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Atlanta Journal – Johnny Isakson: Give whistleblower status to Peace Corps volunteers

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

5:08 pm June 23, 2011, by jgalloway

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and three colleagues this afternoon introduced a bill that would give protected whistleblower status to volunteers of the U.S. Peace Corps.

The legislation is named after Kate Puzey, a 24-year-old Peace Corps volunteer from Cumming, Ga., who in 2009 was murdered in the west African village of Badjoude, Benin, shortly after she had reported a colleague for allegedly molesting some of the young girls they helped teach.

Here’s the video from today’s press conference:

As the video will attest, Isakson has taken an unusually personal interest in the legislation. A few paragraphs from the McClatchey Newspapers piece on the bill this week:

Puzey’s murder, which is under investigation, is one of a series of violent attacks on hundreds of female Peace Corps workers in recent years that have rocked the government-run volunteer organization, which for 50 years was an embodiment of President John F. Kennedy’s dream of talented young men and women sowing the seeds of progress and peace in developing countries.

Intensified scrutiny from the media and Congress has led the Peace Corps to change its practices in dealing with volunteers’ complaints of rape and physical assaults.

Isakson has doggedly pursued whistle-blower protection legislation for Peace Corps workers, named for Puzey. But Isakson, who shuns the spotlight, won’t even allow himself to visit her grave site until the legislation passes and her killer is brought to justice.

– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

© 2011 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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