Wednesday January 29, 2020
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Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Security Chief Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The Head of Zuckerberg's security is also being pulled up for his racist remarks

Booth allegedly made a sexist and racist remark about Chan's ethnicity when referencing her driving ability. Pixabay

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Head of security Liam Booth has been accused of sexually harassing other household staffers and making derogatory racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic remarks about other staffers as well as Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan.

Booth allegedly made a sexist and racist remark about Chan’s ethnicity when referencing her driving ability, The Verge reported on Thursday.

Booth’s former assistant came forward and claimed that not only did Booth sexually demean a gay staffer of the Zuckerberg household, but later he also inappropriately groped and touched the man at a restaurant in Nobu last year.

The former security staffer has also alleged that before Booth fired her for “giving him an eye roll”, he repeatedly found reasons to harass her at the workplace and asked other staff members to inform her that she had to change her clothing, terming her style distracting.

Mark Zuckerberg's, Security Head Chief
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Head of security Liam Booth has been accused of sexually harassing other household staffers. Pixabay

Booth has allegedly made numerous other racist and sexist remarks spanning a variety of topics. Those include the diversity efforts of the chief executive and his wife’s philanthropy organisation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, for which Booth is also chief of security, and the Black Lives Matter movement, according to accusations.

The Head of Zuckerberg’s security is also being pulled up for his racist remarks like he “didn’t trust black people”, the report added.

A former Secret Service agent, Booth has previously worked under ex-US President Barack Obama.

According to Business Insider, along with Booth, the former staffers are also accusing Brian Mosteller, the Managing Director of Zuckerberg’s private office, for not taking action against Booth despite repeatedly raised objections about his behaviour, the report said.

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The former staffers are requesting compensation for lost wages and additional damages related to emotional distress.

The accusations have been outlined in a pair of letters sent to Zuckerberg’s private estate by law company, The Bloom Firm. (IANS)

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Eastern European And Central Asian Countries Urged To Change Laws Regarding Sexual Violence

Dekanosidze said legal changes were a vital part of wider measures needed to tackle sexual violence.

Sexual Violence
A woman protests underage marriages in Lagos, Nigeria, July 20, 2013. Underage marriage is a problem around the world. Activists are calling on former Soviet countries to overhaul laws against sexual violence and child marriage. VOA

Eastern European and Central Asian countries must overhaul Soviet-era laws on sexual violence that let rapists off the hook and encourage child marriage and bride-kidnapping, legal experts said Thursday.

Flawed legislation combined with sexist attitudes across the region mean girls and women are often blamed for provoking sexual violence and may be pressured to reconcile with their attackers or even marry them.

“Many of these laws deny justice to survivors of sexual violence rather than bringing their attackers to justice,” said Tamar Dekanosidze, a human rights lawyer in Georgia. “It’s important that countries fix these laws and end widespread impunity.”


Sexual Violence
Protest against sexual violence in India. Image source:


No requirement to investigate

In 10 of the 15 former Soviet Union countries there is no automatic requirement for the authorities to investigate and prosecute sexual violence, according to a study by Equality Now, meaning the burden of pursuing justice lies with the victim.

Police often deter victims from initiating cases, Dekanosidze said. Victims also frequently face pressure from the perpetrator, his family or even their own family to drop claims.

Nine of the countries — Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia — allow reconciliation for sexual violence crimes, according to the study published Thursday.

In some cases a perpetrator may persuade a victim to reconcile by paying her money or promising to marry her to avoid social stigma, said Dekanosidze, the report’s co-author.


Sexual Violence
A woman covers her mouth with a tape that reads “My sexuality is not your conjugal right” during a demonstration to support International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 25, 2016. VOA


Modernize rape laws

Equality Now, which will be writing to ministers across the region, also urged countries to amend laws that define rape as sex with violence or the threat of violence.

The report comes a week after Ukraine became the first country in the region to change its law to define rape as sex without consent, following in the footsteps of countries like Sweden and Iceland.

There is no reliable data on the prevalence of sexual violence in the region, but U.N. data suggests a third of women worldwide have suffered sexual or physical violence.

The report also said sexual violence usually went unpunished in bride kidnappings and child marriages, which still happen in some Eurasian countries.

Sexual Violence
FILE – Indian youth hold candles during a protest against sexual violence in New Delhi. VOA

Marriage after rape

Child marriages are illegal in all 15 countries, but may be encouraged if a girl is raped to prevent public shame.

Rape is not investigated in such situations, meaning the forced marriage effectively exonerates the rape, the study said.

Dekanosidze cited the case of a 15-year-old girl in Georgia who was raped by two men. When the teenager reported the attacks, her family forced her to marry one of her rapists.

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In bride kidnappings, rape is often used as a tool to force the girl into marriage.

Dekanosidze said legal changes were a vital part of wider measures needed to tackle sexual violence.

“Laws can change public attitudes,” she said. “Amending these laws would send a strong message that sexual violence won’t be tolerated.” (VOA)