Six former employees at the anti-Trump Republican group the Lincoln Project went after its leaders Thursday night, demanding to be released from their nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) so they can talk openly about John Weaver, a now-departed co-founder who has been accused of sexually harassing young men.
The organization, amid receiving massive criticism for the allegations against Weaver, announced Thursday night that it would be hiring an outside investigator to review his tenure at the Lincoln Project.
Leaders of the Lincoln Project say that they were unaware of Weaver’s conduct until recent reports detailed these allegations.
In an open letter published by The New York Times, the six unnamed former employees and associates asked that their NDAs be waved, saying that they wanted to be allowed to disclose information “that would aid the press, public and our donors in answering questions relevant to the public interest.”
“Tonight, in light of recent events, news reports and statements from the Lincoln Project, we call on the remaining leadership of the Lincoln Project to release us all and all others from all Non-Disclosure Agreements (or other contracts), without precondition, regarding (a) harassment perpetuated by John Weaver that we have experienced or witnessed (b) knowledge of harassment of others by John Weaver (c) any other information specific to the John Weaver situation that would aid the press, public and our donors in questions relevant to the public interest, and to the interests of the Lincoln Project’s many loyal fans and small donors,” the letter reads.
“Recently published stories about the Lincoln Project are filled with inaccuracies, incorrect information, and reliant exclusively on anonymous sources,” the Lincoln Project said in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday night. “However, there is a central truth in all of them that must be reckoned with and that is John Weaver’s appalling conduct and the abuse he inflicted on people.”
Thus, the organization announced, that it would be retaining a “best-in-class outside professional to review Mr. Weaver’s tenure with the organization and to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for the Lincoln Project.”
At the end of its statement, the Lincoln Project emphasized that “any person who believes they are unable to talk about John Weaver publicly because they are bound by an NDA, should contact the Lincoln Project for a release.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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