NEWS SUMMARY GfbV: Two branches of human rights NGO Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) charged with embezzling donations, in Germany and Switzerland

by EARTH PEOPLES

SUMMARY:

(see references [ ] below)

Society for Threatened Peoples International's President Tilman Zülch (GfbV-Deutschland) (Left) and Vice-President Christoph Wiedmer (GfbV-Schweiz) (Right). Both organizations were charged and are under investigation in Germany and Switzerland for fraud and embezzlement

Society for Threatened Peoples International’s President Tilman Zülch (GfbV-Deutschland) (Left) and Vice-President Christoph Wiedmer (GfbV-Schweiz) (Right). Both STPI branches were charged and are under investigation in Germany and Switzerland for fraud and embezzlement

The Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) has branches in Germany[a], Italy[b], Austria[c], Bosnia-Herzegovina[d] and Switzerland[e]. The organization also claims to have branches in Chile, USA and Iraq.

The Secretary General of the Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) and the organizations headquarters, the Society for Threatened Peoples-Germany (GfbV-Deutschland) is Tilman Zülch[1][2]. The Vice-President of STP-International is Christoph Wiedmer [3], who is also the managing director of the Society for Threatened Peoples-Switzerland (GfbV-Schweiz][4].

Both “not-for-profit, human rights” branches of the international non-governmental organization are currently under criminal investigation for fraud and embezzlement of donation money by state prosecutors in both countries, Germany[5] and Switzerland[6].

In 2012, German state prosecutor announced investigations of charges of embezzlement filed by the Society for Threatened Peoples board of directors[7], against Tilman Zülch the Secretary-General of both the international umbrella organization and the German branch. In 2010 the board of directors uncovered substantial accounting and contractual irregularities[7] and accused him of embezzlement of donations and funds[8], of having continued to receive salary payments of 70,000.00 Euro per year, even though he had agreed to resign from his position as the Secretary General (and the position doesn’t even exist in the statutes of the organization), and for having ordered payments to the Bosnia-Herzegovina[d] branch on insufficient documentation[9]. They also questioned payments forwarded to others.

Already a decade ago, about one million German DM were missing from the organizations yearly assets, and the Society for Threatened Peoples was at the brink of bankruptcy. The organization had to borrow money from private persons and other sources to fill the holes. Interesting to note that the organizations  financial managing director from this past is now the very same one who signs the audit report at present.

The organization’s headquarters in Göttingen, Germany, rejected the charges[10].

After former board members were in November 2012 officially ousted from the organization[11][12][13], the new board of directors swiftly withdrew the charges which had been filed by the previous board. Days later, the German branch and headquarters of the Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) falsely claimed on it’s website that the state prosecutor had dismissed the charges and closed the case. (The relevant press release on their homepage cannot be found to-date).

2013, former board president Harald Klein and former Vice-chair James Albert pressed additional charges to ensure that the investigation against the organization’s embezzlement of donations continues.

Up-to-date Tilman Zülch is the Honorary President of the Society for Threatened Peoples International and the Secretary-General of Society for The Society for Threatened Peoples-Germany[1][2], and Senior Associate and advisor to the board of the Committee for a Democratic UN (Komitee für eine demokratische UNO, KDUN) [14].

Since February 11, 2013, the Society for Threatened Peoples International’s branch Switzerland is also under investigation for substantial embezzlement of donations and the organizations assets[15]. State prosecutors of Bern opened a criminal case to investigate the allegations for misappropriation of donations[16][17].

Up-to-date Christoph Wiedmer is the vice-president of the Society for Threatened Peoples International, and the managing director of the Society for Threatened Peoples-Switzerland [3][4].

The international organization has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, participatory status at the Council of Europe and is a Member organization of the Committee for a Democratic UN.

References
a. GfbV-Deutschland homepage
b. Associazione per i popoli minacciatiGfbVItaly homepage
c. GfbV-Österreich homepage
d. GfbV-Shweiz homepage
1. GfbV-International: Tilman Zülch – Ehrenpräsident (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples International website
2. GfbV –Deutschland:GfbV –Deutschland: Tilman Zülch – Generalsekretär (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples –Germany website
3. GfbV-International: Christoph Wiedmer Vize-Präsident (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples International website
4. GfbV-Schweiz: Christoph Wiedmer- Geschäftsleiter (retrieved 25 February, 2013) Society for Threatened Peoples-Switzerland website
5. “Krach in der deutschen “Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker” (26. November 2012) RUEDI SUTER, OnlineReports
6. “Betrüger ruiniert Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker” (11 Februar 2013) Ruedi Suter, Onlinereports
7. “Ermittlungen gegen Zülch” (29 February 2012) Matthias Heinzel,Göttinger Tagesblatt
8. “FÜHRUNGSSTREIT IM MENSCHENRECHTSVEREIN Verdächtige Kontoausgänge.” (November 2, 2012) REIMAR PAUL, Göttinger taz
9. “Ermittlung gegen GfbV-Vereinsgründer Tilman Zülch wegen Untreue” (November 2011) Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine
10. “Göttinger Menschenrechtler führen internen Bürgerkrieg-Schlammschlachten bei der Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker”(13. March 2012) Charlotte Morgenthal, Dom Radio
11. “Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker feuert Ex-Vorstände” (04.11.2012) dapd
12. “GESELLSCHAFT FÜR BEDROHTE VÖLKER-Kritik ausgeschlossen”
Der monatelange Streit bei der Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker ist formell beendet worden – mit dem Ausschluss früherer Vorstände” (4 November 20112) Reimar Paul, Die Tageszeitung
13. “GfbV schließt ehemalige Vorstände aus” (5. November 2012) Christian Röther, Stadtradio Göttingen.
14. KDUN Senior Associates: Tilman Zülch, President, Society for Threatened Peoples (retrieved 25 February 2013) Committee for a Democratic UN website
15. “Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker- Veruntreuung bei einer NGO” (11 Februar 2013) Neue Zürcher Zeitung
16. Suedostschweiz “Gelder veruntreut bei GfbV” (11 Februar 2013)”SuedostSchweizer Zeitung
17. “STRAFVERFAHREN: Veruntreuung bringt Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker in Not” (11 February 2013) Basellandschaftliche Zeitung

Links:
Society for Threatened Peoples International WATCH (STPIWatch)
Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker Watch GfbVWATCH

About GfbV WATCH

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2 Responses to NEWS SUMMARY GfbV: Two branches of human rights NGO Society for Threatened Peoples International (STPI) charged with embezzling donations, in Germany and Switzerland

  1. Thanks for this blog the truth is being told. Can you add a contact on this blog?

  2. C.Barley says:

    The Society for Threatened Peoples has stopped investigating since many years. They have become lazy and self-content. The members of its office just check several reports on internet and then write a new report from the items they collect. This is in my opinion just a fraudulent way of reaching out to people who expect real investigations. True investigations would be only possible by sending people out to the troubled areas. People who get ‘first hand’ information – not just information gathered on the internet. But the root cause is quite simple. The STP wants funds to run their office and get in the money for the salaries for the numerous office-members sitting in comfortable offices in Goettingen, Germany. They go to conferences in the big cities of Europe and hold high flown lectures on human rights. Basically they are just promoting themselves. Now they are facing charges of embezzlement, so they are spending even more of the donations for expensive lawyers. Lets hope the truth prevails in the investigations of their critics. We hope there is a correct assesment of the case by the authorities in Germany and Switzerland..

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