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BK Magazine BK Currents
Posted by Tom Devine.
Tom Devine is legal director of the Government Accountability Project, where he has worked to assist thousands of whistleblowers to come forward and has been involved in the all of the campaigns to pass or defend major whistleblower laws over the last two decades.
Miranda Brown, a whistleblower from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), who was forced to resign in order to escape retaliation, is facing termination this week – on May 21st – by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Brown worked for Anders Kompass at the OHCHR, where she secured a position after the reprisal directed at her at WIPO became unbearable.
The whistleblower protection policy has failed to protect her in both positions. Anders Kompass is the Human Rights official who reported the sexual abuse of children in the Central African Republic by French troops and was suspended.
Brown’s disclosure at WIPO involved the Director General, Francis Gurry. He exposed three staff members to bogus and intrusive criminal investigations by the Swiss government because he suspected that they had criticized him in anonymous letters sent to the delegations of WIPO member states. As it turned out, none of the staff members he suspected had written the letters. When Brown denounced the invasive investigation, she too became a target of reprisal.
At the OHCHR, she believes she is targeted because of her earlier WIPO disclosure and her proximity to Kompass.
Miranda Brown is now requesting relief from the Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations:
1. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
2. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
3. Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association
As her days of employment count down, she is hoping for protection from these officials. GAP will be reporting the final days of this ordeal as they pass.