Justice for Hazel, No to Violence Against Women and Migrants sign now

On February 18, 2008, Hazel, a 22-year old Filipina, was raped by a US soldier barely 3 days after she arrived in Okinawa, Japan, to work as a cultural dancer. Its been more than 180 days now but so far no formal charge of rape has been filed against the accused, Specialist Sgt. Ronald Edward Hopstock Jr. The US Army Command in Okinawa is now conducting pretrial probe and will decide from now until November 2008 whether to press charges against the accused and conduct military court martial or to dismiss the case. Earlier, the Naha Public Prosecutors Office had hastily dropped the case of Hazel (not her real name) citing lack of sufficient evidence as reason even though police and medical reports showed clear indications of sexual and physical abuse on the victim.

We, supporters and defenders of Hazel, the latest victim in a long string of sexual crimes committed by abusive U.S. military soldiers in Japan, are worried about Hazel and what will be the outcome of her case. We are afraid that like in many previous cases of rape and sexual abuse involving American soldiers, the accused may just go unpunished. The slow-paced legal process and the lack of resoluteness on the part of the Japanese prosecutors to pursue the case are clear indications of our worst fear.

We are also frustrated that the Philippine government has done very little effort to support the case of Hazel and to defend her rights. Instead of protecting her and providing all moral, legal and material support she needs, the Arroyo government through the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Okinawa and the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, has shown lack of sensitivity and resolve to safeguard the interest of the victim by not making any concrete legal action to pursue the case after it was dropped by the Japanese prosecutors. It virtually surrendered the case to the U.S. Army, and has persistently issued false statements to cover up for its inaction and neglect of the plight of Hazel and other Filipino migrants in Japan.

While we condemn the American soldier for the crimes he committed, we hold the Philippine government principally responsible for what has happened to Hazel and the ordeal that she has to go through for the rest of her life. Like millions of other migrant Filipinos, Hazel took the risk of leaving the country to work overseas because of poverty and serious unemployment problems in the Philippines. She went through all the legal procedures and paid all her dues to be able to legally work in Japan. But sadly, Hazel fell in the hands of unscrupulous talent promoters and club owners because the Philippine government failed to do its job and was nowhere in sight when Hazel needed assistance and protection.

We dare concerned officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Office of the Honorary Consulate in Okinawa to immediately resign for failing to perform their mandated duties and obligations to its citizens in Japan. If they cannot protect and defend a rape victim like Hazel, then they have no right to hold any position in government.

We also challenge the U.S. and Japanese governments to side with justice and to refrain from making any cover up of the crime. We appeal for the speedy resolution of the case so that justice may be served to Hazel and members of her family who are also victims like her.

We support the call for JUSTICE for Hazel and other victims of rape and sexual violence committed by abusive American soldiers stationed in the various U.S. military bases and facilities throughout Japan and other countries in Asia. We demand that the accused be formally charged in an appropriate and impartial court and be punished commensurate to the crime he committed.

We will be watching the case closely. We will not allow any cover up much less a miscarriage of justice. In the past, we have seen many cases of rape and sexual abuse perpetrated by American soldiers in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere that have gone unpunished. We vow to relentlessly fight to end this impunity.

We also reiterate our demand to the Arroyo government to implement programs that truly guarantee protection to all migrant Filipinos regardless of their legal status; and to STOP treating migrants like commodities or mere source of dollar revenues for the bankrupt Philippine economy.

We commend the courage and conviction shown by Hazel to fight for justice not only for herself but also for other victims of rape and sexual violence committed by American soldiers, to advance the legitimate cause of women and migrants around the world, and to defend Philippine sovereignty and the dignity of the Filipino people.

We strongly believe that true justice for Hazel and other victims can only be achieved through the combined efforts of people struggling for peace and acting in solidarity with one another to resist all forms of abuse and violence against women and migrants.

We, therefore, appeal to all Filipinos and peace-loving peoples of the world to rally behind Hazel and to stand up for the rights and dignity of women and migrants around the world.

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Latest Signatures

  • 22 November 2015206. Bryan Gp
    I support this petition
  • 01 November 2015205. Berna E
    Justice for Hazel and all victims of US military sexual terrorism overseas! Name of Organization BAYAN USA
  • 03 October 2015204. Makiko Y
    I support this petition
  • 21 September 2015203. Joseline D
    I support this petition
  • 14 September 2015202. Peter O
    I support this petition
  • 17 August 2015201. Grace L
    I support this petition
  • 16 July 2015200. Kousaku S
    I support this petition
  • 15 July 2015199. Hozue H
    I support this petition
  • 08 July 2015198. Lily Kidmesenp
    I support this petition
  • 26 June 2015197. Raff R
    "I truly support this petition!" Name of Organization Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance
  • 23 June 2015196. Neddy C
    Justice must be served to Hazel and her family! Name of Organization Open House, Urawa Diocese (Japan)
  • 18 June 2015195. Anne J
    Prevail Human Dignity Name of Organization Malysian Catholis Students Council - IMCS AP
  • 03 March 2015194. Rosemary Andmiltn
    I support this petition
  • 03 March 2015193. Roxie Crane
    Justice.
  • 26 February 2015192. A E
    I support this petition
  • 21 January 2015191. Gloria Mt
    I support this petition
  • 10 January 2015190. Alice Ms
    I support this petition
  • 06 January 2015189. Erik P
    Mabuhay ang Migranteng Pilipino! Justice for Hazel! Name of Organization MIGRANTE MINATO (Japan)
  • 01 January 2015188. Rosanna T
    migrants and women of the world unite! Name of Organization MIGRANTE Japan ICB
  • 06 December 2014187. Kate D
    I support this petition
  • 06 December 2014186. Kaduko K
    I support this petition
  • 03 December 2014185. Megumi T
    I support this petition
  • 02 December 2014184. Dave Ronaldc
    I support this petition
  • 15 November 2014183. Makiko M
    I support this petition
  • 12 November 2014182. Donna D
    I support this petition
  • 18 October 2014181. Nobuko M
    I get angry U.S sordier that raped Miss Hazel and U.S military ,Japanese prosecutors,and Pheleppine goverment take insincere correspondence to Miss Hazel. I demand a fair judgment a case.
  • 14 October 2014180. Yowchanan I
    I support this petition

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Information

Philip GarzaBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
Peace-loving Peoples of the World

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