torture

arvan's picture

"Humans Null and Void" Exposes Abuse of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Humans, null and void

by Yana Buhrer Tavanier in Skopje, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Negorci and Negotino

Time stands still in residential institutions for adults with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems in Macedonia where the lack of care, abuse, filth and neglect are all miserably present.

This is the outcome of a months long journalistic investigation, conducted mostly undercover in all institutions for adults with intellectual disabilities or mental illnesses in Macedonia.

It’s not just the striking lack of care, the human rights abuses, the inhuman and degrading treatment, the stench, the filth.  One of the fundamental things an institution does to you is to rob you of your identity, to erase who you are, to deprive you of substance, to crush you and leave you a hollow shell, to take away your face and replace it with a mask, the same one worn by everyone around you.  Even worse, institutions also make the concept of time cease to exist.  A permanent hell. Humans, null and void.  

(From Humans Null and Void)

Read the investigation.

See the photo galleries here and here.

See the similar investigation, conducted by the same author a year ago, covering Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia here.

arvan's picture

U.N. Weighs Sanctions Against Perpetrators of DRC Mass Rapes

By Aprille Muscara

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 8, 2010 (IPS) - The U.N. Security Council is considering leveraging sanctions against the perpetrators of the mass rapes that occurred last month in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following a meeting held on the recent violence Tuesday.

"From the U.S. point of view, we will take up the mantle of leadership… in ensuring that the perpetrators of the violence are held accountable, including through our efforts in the sanctions committee – to add them to the list that exists and to ensure that they are sanctioned," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters after the meeting.

Over 500 rapes have now been confirmed in the North and South Kivu provinces since Jul. 30, with scores more unconfirmed and still others certainly unreported, according to the deputy head of the U.N. peacekeeping department, Atul Khare, who briefed the council during the meeting. Khare was dispatched to the DRC after reports of the recent violence in the country surfaced in the media two weeks ago.

Members of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda, known by their French acronym FDLR, and the Mai Mai Cheka rebel groups systematically gang raped over 242 women during a four-day raid of 13 villages in the North Kivu province beginning Jul. 30. According to MONUSCO, the U.N.'s peacekeeping force in the DRC, they are believed to have continued their pillaging spree after 75 subsequent rapes were confirmed in neighbouring areas.

And in South Kivu, over 214 rapes of men, women and children as young as seven years old have been confirmed, with reports of the systematic rape of every woman in the village of Kiluma yet to be corroborated, Khare said. Included in this figure are 10 rapes committed by the official Congolese armed forces, known as the FARDC.

arvan's picture

Photo exhibition reviles violence against women

By Nathan Kiwere | The Independent

Pain, agony, anguish, torment described the recently concluded photo exhibition at the AU Summit and Nommo gallery. If there were ever any observers with misgivings about the ability of a picture to speak a thousand words, as the age-old adage goes, their doubts were assuaged by the power of the black and white pictures that carried heavy emotive messages. Women took turns to echo their displeasure about the vice of violence against women, invoking strong language during the opening of the photo show at Nommo gallery. But did their message capture the attention it deserved?

The exhibition was organized under the auspices of the framework of the Year of Peace and Security (YoPS) in Africa and the the African Union (AU) in partnership with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) during its 15th AU Summit at Munyonyo Resort. It comprised of pictures that aim to raise awareness on the ruthless reality faced by women in armed conflict situations, emphasizing the serious repercussions these women then face in their communities. The display conveyed the message that peace is only possible by ending violence against women and girls. The 30 images composed the five sections of the exhibition, starting with an overview of armed conflict, followed by the various forms of gender based violence and the reasons why women and girls are particularly vulnerable in conflict and post conflict situations. The exhibition also displayed the strategies that have been developed to tackle this issue.

arvan's picture

Asuda Press Release on FGM in Kurdistan

The dissemination of Human Rights Watch report on 16 June 2010 on FGM and the reactions by activists and NGOs to the report initiated a controversy about the issue.  Also, in the last couple of days and on 6 July 2010, the Association of Islamic Clerics in Kurdistan issued a “Fatwa” on FGM in which parents [or guardians] of girls were given the choice of conducting FGM to their girls.

Following reactions and pressure on Muslim clerics with respect to the “Fatwa”, the Association of Islamic Cleric in Kurdistan issued a clarification which states “No clear text in Quoran stipulates FGM as a duty or Sunna”, however, in paragraph 4 of the same clarification statement says:

“The summary of the Fatwa of Kurdistan High Commission of Fatwa believes, parents [or guardians] have the choice to conduct or refrain from conducting FGM, this freedom of choice is not absolute, but conditional until it is proved that FGM causes immediate or long term health damage to mutilated girls, then they may not go ahead with FGM”.

arvan's picture

Rape is not love

This project looks interesting.  The website listed in their graphics is not working, but the video is powerful and uncomfortable to watch. -arvan

Rape is not love

Rare are the cases when the rapist is some stranger. Most often it’s someone close to the victim – a boyfriend/girlfriend, a husband/wife, a long-time friend. This makes it hard for the victims to identify whether they were raped, and they try to forget the whole event. But by not coming forward, they make themselves victims forever.

The goal of this campaign was to raise awareness of the most common three types of rapes: acquaintance, date and marital rape.

 

arvan's picture

Emergency hotline for female genital mutilation started in EU

With SOS, the FGM Task Force now has a child protection project started, which is unique in Germany and Europe.  It focuses on the concrete protection of girls from a very specific violence: female genital mutilation.

In Germany alone, need up to 50,000 under-age girls are classified as endangered.  Up to 80% of these girls actually are subjected to the mutilation.  To protection, they could not count so far with few exceptions.

The experience of recent years have shown that people who have specific information about planned or have already become committed genital mutilation, often do not know whom they can turn to.  Even authorities and youth respond often uncertain and hesitant when girls at risk must be protected.

arvan's picture

Catholic Church Goes "All In" on Victim Blaming, Denial and Depravity.

Holy Jesus fuck!  What a douchebag.

"Jesus help me, I'm gonna tap that boy's ass tonight!"

In this story from the AP, some Bishop in Mexico is choosing to blame sex education for causing priests to molest children.  The public education system in Mexico, in seeking to provide services that actually benefit the citizens of Mexico, choose to have a sex education system that uses facts about biology, reproduction, disease and prevention.  This of course is a direct challenge to the Roman Catholic Church, who seek to suck the money out of people while glorifying themselves as special messengers of an invisible being they refer to as "God". 

In an effort to keep the population stupid, diseased and gullible as well as provide cover for the continuing and historical raping of children by priests, some bishop in Mexico said this:

On Thursday, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said that "when there is generalized sexual licentiousness, it is more common to have pederasty."

"In the midst of the invasion of so much eroticism, it is not easy to remain faithful in celibacy, or in respecting children," Arizmendi, the bishop of the San Cristobal de las Casas diocese in Chiapas state, said at a meeting of Mexican bishops. (Source AP)

It's an example of the worst abuse of power imaginable.  The Catholic Church goes around telling people to fork over their money, breed themselves into illiteracy, disease and poverty and trust that while the Pope makes the ultimate sacrifice of eating filet mignon every goddamn night - those poor saps will be rewarded with eternal bliss after they fucking die. 

Christina Engela's picture

Shock Treatment

I would like to praise the Canadian authorities for apprehending Dr. Aubrey Levin, aka "Dr. Shock" - a man who is believed to have fled to Canada to avoid facing the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission in the 1990's - and for launching an inquiry into his activities in Canada - and also for investigating charges of human rights abuses from when he was in South Africa.

I welcome the fact that all criminal cases in Canada in which this person has participated as an "expert" witness for the prosecution, are currently being reviewed. Who knows, there may be innocent people sitting in prison or mental institutions because of his prejudice. I also applaud the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta for suspending Levin’s license to practice (that's really great - I really, really like that part). I also applaud Canada for the over-all thoroughness evident in the way this sensitive issue is being handled. I can guess how long this would take over here in sunny South Africa.

Firstly, the case itself would probably be put off until sometime after the Soccer World cup - because we all know how much more important that is than boring old human rights - giving it another six months for the public to forget it ever happened, so that the bail appications could go off without a noisy protest outside the court room. Then, it would probably take six more months to find the missing dockets, if ever - and then, like another prominent homophobe in this country, Mr Levin would probably be impossible to locate to be subpoenaed for his court appearance.

The cynical side of me would expect to find him occupying a government office in a South African embassy, perhaps in Burundi or Rwanda - seeing as the job in Uganda is already taken - by Jon Qwelane.

It is amazing that people can commit hate crimes, and just conveniently not show up in court when they are charged to - and nobody, not even the Government or Judicial Authority it seems, can do anything about it - other than to offer them a job as a foreign Ambassador, of course.
arvan's picture

Film Review: Graphic Sexual Horror

Last night, I attended a screening of "Graphic Sexual Horror", directed by Barbara Bell and Anna Lorentzon.  The venue was the Leather Museum & Archives (LAM), who also sponsored the event along with The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum as part of the Sex+++ Documentary Film Series.  The event was presented by Dr. Jennifer Tyburczy, Ph.D. Director of Programming for the LAM and Clarisse Thorn.  Present for the showing and taking questions afterward, was Barbara Bell herself.  I was joined in the audience by blogger Rabbit White and her husband Ned.

So, the warning and disclaimer: This could easily trigger you.  I'm not even kidding.

This is a documentary about the creation of a website that produced media of women being tortured for people to watch as they masturbate.  BDSM porn...torture porn...whatever you may call it.

This is striking stuff and I found it difficult to separate my thoughts about the porn from my thoughts about what I thought of the film.  Which, I suppose is a nod toward the directors for presenting the subject without overtly interjecting themselves into the process.

The film is about 120min long and covers the story of how this website insex.com was conceived, launched, operated and finally shut down.  It starts right out off with a grainy film titled "worm" being shown.  The narrator, "pd" - is describing that this is his wife at the time, wrapped in vinyl, bound and laying on the floor.  The film then continues on through a series of interviews done recently, with staff members of insex.com relating their experiences on the site. 

arvan's picture

Curbing sexual violence in conflict is ‘mission irresistible’ for new UN envoy

9 February 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s newly appointed Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict promised today a more coherent and effective battle against the scourge, citing recent mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and calling her new task “mission irresistible.”

“Sexual violence against women is not cultural, it’s criminal. It’s not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue. It’s for both men and women to make sure that women have the right to their body,” Margot Wallström, a Swedish politician with a long history in defending women’s rights, told a news briefing in New York, citing the need to end impunity as a priority area. “Women carry half the sky, so they have to be valued that way.”

Ms. Wallström was introduced by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro who said the new appointment was “a major step” towards protecting civilians subjected to sexual violence not only in conflict but also in post-conflict situations.

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