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News and Views: August 2010

Bangladesh - High Court Rules that Burqa Cannot Be Forced

August 22, 2010


Dhaka, Aug 22 (—The High Court has ruled that no women can be forced to wear burqa at work and educational institutions. 

Crime (Sex) and Punishment (Stoning)

August 21, 2010


It may be the oldest form of execution in the world, and it is certainly among the most barbaric. In the West, death by stoning is so remote from experience that it is best known through Monty Python skits and lurid fiction like Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.”

Shariah in Aceh: Eroding Indonesia’s Secular Freedoms

August 18, 2010

A woman is caned and shamed in Aceh’s Pidie Jaya district for breaking Shariah bylaws. It is unclear who was actually behind the implementation of Shariah and resistance to the controversial code is growing.  (Antara Photo/Rahmad)

PAKISTAN: Rapes of Christian girls reflects tactic

August 16, 2010


The vulnerability of Christian girls to sexual assault in Pakistani society emerged again last month as a Muslim landowner allegedly targeted a 16-year-old and a gang of madrassa (Islamic school) students allegedly abused a 12-year-old in Punjab Province.

IRAN: Prosecutor urges tighter checks for women's Islamic dress code

July 18, 2010

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's prosecutor called on Sunday for tighter checks on women who fail to observe Islamic dress code in public, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Under Iran's Sharia law, imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes. Violators can receive lashes, fines or imprisonment.

SOMALIA: UN Independent Expert on Somalia calls for protection of civilians & accountability for human rights perpetrators

August 10, 2010

GENEVA (10 August 2010) – The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, today urged the international community to provide due attention to the protection of civilians in Somalia and ensure accountability for perpetrators of gross human rights and International Humanitarian law violations.

A Statement of Concern Regarding the Televised ‘Confession’ by Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

August 19, 2010

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women and the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network deplore the staging of a ‘public confession’ on Iranian television by Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, who is awaiting execution in Iran by stoning for adultery. 


AFGHANISTAN: Stop stoning and other forms of cruel punishments by the Taliban

August 18, 2010


The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women and the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network condemn the recent incidents of violent punishments by the Taliban in Afghanistan.   

Egypt play seeks to smash social taboos

August 9, 2010


CAIRO — He wants to have phone sex, she wants to leave her house without a headscarf: a Cairo play seeks to confront Egypt's social taboos by laying bare the sexual frustrations and harassments that beset daily life.

In a makeshift theatre set up in the cafeteria of the Cairo Opera House, a group of amateur actors perform short sketches based on real-life experiences and inspired by Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues".

Egypt’s spinsters turn to suicide

July 19, 2010


CAIRO // A university professor committed suicide last month in 6th October City on the outskirts of Cairo because she reached 40 without being married, local media reported.

Pakistani couple face death by stoning threat after conviction for adultery

August 9, 2010


A couple have been sentenced to be stoned to death for alleged adultery by a tribal court in north-west Pakistan, with the woman's life now considered in grave danger.

The man involved, Zarkat Khan, has run away while the woman is in the custody of the court, according to residents in Kala Dhaka, a remote area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Female Afghan Governor Fears Taliban Deal

July 19, 2010

On the eve of an international conference in Afghanistan, the country’s only female governor told Britain’s Channel 4 News that Afghan women should not have to sacrifice their rights as part of any peace agreement with the Taliban.



Violence against women in Egypt on the rise

August 9, 2010

CAIRO: Israa looks at the table in front of her, pictures strewn across that show the bruises and bumps she incurred after her husband punched and threw her around the house after the two had a disagreement over when to send their three-year-old daughter to Kindergarten. It is yet another incident of violence against women, a trend that appears to be growing in the Arab world’s largest country.

Congo: Infants Reportedly Raped in Superstitious Belief Rituals

July 27, 2010

Superstitious beliefs said to be behind disturbing cases of sexual violence against young children.

Six children under the age of two have reportedly been raped or sexually molested in the Lubumbashi area, as part of apparent rituals in which the perpetrators believe they will acquire good fortune as result of the abuse.

Iranian State TV Acts as an Arm of the Intelligence Apparatus

August 11, 2010

(11 August 2010) The Iranian state-controlled radio and television, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), has acted as an arm of intelligence and security agencies implicated in gross human rights violations since the disputed presidential election of June 2009, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

Iran: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani 'confesses' to murder on state TV

August 12, 2010

The Iranian woman whose sentence to death by stoning sparked an international outcry is feared to be facing imminent execution, after she was put on a state-run TV programme last night where she confessed to adultery and involvement in a murder. Speaking shakily in her native Azeri language, which could be heard through a voiceover, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani told an interviewer that she was an accomplice to the murder of her husband and that she had an ext

'Honour killing' suspected in murder of British couple in Pakistan

August 8, 2010


A British couple have been murdered in Pakistan in a suspected "honour killing" after calling off their daughter's marriage.

Islam without veil

July 27, 2010

Since the recent controversy surrounding the French government’s ban on total face coverings (burqa or niqab), the head scarf issue has once again attracted the world’s attention.

Indeed, only very few Muslim women cover their face completely, which is a reflection of the attitude preached by Sayed al Tantawi, an imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo, who boldly stated that total face coverings are not in accordance with Islamic teachings.

Afghanistan: 'Shaming' her in-laws costs 19 year old her nose, ears

March 18, 2010

"When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out," 19-year-old Bibi Aisha of Afghanistan says with chilling candor.

Her beauty is still stunning and her confidence inspiring. It takes a moment for the barbaric act committed against her to register in your mind and sight.

Wearing her patterned scarf and with roughly painted nails she shares her story.

"It felt like there was cold water in my nose, I opened my eyes and I couldn't even see because of all the blood," she remembers.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani offered asylum by Brazil's president Lula

August 1, 2010

Offer raises hopes Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, will be spared.

Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has stepped into the international outcry over Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, by offering his country as a refuge, a move which raised hopes her life will be spared.

Amnesty International launches action to protect women domestic workers in Indonesia

June 24, 2010

Women domestic workers in Indonesia face human rights abuses at work, including economic exploitation, poor working conditions and gender-based discrimination. 

There are around 2.6 million women domestic workers in Indonesia, but they are not protected by current legislation safeguarding workers' rights. As a result they are subjected to physical, psychological and sexual violence in the workplace.

Saudi Arabia: Cleric calls for Muslim maids only

July 27, 2010

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—A Saudi cleric said only Muslim housemaids should be allowed in the oil-rich country and they should be kept segregated from men in the home, an online news site reported on Tuesday.

"If there is a need to import workers as female domestics, they should be Muslims," Sheikh Yusef al-Ahmad, a strong opponent of men and women mixing in the ultra-conservative kingdom, told the website.

نامه سرگشاده به کانون وکلای دادگستری: در مقابل سیاست گروگانگیری و انتقام جویی سکوت نکنید!

July 28, 2010

ریاست محترم کانون وکلای ایران، اعضای محترم هیات مدیره

مطمئنا با خبر شده اید که در روز شنبه 2 مرداد 1389، ماموران امنیتی چند ساعت پس از اینکه با مراجعه به دفتر محمد مصطفایی، یکی از فعال ترین وکلای حقوق بشری ایران، نتوانستند او را بیابند، همسر و برادر همسر وی را در مقابل دفتر او دستگیر کردند و به زندان اوین بردند. بازپرس دادسرای انقلاب در زندان اوین به آنها گفته است تا زمانی که محمد مصطفایی خود را معرفی نکند، آنها در زندان خواهند ماند.

Review: Velvet Jihad—Muslim Women’s Quiet Resistance to Islamic Fundamentalism

August 2, 2010

The book catalogues a long list of hurdles and restrictions that millions of Muslim women across the world are subjected to in the name of Islam.

Name of the Book: Velvet Jihad—Muslim Women’s Quiet Resistance to Islamic Fundamentalism

Author: Faegheh Shirazi