Target: United States Under Secretary of State for Management, Patrick Kennedy
Goal: Investigate employee rights’ violation concerning forced resignation of Indian political researcher, Aparna Srivastava, from US embassy in New Delhi
An Indian political researcher working for the United States’ embassy in New Delhi has been arbitrarily fired for offering her opinion on human rights violations in India. Aparana Srivastava was brought to Human Resources October 19th 2012 for what she was told was a routine exercise. After her Blackberry phone was taken, she was detained in a room until she agreed to sign a pre-drafted resignation letter.
Though Peter Vrooman, the embassy spokesperson, said the embassy was merely terminating Srivastava’s employment because of her “subpar performance” in her “probationary employment period”, Srivastava claims there was no probationary period in her contract at all. Her experience on the job suggests she was fired for being honest.
Srivastava’s job, in part, was to write reports on human rights violations. She said she looked at both sides of the issue and gave her honest opinion while refusing to cater to what was convenient for embassy officials.
One of the reasons for dismissal was being “defensive and argumentative”; something her supervisor had claimed. Moreover, she was accused of being biased towards the Indian government and the National Human Rights Commission of India, which she had previously worked with for seven years. She denies this, saying that she was giving an unbiased opinion based on her experience with human rights issues.
Srivastava was also accused of sharing information with outsiders, but she denies this as well, saying “I did not know anything to share with anyone.”
Sign the following petition to tell the US State Department that these allegations entail employee rights’ violations that demand investigation.
Dear Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy,
In October 2012, an Indian political researcher working for the US embassy in New Delhi claims to have been forced to resign under duress. Aparna Srivastava had her phone seized and was detained in an embassy room until she signed a pre-drafted resignation letter.
The reasons given for Srivastava’s termination were that she was “defensive and argumentative”, biased towards the Indian government, and she shared information with outsiders. However, she claims to have been giving her honest, unbiased opinion on human rights issues that refused to “toe the official lines”. In addition, she denies sharing any information with outsiders.
The conditions of Srivastava’s forced resignation demands an investigation and, if appropriate, reinstatement. I urge you to begin investigation immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Stannered via Wikimedia Commons