El Periódico: Silence, at any cost (Idoya Noain, Correspondant in NYC)

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    Source: http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/sociedad/los-testigos-jehova-prefieren-pagar-multas-que-entregar-los-documentos-abusos-que-piden-los-jueces-5660360#

    TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2016 - 21:28 CET


    Google Translation:

    Silence, at any cost

    Jehovah's Witnesses prefer to pay fines to hand over documents of abuses requested by US judges

    Unlike Australia or the United Kingdom, the Government has not undertaken any

    Silence, at any cost


    A baptism ceremony of the Jehovah's Witnesses.


    TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2016 - 21:28 CET

    In the United States, the country where he was born and is headquartered organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, and where there are more than 14,000 congregations and about 1.2 million faithful, the courts are open in at least 20 cases complaints Sexual abuse of minors. In all instances these are demands in the civil justice system, not the criminal. And they all have something else in common: the organization has refused to provide internal documents in which the guidelines on how to deal with this problem are collected.Even if the refusal involves paying harsh penalties imposed by judges.

    In June a judge of San Diego forced the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to pay $ 4,000 for each day that the organization did not provide the documentation required in the application filed by Osbaldo Padron, a man who says he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of A local leader of the Witnesses in California at age 7.Among the documents requested it contained one of the letters sent in 1997 to reponsables of congregations around the world - published by this newspaper - ordering create an internal file with all cases of child abuse. Although a copy was provided during the process, it was so edited that it was useless. "Watchtower clearly has control over the documents," he wrote in imposing the daily fine the judge, who spoke of "obstinacy" in breaching the legal requirements.

    "They are demonstrating a willingness to risk a lot of money to keep the secret documents", he notes in a telephone conversation Trey Bundy, a reporter for the Center for Investigative Journalismthat takes more than two years publishing information on cases of child abuse within The Jehovah's Witnesses. "The big issue is the secret file with names" related to cases of pedophilia, says the journalist. "Several times they have refused to give those documents and the question is: if the courts can not get them, how are they ever going to be made public?"


    The existence of a file with the names of the pederastas of the organization is not called into question. In fact, the April 1, 2014, during one of the trials in the US, a senior Witnesses, Richard Ashe, admitted that he had been collecting information and had electronically filed. But the problem, according to Bundy, is that there is no mechanism to force the Jehovah's Witnesses to make public this or any other document.

    Part of the explanation for this impossibility is that trials so far have taken place in civil justice. If instead they were tried before the criminal justice and a prosecutor would like to see the documents the police would come into play, which would have the tools to force them to make them public.


    At the moment, neither the Department of Justice nor the FBI is investigating it. Justice has not answered the calls or the mails of Bundy for two years. According to the journalist, the authorities have not contacted any of the "hundreds of people" who handle cases of abuse or other lawyers or journalists who follow the issue. In Australia or the United Kingdom has been the Government who has taken a role active in research, but in the US, the country with the world Jehovah 's Witnesses, "the government is not doing anything" as Bundy. "All the directives leave here, so it must be investigated here," he reasoned.

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