|Sent on:||Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:03 PM|
24 June 2009
Judge Gerald Bruce Lee
Eastern District Court of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
Dear Honorable Judge Lee,
I am writing to express my support for anti-human trafficking efforts in the Eastern District of Virginia. On 1 July 2009, you are scheduled to sentence convicted trafficker Soripada Lubis for human trafficking, for which he has pled guilty. I urge you to pass the strongest possible sentence accorded him by law, making a firm statement that human trafficking--otherwise known as modern slavery--will not be tolerated in Virginia.
I represent an all-volunteer community organization of over 650 members in the DC Metro area called DC Stop Modern Slavery (DC SMS), and am the founder of Virginia Stop Modern Slavery (VA SMS), focused solely on anti-human trafficking efforts in my native and home state of Virginia. Our mission is to end human trafficking in the region.
According to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice, and reputable non-governmental organizations, human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world. It has been the third largest criminal enterprise worldwide, after drug and arms trafficking. If it hasn't already, it is set to quickly surpass arms trafficking as the second largest criminal enterprise worldwide. Experts believe that within five years, it will surpass drug trafficking as the largest criminal enterprise in the world.
Human trafficking, the sale of and profit from the labor and exploitation of vulnerable people, is exemplified as labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and domestic servitude. The case of Mr. Lubis' abuse is an egregious example of a combination of all three of these deplorable types of enslavement. Mr. Lubis and his wife were for at least eight years complicit in the fraudulent, coercive exploitation of young women, stealing their identification documents, holding them fear-bound in squalor-like conditions, and forcing them under fear of imprisonment and abuse to work cleaning the homes of our region's wealthy. These vulnerable young women were denied fair wages and charged rent and other fees for the "privilege" of their servitude. There can be no excuse or leniency for these criminal actions, and we the concerned voters support you in holding Mr. Lubis accountable!
Again, we strongly urge you to pass a formidable sentence against Mr. Lubis. We are available at your convenience should you have any questions about our organization, human trafficking in general, and human trafficking in Northern Virginia. We thank you for your time and consideration, and wish you clarity and expediency in your decision.
Founding Member and Director
Virginia Stop Modern Slavery (VA SMS)