Senior Greenpeace India officials quit over mishandling of sexual harassment allegations
news Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 05:30
Soon after allegations that Greenpeace India officials mishandled allegations of sexual harassment, two senior staffers have resigned or been asked to leave. Executive Director of Greenpeace India Samit Aich has resigned, while campaigner Divya Raghunandan has also submitted her resignation.Â In a press release, the organization said that Aich had resigned following an internal review meeting of the handling of the two sexual harassment cases reported against some staffers. The release said: "The Executive Director of Greenpeace India, Samit Aich, resigned today following an internal review of the organisationâ€™s handling of two sexual harassment cases." It also said: "Separately, Programme Director Divya Raghunandan has resigned from the organisation." A press release by the organisation added, "The Board also decided to commission a full, independent audit of how Greenpeace India dealt with the sexual harassment cases to strengthen the internal processes to ensure a safe working environment for women. When contacted, Divya told The News Minute that she had submitted her resignation letter, but declined to comment further. On June 12, a Greenpeace staffer had written about alleged sexual harassment and rape from former colleagues on Youth Ki Awaaz website. It is in February that the ex-staffer (name withheld) published a Facebook post alleging she had been sexually harassed by her colleagues and was even raped by one of them. The alleged incidents took place in between 2012-2013 and in 2014 she resigned. After the post was widely circulated via social media, the organisation issued a publicÂ apologyÂ and also wrote to the ex-staffer saying they wanted to re-investigate her allegations of sexual harassment.Â The ex-staffer says that she does not understand why Greenpeace India chose to use the word "re-investigate" when the incident was never investigated in the first place for a "re" to happen. She however turned down their request stating that the system had earlier failed to act on her complaints and she did not trust them any more to conduct a fair probe. When the ex-staffer had complained to the senior management, she said, they didnâ€™t bat as much as an eyelid. Her complaint was also termed as one which "does not fall under sexual harassment". There was no-follow up, nor did the organisation communicate to her in this regard. Â Greenpeace India later apologised and said:Â Â "But it took too long for that to happen, and itâ€™s also clear that simply removing these staff members alone wonâ€™t address the deeper issues that have come to light. The response by Greenpeace India to the complaints made by our colleagues fell far short of what it should have been. Very far short. " -Greenpeace India Â Read:Â Why did Greenpeace allow perpetrators to walk away, asks ex-staffer who alleged rape Â
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