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Human Rights and the Will to be free
Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
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Muslim Brotherhood 'paying gangs to go out and rape women and beat men protesting in Egypt' as thousands of demonstrators pour on to the streets

Muslim Brotherhood 'paying gangs to go out and rape women and beat men protesting in Egypt' as thousands of demonstrators pour on to the streets | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Egypt's ruling party is paying gangs of thugs to sexually assault women protesting in Cairo's Tahrir Square against President Mohamed Morsi, activists said.
They also said the Muslim Brotherhood is paying gangs to beat up men who are taking part in the latest round of protests, which followed a decree by President Morsi to give himself sweeping new powers.
It comes as the Muslim Brotherhood co-ordinated a demonstration today in support of President Mohamed Morsi, who is rushing through a constitution to try to defuse opposition fury over his newly expanded powers. ...
Just 24 hours earlier around 200,000 people gathered in Tahrir Square, the heart of last year's revolution which toppled President Hosni Mubarak, yesterday to protest against a new draft constitution.

Large marches from around Cairo flowed into the square, chanting 'Constitution: Void!' and The people want to bring down the regime.'

..
But amid the calls for democracy a sinister threat has emerged.
Magda Adly, the director of the Nadeem Centre for Human Rights, said that under Mubarak, the Government paid thugs to beat male protestors and sexually assault women.
'This is still happening now,' she told The Times. 'I believe thugs are being paid money to do this ... the Muslim Brotherhood have the same political approaches as Mubarak,' she said.

....

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Thousands Of Reproductive Rights Advocates March In Protest Of Ireland’s Abortion Ban

Thousands Of Reproductive Rights Advocates March In Protest Of Ireland’s Abortion Ban | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

An estimated 10,000 activists flooded the streets of Dublin on Saturday to protest Ireland’s stringent abortion policies. The predominantly Catholic country has a total ban on all abortion services, with a narrow exception in cases where a pregnancy may threaten a woman’s life. But the recent death of Savita Halappanavar — the 31-year-old Indian woman who died of blood poisoning after an Irish hospital refused to terminate her pregnancy — highlights the fact that women in Ireland struggle to access reproductive health services even when their lives may be at stake. Halappanavar’s tragic story is quickly becoming an international controversy, prompting the Irish government to promise to reexamine its abortion policy. ....

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Women Under Siege Project

Women Under Siege Project | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

WMC's Women Under Siege is an independent initiatve documenting how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Originated by Gloria Steinem... In the belief that understanding what happened then might have helped us prevent or prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts, from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this Women’s Media Center project is exploring this linkage to heighten public consciousness of causes and preventions.

The project has two main components:

A public education plan to demonstrate that rape is a tool of war (not only a crime of war, but also a strategic tool). This plan includes testimony from and partnership with survivors of modern wars from Bosnia to Darfur.
An action plan to push for the creation of legal, diplomatic, and public interventions to ensure the United Nations, international tribunals, and other agencies with power will understand the gender-based threats as a tool of genocide and will design protocols to intervene and halt gender-based genocide. ....

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Zareena Marri, a Baloch woman abducted by Pakistani agencies in occupied Balochistan

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Bahrain & KSA: 3 Women are being deprived of the completion of their medical degrees....

Three Bahraini Female students are losing their dreams to graduate as Doctors from Dammam University in Saudia Arabia (KSA) after the official bodies in KSA banned them from entering Saudia Arabia due to the Political Crisis of Feb 14, 2011 that occured in Bahrain during the Arab Spring Revolutions period, and the story is as follows:

 

Personal Information of Zainab:
Name: Zainab Mohammed Maklooq
Age:(24years)
Nationality: Bahraini
Occupation: Medical Student
University: AL Dammam University (King Fiasal University previously)
Year of studying: 6th year medical student, last semester (two modules to graduate)

 

Personal Information of Aala’a:
Name: Aalaa Sayed Shubber Mohsin Majed (24years)
Nationality: Bahraini
Date of birth: 16th May 1987 (24)
Occupation: Medical Student
University: AL Dammam University (King Fiasal University previously)
Year of studying: 6th Year medical student, Last semester (two modules to graduate)

 

Personal Information of Zahra’a:
Name: Zahra Salman Mohamed Zabar (23years)
Date of birth: 12th January 1989
Occupation: Medical Student
University: Al Dammam University (King Faisal University previously)
Year of Studying: 5th Year medical Student.

 

Case Summary: During the period between the 14th of February 2011 till the16th of March 2011, where the Bahraini revolution took place before authorities cracked down all the protests, we were not allowed to get in or back from Saudi Arabia as smooth as it was. That’s why we had to stay over the weekend at the students housing although we used to get back to Bahrain to meet with our families. Ala’a and Zainab were in Bahrain during the weekend before the crack down took place on the 16th of March and could not get back to university until the 19th of March. However Zahra’a stayed there for more than two weeks because she had exams and was afraid if she get back to Bahrain she will not be able to get back to Saudi as all Shia were banned to get in. On the 21st of March 2011 10:00 PM the director of Al Dmmam University housing requested us to take our personal belongings as an order came from the Higher national security counsel requesting to depart us from Saudi Arabia immediately. We asked for more clarification at that time, but we were told that our families are waiting for us at King Fahd causeway without even mentioning the reasons for that action. Out of the students housing building which our flat is in, the Head of university’s office manager was waiting for us as he drove us in his private car to king Fahd causeway and he handed us to the Bahraini security Force.

Around 50 masked police officers were waiting for us. Until that time we were able to contact our families in Bahrain, but our contact them got stopped since we were submitted to Bahrain security Force as they’ve taken our mobile and they switched them off. They put us in a mini-bus and closed the windows and one of the policemen was shouting on us, belittling us and frightening us. We felt suffocated.

We were concerned because our parents do not know anything about us. Please note that Zainab was in her 13th week of pregnancy as she was most of the time in Bahrain.

The lawyer demanded three times the public persecution to release her because of her maternity condition, however, each time the request was rejected. After that, we have been taken to the police station at king Fahd causeway for further investigation.

At 4 a.m. from the 22nd of March Bahraini authorities took us to another temporary police station to stay the rest of the night there. Our families have had appointed Mr. Abdullah Al Shamlawi as our lawyer.

At 11 a.m. we had been taken again to King Fahd causeway police station where they started the investigations all again with the investigator started screaming and shouting that we have lost all the years of study and we will get a sentence of life imprisonment.

Also he said that we don’t deserve to get scholarships despite that we got the scholarship after we graduated with high GPA (98%) from secondary school.

On the same day, we have been presented to the Public Prosecution and the lawyer attended as well.

General Persecutions directed an accusation to us listed below:
1. Cursing the government symbols and leaders.
2. Incitement the hate toward the regime and demanding the overthrow the regime.
3. Organizing protests at the university and at the university housing in Saudi Arabia.
4. Contacting foreign channel and providing misleading information’s regarding the situation in Bahrain.

The lawyer asked the Public prosecutor to close the file, as there were no evidence against us neither by the Bahraini government or any known evidences provided by the Saudi authorities that would charge us. Despite that, the Public Prosecutor had decided to imprison us up for 7 days while holding our case pending for further investigation in a police station called “Isa town police station for women rehabilitation”. We were among the investigator decision we were supposed to stay in the custody for 7 days only.

However, the custody duration expanded to 23 days until the 13th of April. Suddenly, the authorities have decided to release us where we were handed back to our families from the same police station we detained from. At that time, they let us sign on pledge that we will not participate in any activity against the government and the royal family, we will not contact any media and they have the right to call us anytime if they hand new evidence and by that the case had been closed. On the 2nd of June Ala’a and Zahra received a call asking us to attend the military court.

Zainab was not asked to go due to her maternity. We asked for clarification but what we have been told that we need to sign papers regarding our case.

On the 6th of June we went to the military court and shocked that we were presented in front the military court judge were he accused us with the charge of participating in a protest in the Pearl Roundabout to commit crimes and breach of public security. None of the previous accusation was directed to us.

We had appointed another lawyer called Mr. Mohsin Al Aalwi and to attend court on our behalf. He attended 3 court sessions, when finally on the 21st of June we got the acquittal.

Later, when we decided to get back to the university, we where told from the Saudi authorities on the King Fahd Causeway that we were banned from getting in and we are not welcomed in the country anymore. We contacted the University to get a clarification regarding our studying status but they cleared that they have no authority to help us getting back and it was all directed to them from higher authorities.

From that day until today we had communicated with all possible responsible parties both in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia that might help in our case. We met with the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd, the prince of the Eastern Region whom supposes to have a direct input in our case. Although, he showed some of understand to our situation, there were no actions taken.

Moreover, we reported the case to BICI (Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry), which one of their recommendations was to return all dismissed students back to their studying seats. The National Committee who’s assigned by the King to apply the recommendations duty was finished on the 20th of March 2012 without even reporting back regarding our case. Keeping in mind that we met with the president of that committee since they started.

Also, we communicated with all human rights defendant parties and committees inside and outside Bahrain.

Last but not least, we met with many committees and missions sent by many countries as UK, US and Ireland who visited Bahrain. Our Current situation, is unknown if we will be able to get back to Saudi where we need to complete the remaining semester (2 months. Otherwise, we need to apply to private universities where most of them we contacted requested us to repeat 3 to 4 years and on our own funding despite we used to have it as a scholarship.

We hope that your foundation could consider our case and help us completing our study.

 

With Regards,
Aalaa Al-Sayed
Zainab Mohammed
Zahara Salman

 

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - 25 November

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - 25 November | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes appalling violations of their human rights. [...] We must fundamentally challenge the culture of discrimination that allows violence to continue. On this International Day, I call on all governments to make good on their pledges to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world, and I urge all people to support this important goal."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

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Kurdistan: A small village tries to stamp out FGM | Desert Flower Foundation

Kurdistan: A small village tries to stamp out FGM | Desert Flower Foundation | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Tutakal is a remote village nestled in Kurdistan’s parched mountains, accessible only through its dusty mountain tracks. Here in this village, female genital mutilation was a common norm practiced by almost all families. But residents this year agreed to stop the brutal practice, in exchange for assistance with the basic services and a small classroom they said they badly needed, as alarabiya.net reported on Sunday

It is a promising model for the eradication of FGM, activists involved in the campaign say. “Now the people can understand very well that this is a crime and they can´t practice it anymore”, said Suaad Sharif, a member of WADI organization campaigning against FGM.

More than 40 percent of women and girls in Kurdistan have been subjected to FGM. One year ago, the Kurdistan parliament passed a law criminalizing the practice. But the implementation proved difficult and the numbers of victims have not reduced.

“We now feel the pain of the woman. The woman feels incomplete because when they do this, they cut a piece of flesh from a woman,” said village headman Sarhad Ajeb, explaining the reasons why they stopped. And he stressed: “There is no mention of this practice in the holy Quran.”

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Saudi Woman Defies Religious Police: It Is None of Your Business If I Wear Nail Polish

Saudi Woman To Members of the Religious Police Who Harass Her for Wearing Nail Polish: This Is None of Your Business, I Am a Free Woman and Will Expose You o...
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India advances, but many women still trapped in dark ages

India advances, but many women still trapped in dark ages | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

NEW DELHI, June 13 (TrustLaw) - The birth of a girl, so goes a popular Hindu saying, is akin to the arrival of Lakshmi - the four-armed goddess of wealth, often depicted holding lotus flowers and an overflowing pot of gold.
That should assure pride of place for women in Indian society, especially now the country is growing both in global influence and affluence.
In reality, India's women are discriminated against, abused and even killed on a scale unparalleled in the top 19 economies of the world, according to a new poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The survey, polling 370 gender specialists, found Canada to be the best place to be a woman amongst G20 nations, excluding the European Union economic grouping. Saudi Arabia was the second worst, after India ....

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PAKISTAN: Girls desperate for education in rural Balochistan

PAKISTAN: Girls desperate for education in rural Balochistan | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Gehava Bibi, 9, is very excited. She is visiting the city of Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Balochistan, with her father to buy some basic school supplies. She has never held a pencil or piece of chalk.
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