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News and Views: January 2011

VNC condemns the murder of David Kato

January 31, 2011

The Violence is Not out Culture campaign condemns the brutal murder on 26 January 2011 of LGBT human rights defender, David Kato, of Uganda and extends its condolences to his colleagues at Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). David was a long term activist for rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Uganda, and was a highly respected and admired human rights defender within his community and worldwide.

Afghanistan: Police pledge justice for Taliban stoning

January 26, 2011


The BBC's Quentin Sommerville: ''For Siddqa, the hole where she stood is now her grave''

The men who stoned a couple to death in north Afghanistan will be brought to justice, say officials, after footage of the killings came to light.

<--break->The man and woman were accused of adultery in the district of Dashte Archi in Kunduz province last August.

Pakistan: Crimes of Honor and Questions on Powers of Panchayat "Courts"

January 26, 2011


TWENTY-year-old Saima was electrocuted to death Friday in Bahawalpur district on the orders of a panchayat comprised of her father and three uncles, because she had eloped with a man of her choosing. That same week, Najma Bibi was paraded around her village in Khanewal district with her hair chopped off and face blackened in accordance with a panchayat`s orders, after her in-laws accused her of having illicit relations.

Italy: Slow Changes in the Ways to Tackel 'Honour' Killings

January 20, 2011


“AND YET IT MOVES”… SLOW CHANGES IN THE WAY TO TACKLE HONOR KILLINGS IN ITALY
By Valentina Colombo 

In Sweden between January 20th and January 22nd, in occasion of the 9th anniversary of the tragic death of the young girl of Kurdish origins, the association “Never forget Pela and Fadime” in the person of the president Sara Mohammad, herself a survivor of a forced marriage, organized many public events to stress that Sweden will not forget Fadime and the other victims of honor related violence.

Pakistan: Disastrous year for human rights

January 24, 2011


Militant Attacks, Judicial Misconduct Mark the Year.

(New York) January 24, 2011 -- The Taliban and other religious extremists in Pakistan increased their deadly attacks against civilians and public spaces during 2010, while the Pakistani government response was marred by serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2011.

Pakistan - Sindh Province Resolution Condemns Honour Killings

November 6, 2010


KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly (SA) on Friday unanimously passed a resolution condemning honour killings in the province.

Falling for Empty Talk on Human Rights

January 21, 2011


NEW YORK — No repressive government enjoys facing public pressure to respect human rights. These days, their favorite avoidance strategy is to state a preference for private “dialogue” and “cooperation” — an attractive option because it takes place behind closed doors. Sadly, the major Western powers have fallen for this ploy. Reluctant to ruffle feathers while eager to be seen as “doing something,” they increasingly embrace the same subterfuge.

Spirit, hope, money and a dose of patriarchy

July 9, 2010


A growing movement of African Christians are making waves at home and abroad with their ultra conservative interpretations of scripture. Far from a naïve embrace of conventional norms or a faithful embrace of scripture, these interpretations are emerging as clear political choices and are undermining women's rights struggles across the African continent.

USA: The Tea Party and the new right-wing Christian feminism

July 5, 2010


Why have American women become so active in the right wing Tea Party movement? Could it be that they are drawn to the new conservative Christian feminism publicized by Sarah Palin? Without its grassroots female supporters, the Tea Party would have far less appeal to voters who are frightened by economic insecurity, threats to moral purity and the gradual disappearance of a national white Christian culture.

Somalia: Mother of 4 Killed for Her Christian Faith

January 17, 2011


Al Shabaab militants carry out ritual slaying of Christian found to be ‘apostate.’

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 17 (CDN) — A mother of four was killed for her Christian faith on Jan. 7 on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia by Islamic extremists from al Shabaab militia, a relative said.

Chechnya, Russia: Islamic Religious Ideology Impacts Women

January 21, 2011

AWID speaks with a women’s rights activist in Chechnya about the growing use of religious ideology to threaten, control and attack women there.

In the summer of 2008, Europe’s largest mosque to date was erected in Grozny, Chechnya, a federal republic within Russia. Two years earlier, the land where the USD$20 million mosque was built saw intense conflict between Chechen and Russian military forces. At the mosque’s opening, the Kremlin-appointed President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadirov declared his loyalty to both Moscow and “traditional Islam.”

 

Update: Iran: Shiva Nazar Ahari’s Four Year Sentence Is Final, Says Lawyer

January 11, 2011


While various media have published news of an appeals court’s ruling of four years in prison and 74 lashes for human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari, her lawyer, Mohammad Sharif has not yet been served with the ruling.  ”I have not yet been officially served with the verdict, and unfortunately, the news was publicized in the media without my knowledge. I learned about the ruling through the press, too,” he said.

Cameroon: Attacks and Arrests on basis of Orientation

November 4, 2010

Government Should Decriminalize Consensual Activity, Protect LGBT Rights

 (Yaoundé, November 4, 2010) – Cameroonians are attacked by police, politicians, the media, and even their own communities if they are suspected of having sexual relations with a person of the same sex, four human rights organizations said in a joint report released today.

Pakistan: clerics say anyone who mourns murdered politician is a “blasphemer” and will suffer the same fate

January 7, 2011


More than 500 Muslim clerics in Pakistan have said that anyone who mourns the murder of Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of the Punjab region who was murdered for opposing the country’s blasphemy law, will suffer the same fate. They also praised the “courage and zeal” of Taseer’s killer, saying his action has made Muslims around the world proud.

The clerics said “there should be no expression of grief or sympathy on the death of the governor, as those who support blasphemy of the Prophet are themselves indulging in blasphemy.”

Religious Divorce Dispute Leads to Secular Protest

January 3, 2011


This should have been a good New Year’s for Aharon Friedman, a 34-year-old tax counsel for the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee. He spent time with his 3-year-old daughter, and could have been thinking about the influence he will have starting Wednesday, when his boss, Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, becomes chairman of the powerful tax-writing committee.

Afghanistan: Violence and tradition keep millions of Afghans from school

January 1, 2011


KABUL, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Worsening security and enduring conservative Islamic customs prevented almost five million Afghan children from going to school in 2010, a government official said on Saturday.

The strict Islamist Taliban were ousted from power by U.S.-backed Afghan forces nearly a decade ago, but many women are still not able to work outside the home and girls are prevented from attending school in remote parts of the country.

Muslim Women Unite Against Sexual Violence

November 19, 2010


A major grassroots campaign recently called international attention to the underreported issues of sexual harassment and assault against women in Muslim states.

Scores of women's organisations from Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia joined forces last week for a sensational campaign led by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR).

Zambia: Marriage of Young Girls a Tradition - Risks, Rights

December 20, 2010


MANSA, 20 December 2010 (IRIN) - The minimum legal age for marriage in Zambia is 18, and parental consent is required if a girl or boy is 16-17. Anyone under 16 is a minor, and defilement of a minor is a serious offence, punishable by imprisonment of up to 25 years.
Patricia was 12 when she married John, four years her senior.

Amnesty International: Iranian women face prison for rights petition

January 7, 2011

 

At any moment, women’s rights activists Fatemeh Masjedi and Maryam Bidgoli could be sent to prison for six months for peacefully collecting signatures for a petition demanding an end to discrimination against women in law in Iran.

Top Iranian Lawyer Unjustly Sentenced to 11 years in Prison

January 9, 2011

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called the 11-year prison sentence of leading human rights lawyer  Nasrin Sotoudeh a “gross miscarriage of justice” and said that it should be  overturned by an appeals court.