Bruce Robinson petition!

zeroSignal

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From http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/freebrucerobinson/index.html :

Free Bruce Robinson!

Bruce and his supporters are asking that you petition to have him released from prison on bail.

On the 14th February 2006, Bruce Robinson was arrested and charged for unintentionally causing the collapse, on 28th January 2006, of an exhibition building that killed 65 people and injured more than 170. The basis for the arrest was that the building was 51% owned by Expocentres Eastern Europe Limited, the company Bruce Robinson was the Polish Managing Director for. Other shareholders include the City of Katowice and The Polish State Treasury. If found guilty, Bruce Robinson faces 8 years of incarceration in a Polish Prison.

The building was only 6 years old, built with all the relevant permissions by the previous shareholders (City of Katowice and The Polish State Treasury). The investment by Expocentres Eastern Europe Limited was made in 2001; one year after the building was completed.

Since Bruce?s arrest it has been determined that the building which collapsed was constructed poorly, and this was the reason for it collapsing.

Bruce has been given no definitive date for his trial. There have now been 9 men arrested and charged with offences to do with this catastrophe.

The Helsinki Foundation (http://www.hfhrpol.waw.pl) has sent an extensive opinion to the Court of Appeals in which they have confirmed Bruce Robinson has been subject to violations of his fundamental human rights under Polish penal law, the Polish Constitution as well as European Conventions and Treaties. They have requested a discontinuation of the ?temporary arrest? order.

The main violations relate to the legal proceedings of the case. These include the denial of access to his legal representation Mr. Grzegorz Slyszyk at key periods during his confinement, not being permitted to attend his own court hearings, inaccurate translations of documents and the ongoing denial of bail.

Under the Polish penal system prisoners under ?temporary arrest? face considerably harsher conditions than convicted criminals. Bruce Robinson for the last 11 months has shared, for 23 hours a day, a 15 square metre cell that has one basin and toilet with 7 other inmates. They are permitted 1 hour of exercise per day and 1 shower per week.

Until the involvement of the Helsinki Foundation he had only been allowed 2 phone calls home to his children aged 13, 6 and 3 and visits from his lawyer, a representative from the New Zealand Embassy in Warsaw and his parents who had travelled from New Zealand. All other requests from visitors had been denied and correspondence to and from him is subject to review by the Prosecutors office.

In December 2006 the Helsinki Foundation became formally involved in the case. Since this time Bruce Robinson has been granted weekly phone calls to his family in New Zealand and 1 visitor per fortnight, subject to the approval of the Prosecutor.

In addition the Fair Trials Abroad organisation (http://www.fairtrialsabroad.org) who works to promote fair trials, according to international standards of justice, for those facing criminal charges in a country other than their own is also supporting the case.

The Polish legal system only runs trial proceeding for approximately 1 or 2 days a month. It is estimated that the investigation and trial will take four years. Under the Polish rules for ?good behaviour? Bruce may potentially serve the maximum sentence before his innocence or guilt is determined by the court.

All that Bruce, his family, friends and legal representative want is for him to be granted bail at his next bail hearing on February 21st 2007. Bruce will remain in Poland to defend the charges against him and serve any sentence should the charges against him be substantiated. Currently he has been ?presumed guilty? and incarcerated without a trial.

This petition will be sent to the NZ Government and request that they fight for bail for their citizen. WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR BRUCE TO BE FREED OF ALL HIS CHARGES. We want his human rights questioned by the NZ Government to the Polish Authorities and support the Human Rights organisations who are helping Bruce.

Please sign this petition to support Bruce Robinsons appeal to be freed from prison.

Thanks for your support!


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This is appaling. I'm sure this community can help!
 

toma_alimosh

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Hmm, another Red Corner instance.
There's a whole lot that most you westerners don't know about this type of situation and don't consider. I'm not saying I'm either for or against this petition, but I will say this: It's useless.

No matter how many signatures and names they write down on it, this will not sway the polish courts for a whole lot of reasons:

1. Most foreginers who will view the petition don't know almost ANY aspect of the trial and situation, thus they'll assume all of them to be ignorant of the situation.
2. Polish court officials won't take note at an even high number , even a whole 600,000 signatures on it, thinking most could have been forged or falsified in the first place.
3. Even if considering the petition to be correct and all-true, they think too highly of themselves and won't be swayed by a mere online petition, especially if it is made by foreigners living with other laws, other economical conditions, other cultural values, etc. while it was 65 of THEIR citizens were killed.
4. Whether or not he is directly or indirectly guilty of causing the accident, it won't matter ... 65 people are dead and their families are asking for justice, which pretty much means they want to see some decapitations. And the seats of power that justice officials are holding do depend on those people ... NOT the foreigners, so they'll take their side.

So all this petition is going to do is raise international awareness of an issue that is ongoing in eastern eurpean countries just because a foreigner from a first world country was involved. And after this is over, everyone from first world countries will forget that human rights will continously be trampled in third world countries because none of their citizens will be involved. Thus, they won't care about it.

This petition means nothing and will not solve anything. So if you want to support anything, support human rights awareness across the world and hope that human rights may be accorded to all people that need them, not only some new zeelander in Poland. And hopefully, in the future human rights awareness will prevail throughout the world, not just first world countries.

This story is truly tragical because of :
1. The trials will take so long .... but, this is just how much trials take there ... it will not change, not for anyone, not even a foreigner.
2. The conditions in Polish prisons is just what it is ... they're not treating him especially badly, that's how every jail cell across the country is like ... first world country prisons just are trully luxuries if you think about it.
3. Eastern european courts almost NEVER release someone on bail, especially if their actions might have led to the killing of 65 people.

And this really might seem to people in first world countries that he was arrested and sentenced without a trial, but really, his trial is only pending ... and he REALLY IS under temporary arrest, only the conditions for temporary arrest in eastern european countries aren't any better than those for convicted fellons. That's just how bad it is.

I'm not defending what's going on there at all, I'm just raising the issue that people will only sign the petition because they think that he's being marginalized compared to other people. But really, he isn't marginalized, he's just being treated like any other person convicted in that country and in that case. So if you are going to sign it, don't sign it just because you want to see some first-world bloke treated specially, as if he were home in new zeeland, sign it because you want any other people treated as such across the world to be treated with first-world standards.

My father has been a volunteer human rights activist in Romania up until we emigrated in Canada. His years spent launching all sorts of programs still being used by the League for Defence of Human Rights have made at least a bit of a difference in our region of the country, to the regret of his fellow members after he left for Canada. So I speak with experience here when I say that this issue is nothing compared to other human rights violation cases that he's been involved with.
 
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