justice

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More Victim Blaming

This is all sorts of fucked up. In response to an apparent need to address the increase in "frivolous" lawsuits against celebrities for sexual assault that never went to trial, Britain's new government is cracking down on rape victims and acting quickly to protect rapists.

The British Prime Minister is supporting limited anonymity for rape defendants, says the BBC News.

In its coalition deal, the government backed keeping the identity of defendants in rape cases in England and Wales secret until after conviction.

But Mr Cameron told MPs he favoured a "limited extension" to the law to cover the period between arrest and charges.

Tbe acting Labor leader Harriet Herman is of course dismayed at such a stance. She is quoted as correctly stating that protecting rapists will only make it even more difficult for rape victims to come forward.

To single out rape defendants sends a very powerful message to juries in rape cases that the rape victim is not to be believed. It sends a devastating message to rape victims that uniquely of all victims they are not to be believed.

Although the article cites the statistical odds piled against rape victims in the UK, it concludes with the justification for rapist protection stating "number of cases in which celebrities were named in newspapers over allegations of sexual assault, even though in some cases they were not charge". Of course the actions of a few will endanger hundreds of thousands of other women, and for the British government that is apparently okay.

LaPrincipessa | Twitter | Email

(Posted at Women Undefined)

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Chinese Women Activists on the Forefront of Human Rights Movement

By Gordon Ross [IPS]

BEIJING, May 12, 2010 (IPS) - Thirteen years ago a local official in north-east China’s Heilongjiang province tried to extort money from a woman named Liu Jie, who operated a successful cow farm.

Liu protested at local courts, to no avail. In retaliation, the official destroyed her farm and stole her cows. She took her case to Beijing, where instead of receiving justice, she was detained and beaten.

In all, Liu, who is now 58, lost millions of renminbi, was detained secretly in Heilongjiang and beaten several times. But the chain of events set her on a path that would change her life – in the years following she has become a leading advocate of petitioners’ rights in China.

According to China Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a non-profit, non- political network of grassroots activists, the contribution of women like Liu to China’s human rights movement is often overlooked in the international media. In fact, said CHRD, there are many women at the forefront of China’s grassroots human rights movement working in various capacities to defend rights.

"A lot of the women are grassroots activists… they do a lot of work on the ground, at the grassroots level, and they are much better known within their own circle than at the international level," Wang Songlian, research coordinator for CHRD, tells IPS.

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Third European Transgender Council 2010

I received this announcement for the upcoming TGEU 2010 Council meeting in Malmoe, Sweden

Embracing Diversity. Stretching Boundaries. Demanding Rights  

Thursday 6pm, 30th September 2010 – Sunday 2pm, 3rd October 2010

Dear Trans*activists, friends and allies!

Since our last Council 2008 in Berlin, significant developments have evolved all over Europe: The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe published his visionary Issue Paper “Human Rights and Gender Identity”; France announced that it would be the first European country to take steps to de-pathologize Gender Identity Disorder - GID; in the mean time Turkish trans people keep on being exposed to a brutal series of hate crimes, with at least 8 murdered in the last few months.

The European transgender movement has seen incredible growth and is strongly connected with its international counterparts. It is time, to take stock of recent developments and think together about how to maximize human rights for ALL trans people in Europe. We must make our cause inclusive, to ensure that rights and respect are not given to the few. We must not accidentally or greedily exclude the more invisible members of our community.

So, we are delighted to invite you to the Third European Transgender Council 2010.

This year’s council will be held in Malmo in Sweden from Thursday evening, September 30th till Sunday afternoon, October 3rd. So save the date and join us in Sweden for the biggest European forum for transgender rights and activism!

This year’s Transgender Council ‘s motto will be  

Embracing Diversity. Stretching Boundaries. Demanding Rights

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FPI sabotages transgender workshop

By Theresia Sufa and Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post

Dozens of members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) stormed a human rights training program intended for transgender individuals at a hotel in Depok, West Java, on Friday.

The program, organized by the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM), had just begun when dozens of FPI members forced their way (past police) into the room.

Nancy Iskandar, a participant, said after a coffee break at around 10:30 a.m, a number of police officers had come into the room.

The committee had then asked participants to take a snack break in the training room.

“Several people then suddenly banged on the door and shouted the name of God,” she said.

Nancy, who is also the head of the Transgender Communication Forum, said the group verbally assaulted participants disgracefully.

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Turkish court refuses to ban Gay rights groups

"Homosexuals are free to found associations like all other people." Judge Mursel Ermis

ANKARA (AFP) A Turkish court Friday rejected a demand to ban a group campaigning for gay rights, marking another victory for the fledgling movement in the mainly Muslim country, Anatolia new agency reported.

"Homosexuals are free to found associations like all other people," judge Mursel Ermis said as he announced the ruling at a court in the western city of Izmir, Anatolia reported.

The dissolution of the association, Siyah Pembe Ucgen (Black Pink Triangle), was sought by the Izmir governor's office on grounds its statute was in breach of "Turkish family structure and general morality."

Turkey's two leading homosexual groups have been targeted in similar cases initiated by government authorities.

Last year, the Appeals Court quashed a ruling to dissolve Lambda Istanbul, and in 2005 prosecutors threw out an application to outlaw the Ankara-based KAOS-GL.

Same-sex relationships have never been criminalized in EU-hopeful Turkey as elsewhere in the Muslim world, but there are no laws protecting homosexual rights and prejudice against gays and lesbians remains strong in daily life.

Family affairs minister Selma Aliye Kavaf sparked a wave of criticism in March when she described homosexuality as a "biological disorder, a disease" that should be cured.

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Chilean Custody Decision Violated Lesbian Judge's Rights

By Daniela Estrada

SANTIAGO, Apr 9, 2010 (IPS) - The attorneys representing Chilean Judge Karen Atala, a lesbian who brought her case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights claiming discrimination in the loss of custody of her three daughters, accused the Chilean state of sending out "unequivocal" signals of a lack of will to implement the regional body's recommendations.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), a Washington-based Organisation of American States (OAS) body, found that "the Chilean state violated Karen Atala's right to live free from discrimination," and issued recommendations.

But Supreme Court chief magistrate Milton Juica said Thursday that he would not join the working group proposed by the government to comply with the suggestions issued in February.

"The courts do not discriminate in any way," Juica said, referring to the case. "We are not going to take part in any working group."

Although the government of right-wing President Sebastián Piñera said it accepted the IACHR's recommendations, Juica's remarks are "an unequivocal signal of the state's lack of will" to live up to them, said Jorge Contesse, director of the private Diego Portales University's (UDP) human rights centre.

In a May 2004 decision, the Supreme Court stripped Atala of custody of her three daughters because she was living with her lesbian partner, Emma de Ramón, a history professor.

In so doing, the Court overturned the rulings of two lower courts that had granted her custody after she separated from her husband, who is also a judge.

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Sex Workers Rights in Macedonia: You Must Know About Me - Excerpts [video]

By: Violeta Krasnic

In Macedonia, as throughout the world, sex workers are pushed to the margins of society by a combination of prejudice, discrimination, and violence.  Yet, the fact that a person sells sexual services cannot be used as justification for the denial of their fundamental rights, to which all human beings are entitled.

“You Must Know About Me” is a first-hand account of sex workers’ experiences and aspirations off and on the streets.  While dealing with harassment and violence from clients, pimps, and the police, sex workers strive to counter hostile public attitudes by speaking out and fighting for their rights.  The video calls for zero tolerance of violence against sex workers and the coordinated response of institutions to the actual needs of sex workers.

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NUESTRAS VOCES / OUR VOICES: Wise Latin@s en la lucha - Nov. 1-2, 2010

Arte Sana National Conference
November 1-2, 2010


Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport Hotel
4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, Texas

Arte Sana is pleased to announce "NUESTRAS VOCES / OUR VOICES: Wise Latin@s en la lucha" a national gathering of Latin@ victim advocates, prevention specialists, survivors, and allies promoting the engagement of Latin@s as agents of change in addressing gender-based violence, celebrating our collective wisdom & leadership en los movimientos.


The conference ends at 5:30pm on both days.

Please join Latina victim advocates and allies from across the nation to share, learn, and be inspired!

Attendees are invited to participate in a collective art installation:
un altar para el Día de los Muertos
Poema y arte:

Click HERE to register now and take advantage of the Early Bird registration of $195 until April 30, 2010 (Standard rate: $245).
Group rates are also available.

TOPICS and PRESENTERS

Keynote: The Pornographic Mirror: Facing the Ugly Realities of Patriarchy and White Supremacy
Robert Jensen - Journalism professor – The University of Texas at Austin

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Yemeni Women Subjected to Abuse

I was reading about the horrid death of a 12 year old girl who died of rape after being married sold off as a bride bitch for breeding and forced labor.  This practice is endorsed by holy men psychotic, ignorant and delusional brutes and imposed on the devoted followers dirt fucking poor and hopeless.  And no...this is not the exception to the rule, nor is the brutal rape of children limited only to one faith.  I'll go off later on the lunacy of trusting children with any adult - much less man who claims to represent and invisible friend in the sky and can't hold a real job of his own.

In the meantime, I did find this well crafted piece about women in Yemen and how the underlying sexism of that culture this whole fucking planet exists to suck the energy and life out of women and give only cruelty and indifference in return. 

Breaking the Silence” chronicles the lives and injustices against the Akhdam women in Yemen. The ‘Akhdam’ , singular Khadem, meaning "servant" in Arabic, are a social group in Yemen, distinct from the majority by their darker skin and African descent. Although they are Arabic-speaking and practicing Muslims, they are regarded as non-Arabs and designated as a low caste group, frequently discriminated against and confined to unskilled and menial labor. In a society already riddled with patriarchy and poverty, the distain and discrimination against the Akhdam renders Akhdam women easy targets of violence and abuse. Akhdam women are subject to hate-based attacks and sexual assaults without any type of legal or social recourse.

This video, produced by Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights and WITNESS, featuring the stories and voices of these three women, Haddah, Qobol, and Om Ali recounting their stories of violence, injustice and forced poverty uncover the legacy of discrimination the ‘Akhdam’ live with daily and the necessity for urgent action against these atrocities.

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Inés Alberdi: A Life Free of Violence for Women and Girls

 

By Inés Alberdi, UNIFEM Executive Director

Date: 27 March 2010

Occasion: Fifth Meeting of Women for a Better World, Valencia, Spain, 27–28 March 2010.

Good morning. It is a pleasure to join my distinguished colleagues in this dialogue on women’s health and rights. My remarks will take up the issue of violence against women and girls and UNIFEM strategy to end this pandemic.

National surveys show that as many as 17 to 76 percent of women experience physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime, most often by husbands and intimate partners. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. As such, it strips countries of the human capital and productivity needed in the struggle to end poverty, improve education and health and propel development. Violence against women has also been a silent but potent culprit in the feminization and spread of HIV It is now recognized as a public health issue in many countries, one that undermines the health of individuals and the strength of communities and societies.

Despite its harmful effects, violence against women has long been regarded as essentially a private issue. Today, after decades of struggle by women’s rights activists, ending violence against women is positioned high on policy-making agendas. A record number of countries have adopted laws, policies and action plans to end violence against women, and a growing number are ensuring budgets for their implementation. Landmark agreements since the 1993 UN Declaration on Violence against Women and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action include the world summits in 2000 and 2005, recognizing the importance of ending violence against women to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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