forest Service’s review and decision, and “led to an inherently flawed analysis from the inception of the proposed Rosemont Mine.”

Stu Gillespie, an attorney with the group Earthjustice who is representing the tribes, said the ruling “affirms the fundamental principle that nobody gets a free pass to destroy our public lands.”

“As the Court explained, the Forest Service provided no basis for assuming Hudbay had a right to destroy thousands of years of the Tribes’ cultural heritage,” Gillespie said in an email. “Because this crucial error tainted the entire process, the Court threw out the Forest Service’s decision and enjoined Rosemont from destroying these sacred public lands.”

The tribes’ leaders praised the judge’s decision. Ned Norris Jr., chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, called it a victory for “all of Southern Arizona.”

“The devastation that the Rosemont mine would bring to our land, water, and cultural resources is well-documented and cannot be allowed to happen,” Norris said in a statement. “The Nation will continue to fight to ensure that our sacred lands and the region’s water are protected.”

Hudbay has disputed the concerns raised by opponents, stressing that the project has gone through a thorough vetting process involving multiple government agencies and lasting more than 12 years, with a long list of studies that have examined the potential effects on the environment. Hudbay has argued that various agencies concluded the company will be able to operate the mine in compliance with environmental laws.

The company says Rosemont would be the third-largest copper mine in the United States.

Serraglio called the judge’s decision a “momentous precedent.”

“The judge essentially ruled that the mining company does not have an automatic right to dump their toxic waste on our public lands, and that the Forest Service’s interpretation of the law to that effect undermined the entire EIS (environmental impact statement) process,” Serraglio said in an email.

https://amp.azcentral.com/amp/1885757001?__twitter_impression=true

While the company appeals the decision, the judge made clear that no work on the mine may proceed in the meantime.

Reach reporter Ian James at ian.james@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-8246. Follow him on Twitter: @ByIanJames

Environmental coverage on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is supported by a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Follow The Republic environmental reporting team at environment.azcentral.com and at OurGrandAZ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

URGENT PETITION: Bring the killers of Joël Imbangola Lunea to justice!

rainforest-rescue.org

Campaigners against the palm oil industry are literally putting their lives on the line: Activist Joël Imbangola Lunea was beaten to death by a security guard of a palm oil company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Call on the DRC government to bring his killers to justice NOW – enough is enough!

Call to action

To: the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

We demand an investigation of the murder of Joël Imbangola Lunea and an end to the harassment of the environmental and human rights organization RIAO-RDC.

Read letter

A member of the Congolese environmental and human rights organization RIAO-RDC, Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea, was brutally beaten and killed by a security guard of the palm oil company Feronia-PHC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on July 15, 2019.

The killing follows months of intimidation directed at members of RIAO-RDC. The organization as been supporting the struggle of communities against the illegal occupation of their land by Feronia. RIAO-RDC has witnessed and increasing escalation of conflicts between security personnel in the plantations and community members.

Together with RIAO-RDC, we are calling on the President of the DRC, Mr. Félix Tshisekedi, to initiate a full investigation of the assassination of Joël Imbangola Lunea immediately, and to ensure that those responsible for his killing be held to account.

We further urge President of the DRC and the governours of the three provinces where Feronia’s plantations are located to guarantee the security of members of RIAO-RDC and the communities affected by the FERONIA plantations.

This petition will be delivered to President Tshisekedi and the governor of Équateur Province – the scene of the crime – on July 29.

Please sign and share our petition – it’s time to stop the harassment, killing and land grabs NOW!
Back­ground

Further information (in French):
Communiqué de RIAO-RDC | Kinshasa, 22 juillet 2019 – Un défenseur des terres violemment tué en RDC

Un membre de l’organisation congolaise de défense de l’environnement et des droits de l’homme RIAO-RDC a été brutalement tué par un agent de sécurité de la société canadienne Feronia Inc. ce dimanche 21 juillet 2019, près des plantations Boteka de la société à Bempumba, dans la Province Equateur, République Démocratique du Congo (RDC).

L’assassinat fait suite à des mois d’intimidation dirigée par la compagnie contre des membres du RIAO-RDC qui aident les communautés locales à déposer une plainte contre la société pour l’occupation de leurs terres.

JOEL Imbangola Lunea était chauffeur d’une pirogue à moteur utilisée pour le transport des personnes et des marchandises entre les villages autour des plantations de Boteka de Feronia et la ville de Mbandaka. Il a également été un défenseur de sa communauté en tant que membre du RIAO-RDC, et a joué un rôle particulièrement important dans la communication entre les communautés locales et le RIAO-RDC.

Vers 15h, le dimanche 21 juillet 2019, M. Joël se préparait à transporter plusieurs passagers et leurs bagages sur sa pirogue, lorsqu’il a été approché par M. Boketsu Ebuka (alias “Ebola”), un agent de sécurité (garde industriel – GI) travaillant dans les plantations PHC Boteka de Feronia. M. Ebuka a accusé M. Joël d’avoir transporté des conteneurs d’huile de palme volés des plantations de Feronia. Les passagers et d’autres témoins sur les lieux disent que lorsque M. Joël a nié l’accusation, M. Ebuka l’a battu et l’a finalement étranglé à mort. M. Ebuka a ensuite jeté le corps de M. Joël dans la rivière Moboyo. Il semblerait que M. Ebuka se cache depuis l’incident.

L’assassinat a lieu dans un contexte de tensions croissantes entre Feronia et les communautés locales sur les trois différents sites de plantation de l’entreprise en RDC. Le RIAO-RDC s’efforce d’apporter une solution pacifique au conflit. L’association a notamment mené un premier processus de médiation en 2017 qui a été saboté par Feronia lorsque l’entreprise s’est retirée du processus après seulement quelques semaines. En novembre 2018, RIAO-RDC a commencé à soutenir neuf communautés affectées dans un autre processus de médiation, cette fois par le biais du Mécanisme international de plaintes (ICM) des banques de développement allemande, néerlandaise et française qui financent Feronia [en plus des investissements faits par ces 3 banques de développement, d’autres banques de développement européennes financent Feronia et notamment BIO/Belgique, CDC/Grande Bretagne et AECID/Espagne].

Depuis le lancement de ce deuxième processus de médiation, RIAO-RDC a dû faire face à des efforts accrus de la part de l’entreprise pour miner son travail avec les communautés. Les dirigeants de l’entreprise ont publiquement blâmé RIAO-RDC pour le non-paiement des salaires et ont cherché à discréditer RIAO-RDC en accusant l’organisation d’être un agent des intérêts étrangers. Les membres locaux du RIAO-RDC signalent également qu’ils font face à une intimidation accrue de la part des gardes industrielles de Feronia.

Joël a accompagné le Directeur du RIAO-RDC, M. Jean-François Mombia Atuku, lors de la récente visite du panel de l’ICM dans les plantations de Boteka en mai/juin 2019. Il a signalé à M. Mombia Atuku qu’il était de plus en plus harcelé par les gardes industrielles de Feronia et qu’il était préoccupé pour sa sécurité.

Les communautés vivant à l’intérieur et à côté des plantations de Feronia sont régulièrement harcelées par les gardes industrielles de l’entreprise qui les accusent de voler les fruits du palmier à huile de la plantation, même si ces communautés récoltent des fruits du palmier dans leurs forêts communautaires et produisent de l’huile de palme depuis des générations et bien avant l’arrivée du Feronia.

RIAO-RDC a déjà informé Feronia et ses bailleurs de fonds internationaux de ce harcèlement régulier des membres de la communauté dans les plantations de Feronia et leur a demandé instamment de prendre des mesures pour y remédier. RIAO-RDC a également tenté en vain d’obtenir une enquête par les autorités locales sur un précédent incident au cours duquel un couple pygmée a été tué, après avoir été accusé par les gardes industrielles de Feronia d’avoir volé des fruits de palmiers dans les plantations de Boteka.

Le RIAO-RDC appelle maintenant les autorités compétentes de la RDC et en particulier le Gouverneur de la Province de l’Equateur à ouvrir immédiatement une enquête sur le meurtre de M. Joël. Le RIAO-RDC demande également aux organismes internationaux de défense des droits de l’homme d’enquêter sur cet incident.

RIAO-RDC tient Feronia Inc. responsable du meurtre de M. Joël. Il a été tué par un employé de Feronia, qui effectuait des tâches de routine pour l’entreprise. Au fil des ans, Feronia n’a pas pris de mesures suffisantes pour empêcher ses gardes industrielles de harceler la population locale en raison d’allégations non fondées de vol de fruits ou d’huile de palme. Feronia est également responsable du harcèlement et de l’intimidation croissants des membres du RIAO-RDC par les employés de l’entreprise, et ses cadres supérieurs sont responsables de l’incitation à des actions violentes contre le RIAO-RDC en diffusant des informations erronées sur l’organisation.

Joël laisse derrière lui sa femme et ses cinq enfants. Il était le seul soutien économique de la famille.

• Pétition et appel du World Rainforest Movement Nous avons besoin de votre soutien urgent ! Un défenseur de terres brutalement tué par un garde de sécurité de la société canadienne d’huile de palme Feronia en RDC
• Communiqué de RIAO-RDC sur Farmlandgrab Un défenseur des terres violemment tué par un garde de sécurité d’une compagnie canadienne d’huile de palme en RD Congo
• Communiqué de RIAO-RDC sur Grain Tensions violentes dans les plantations de palmiers à huile de Feronia en RD Congo
• Communiqué de RIAO-RDC sur CCFD Terre Solidaire RDC : 9 villages portent plainte contre une banque de développement allemande
• Article de Jeune Afrique RDC : le lobbying européen de Jean-François Mombia Atuku, le défenseur des droits des Pygmées
Letter

To: the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

His Excellency, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

CC:
His Excellency, the Governor of Equateur Province
His Excellency, the Governor of Tshopo Province
His Excellency, the Governor of Mongala Province
His Excellency, the Minister of the Interior
His Excellency, the Minister of Justice

Further copies to:
CDC Group Inc – UK
AECID – Spain
PROPARCO – France
OPIC – USA
DEGinvest – Germany
FMO – The Netherlands
BIOinvest – Belgium

Your Excellency,

We understand that around 3pm, on Sunday, July 21, 2019, Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea was preparing to transport several passengers and their luggage on his small boat when he was approached by a security guard working at the Boteka plantations of the palm oil company Feronia-PHC. The security guard, whose identity is known, accused Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea of transporting containers of stolen palm oil from the Feronia-PHC plantations. The passengers and other witnesses to the scene say that when Mr. Joel denied the charge, the security guard proceeded to beat him, eventually strangled him to death and threw his body into the Moboyo River. We understand that the security guard is now in hiding.

Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea was member of the Congolese environmental and human rights organisation RIAO-RDC. The killing follows months of intimidation directed at members of RIAO-RDC and community members affected by the Feronia-PHC plantations who have been working with RIAO. RIAO-RDC is supporting communities who in November 2018 submitted a grievance with the Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM) of the German, Dutch and French development banks against the company’s occupation of their land. These development banks as well as the development banks of Spain, Belgium, the UK and the USA have provided financing to Feronia-PHC.

While the central issue of the grievance is the illegal occupation of community land by Feronia-PHC, the complainants note frequent escalation of conflicts between security personnel working in the plantations and community members. Complainants state that arbitrary accusations of theft of palm nuts and transport of palm oil are a frequent cause for conflict and harassment by security personnel.

The killing of the RIAO-RDC activist was committed in the context of such an arbitrary accusation of transporting stolen palm oil. Joël Imbangola Lunea was the driver of a motorised boat used to transport people and goods between the villages around Feronia-PHC’s Boteka plantations and the city of Mbandaka. He was also an activist working for his community and a member of RIAO-RDC.

Your Excellency, we urge you to ensure that the perpetrator of this brutal killing of Joël Imbangola Lunea be held to account. We ask that you:

– Immediately set up an urgent investigation into the assassination of Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea;
– Ensure those responsible for the assassination of Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea will be held to account;
– Impress on the governours of the three provinces where Feronia-PHC operates its disputed oil palm plantations and on the company that members of RIAO-RDC must be able to carry out their work safely. Their safety must be guaranteed and harassment and intimidation against members of RIAO-RDC and community members supported by RIAO must stop immediately. It is this atmosphere of intimidation and harassment that creates the breeding ground for the violent brutality through which Joël Imbangola Lunea was robbed of his life.

Yours faithfully,

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/1190/urgent-bring-the-killers-of-joel-imbangola-lunea-to-justice?mtu=424912187&t=5553

This petition is also available in the following languages: German – Spanish – French

PETITION: JUSTICE FOR DOLPHIN IMPALED AND LEFT FOR DEAD

ladyfreethinker.org
Image Credit – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

PETITION TARGET: Director of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement Jim Landon

Florida wildlife officials discovered a fatally wounded bottlenose dolphin along the coast of Upper Captiva Island in Lee County, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“There was a wound penetrating from above and in front of the right eye, extending almost 6 inches toward the top and back of the head. The wound ended inside the head at the top of the skull and had evidence of hemorrhaging, indicating wounds consistent with being impaled prior to death,” the NOAA stated.

The necropsy revealed the dolphin was likely “begging” for food when gruesomely stabbed by a “spear-like object.”

“People can help prevent future harm to wild dolphins by not feeding or attempting to feed them. Not only is it illegal, dolphins fed by people learn to associate people, boats, and fishing gear with food, which puts dolphins and people in harmful situations,” the NOAA informed.

“Harassing, harming and killing wild dolphins is also illegal,” the Miami Herald warned.

Sign this petition to urge NOAA Director Jim Landon to use all available resources to investigate this horrific crime against protected wildlife, so the perpetrator can be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline as soon as possible at 1-800-853-1964. There is a $38,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
THANK YOU FOR SIGNING!
https://ladyfreethinker.org/sign-justice-for-dolphin-brutally-impaled-and-left-for-dead/

PETITION UPDATE: Man Who Beat Sparky the Puppy with A Hammer Sentenced to Jail

ladyfreethinker.org

A man in Lurgan, Ireland has been jailed for the murder of an 11-week-old puppy.

On July 10, Craigavon Crown Court sentenced 24-year-old Kyle Keegan to two and a half years for the crime. Keegan, who admitted earlier this year to animal cruelty, will spend half of his sentence behind bars.

After being released, he will spend the remainder of his sentence “on licence,” or required to adhere to certain restrictive conditions (similarly to what’s known as “probation” in the United States).

The judge also imposed a 30-year ban on Keegan having any animals in his care.

Keegan was arrested for causing unnecessary suffering to animals in February 2018, after a mixed-breed puppy named Sparky was brutally beaten with a hammer and placed inside a microwave during a house party. He was identified as one of two males seen committing the gruesome act in a viral video that circulated on Snapchat and other social media platforms.

After Keegan and his 16-year-old counterpart murdered Sparky, his body was disposed of in a garbage receptacle at Ailysbury Park in Lurgan. An autopsy determined that Sparky had multiple fractures and severe brain trauma as a result of his head being smashed.

A Lady Freethinker petition urging the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to arrest Sparky’s killers and ban them from having animals garnered nearly 25,000 signatures. Thank you to everyone who signed, helping in the fight to deliver justice to Sparky.

“It is difficult to imagine how violence could be any more gratuitous than when meted out to an 11-week-old small breed pup by the use of a claw hammer to stove its skull in,” Judge Neil Rafferty stated during Keegan’s sentencing.

“There is little can be said that would express the horror of this small dog’s death at your hands.”

https://ladyfreethinker.org/petition-update-man-who-beat-sparky-the-puppy-with-a-hammer-sentenced-to-jail/