Posts Tagged ‘abuse

11
Apr
08

Yemen: Eight year old girl wants divorce [Update divorce granted]

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser’s father Nojoud Muhammed Nasser, threatened to beat her if she did not agree to a forced marriage to (30 year old) Faez Ali Thamer. After two months of beatings and molestation at the hands of her so called ‘husband’ pedophile captor, she ran away and notified the courts.

What a brave strong little girl. Eight years old and standing up for her rights as a legitimate human being. As opposed to being treated as chattel. Hopefully she will become a role model in the future. I wish her all the best.

For the first time in Yemen
8-year-old girl asks for divorce in court

By: Hamed Thabet

SANA’A, April 9 – An eight-year-old girl decided last week to go the Sana’a West Court to prosecute her father, who forced her to marry a 30-year-old man.

PhotobucketNojoud Muhammed Nasser arrived at court by herself on Wednesday, April 2, looking for a judge to handle her case against her father, Muhammed Nasser, who forced her two months ago to marry Faez Ali Thamer, a man 22 years her senior. The child also asked for a divorce, accusing her husband of sexual and domestic abuse.

According to Yemeni law, Nojoud cannot prosecute, as she is underage. However, court judge Muhammed Al-Qathi heard her complaint and subsequently ordered the arrests of both her father and husband.

“My father beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me. I refused but I couldn’t stop the marriage,” Nojoud Nasser told the Yemen Times. “I asked and begged my mother, father, and aunt to help me to get divorced. They answered, ‘We can do nothing. If you want you can go to court by yourself.’ So this is what I have done,” she said.

Nasser said that she was exposed to sexual abuse and domestic violence by her husband. “He used to do bad things to me, and I had no idea as to what a marriage is. I would run from one room to another in order to escape, but in the end he would catch me and beat me and then continued to do what he wanted. I cried so much but no one listened to me. One day I ran away from him and came to the court and talked to them.”

“Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him. This lasted for two months,” added Nasser. “He was too tough with me, and whenever I asked him for mercy, he beat me and slapped me and then used me. I just want to have a respectful life and divorce him.”
Nasser’s uncle, who does not want to reveal his name, is following the case now as her guardian. According to her uncle, after Muhammed Nasser, the girl’s father, lost his job as a garbage truck driver in Hajjah, he became a beggar, and soon after suffered from mental problems.

PhotobucketThamer is in jail now. “Yes I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me,” he said. “But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”

So far, no accusations have been made against her father, who was later released due to health problems, or Nasser’s husband, who will remain in jail for further investigation.

“So far there is no case and no charges, as Nojoud arrived by herself to court asking just for a divorce,“ said Shatha Ali Nasser, a lawyer in the Supreme Court who is following Nojoud Nasser’s story.

Shatha Ali Nasser confirmed that item number 15 in Yemeni civil law reads that “no girl or boy can get married before the age of 15.” However, this item was amended in 1998 so parents could make a contract of marriage between their children even if they are under the age of 15. But the husband cannot be intimate with her until she is ready or mature,” said Nasser.

“This law is highly dangerous because it brings an end to a young girl’s happiness and future fruitful life. Nojoud did not get married, but she was raped by a 30-year old man.”

Nasser confirmed that Nojoud Nasser’s case is not the first of its kind in Yemen, but it is the first time that a girl went to court by herself to ask for a divorce.

“We are not planning to return Nojoud to her family. Who knows? Maybe after a few years the same thing will happen to her again,” said Shatha Ali Nasser. “We are planning to put her in Dar Al-Rahama [an non-governmental organization that works with children], where she can have a better life and education. We do not want her family to pay her expenses, as they are poor.”

H/T Doctor Bulldog

Update:

8-year-old girl’s divorce is finalized while a law to prevent early marriage stalls

Excerpts

On April 15, with support from her lawyer Shatha Mohammed Nasser and Judge Abud Al-Khaleaq Ghowber, Nojoud paid her way out of marriage with YR 100,000 from an anonymous donor in the Emirates and happily became an 8-year-old divorcee.

“This was the first time a girl came to us for a divorce. We are going to do our best to push the parliament to change the marriage law,” said Judge Ghowber.

A divided society

The Yemeni personal status law stipulates that a girl cannot be wed until she is ready for intercourse, which in essence leaves the judgment up to the girl’s parents or guardians.

Judge Ghowber explained that early marriages are usually the fault of the parents. He insisted that there must be increased awareness among Yemeni families in order to avoid these serious mistakes.

A number of Yemeni religious scholars, including some in the Evaluation and Jurisprudence Committee in the Parliament, say that since there is no religious statement defining a minimum age for marriage, then early marriage is perfectly fine if not desirable.

Other scholars and religious authorities, like Judge Hamoud Al-Hitar, the Minister of Endowment, want to create legislation to prevent parents from marrying their girls off at a young age and to prevent religious sheikhs from endorsing such marriages.

“Those who approve of girls marrying at 13, 14 or even below 18, are barbaric men who abuse childhood and are irresponsible,” said religious scholar Yahiya Al-Najar, the former Minister of Endowment.

He explained that there should be a minimum age for boys and girls to marry in order to complete their physical and mental development and so that they can manage the so that they can manage the responsibilities of marriage and raising a family.

Al-Hitar said that the minimum age of marriage should be 16-years-old, no less. He added that previous religious bodies in charge of jurisprudence wrote such laws in 1976 and in 1988.

“Those who say that defining a minimum age for marriage is un-Islamic do not understand the religion at all,” said Al-Hitar. “Defining a minimum age of marriage is a need dedicated by life’s nature.”

The Yemeni parliament is equally divided between MPs who believe in safe motherhood (and thereby banning early marriage) and those who don’t. Deputy speaker of Parliament, MP Himyar Al-Ahmar, said that he supports the creation of legislation against early marriage, requested by the Women’s National Committee, but prefers to forward the issue to the Evaluation and Jurisprudence Committee, which is strongly against such legislation.

Rasheeda Al-Hamadani, chair of the Women’s National Committee, promised to continue to raise awareness about the issue by holding workshops soon with religious leaders, MPs and decision makers. Source.

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09
Jan
08

Britain: Female Genital Mutilation

The unspeakable practice of female circumcision that’s destroying young women’s lives in Britain

The girl is 15 years old but looks much younger. Her face has the fine-boned elegance typical of her native Somalia, but her accent belongs to the streets of East London. She is plainly terrified. That much is clear from the way she avoids eye contact and constantly fidgets in her chair.

“Promise you won’t print my name or anything?” she implores repeatedly. “Promise no one will ever know that I’ve spoken to you? If people in my community find out, they’ll say that I’ve betrayed them and I’ll have to run away. And anyway, I don’t want my parents to be sent to jail.”

With great courage, this British-Somali girl – she asks that we call her “Lali” – is about to describe a barbaric act of ritualised cruelty which has been perpetrated against her. Knowing the danger to which she is exposing herself, her anxiety is entirely understandable.

For by speaking about it, Lali will break the ultimate taboo among Britain’s 600,000 ethnic Africans. In Norway, where this brutal act is also prevalent, a young Somali woman was recently beaten, almost to death, for talking to TV documentary programme-makers.

It is known by a variety of names, the most common of which are female genital mutilation (FGM), female circumcision, or simply “cutting” – a word which somehow conveys the raw pain its prepubescent victims suffer.

Most people will be unfamiliar with this practice, which involves removing part or all of the clitoris, the surrounding labia (the outer part of the vagina) and sometimes the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.

It is carried out for a variety of cultural reasons. Such is the secrecy that surrounds the practice that even those aware that it occurs in large swathes of Africa and Asia will be shocked to learn that it is prevalent in Britain.

During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly “cut”.

By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.

And thousands more girls are at imminent risk as families club together to fly professional “cutters” from Africa to Britain.

These women “elders” perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.

Many readers will be distressed by our report, but this practice is an abomination which has no place anywhere, let alone in a civilised society, and if it is to be expunged then this is a story that must be told.

There is no way of escaping the unpalatable terminology, just as there is no way for girls like Lali to escape the unsterile knife which cuts them as they are held down and which will result in a lifetime of physical and psychological pain.

Some people say the practice is to increase the sexual pleasure of the man, but this is only one appallingly outdated reason why many womenfolk from 28 African and some Middle Eastern countries, most of which have sizeable representation in Britain, are treated like this.

It is also done to demonstrate their virginity on their wedding night; and because “uncut” girls with the ability to enjoy love-making are considered more likely to be promiscuous, unhygienic, and prone to diseases such as Aids.

Attempts are also made to justify this iniquitous practice on religious grounds. Some hard-line Muslims insist that women must undergo genital cutting to remain faithful to the purest teachings of Islam – although, in truth, it is not even mentioned in the Koran, and only ambiguously in the Hadith (a collection of oral traditions about the life of the prophet Mohammed).

Several leadings Imams have openly condemned the practice. This, though, does not deter its proponents, who maintain that it is their inalienable right to live according to their traditional beliefs and customs, rather than conform to British values. Indeed, some argue that the freedom to carry out FGM is a fundamental principle of our multi-cultural society.

Whatever the arguments, the fact is that genital mutilation is a reality, and the Metropolitan police is so concerned that it recently set up a special unit to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators. Heading the unit is Detective Inspector Carol Hamilton, herself a mother, who was horrified when she discovered what was happening to other people’s daughters.

The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities.

Usually their visits are well-received, but we found that at least one London council declined to publish material highlighting the suffering and danger the practice causes – for fear of offending ethnic African residents.

This kind of attitude incenses Detective Inspector Hamilton. “We are all becoming very culturally sensitive,” she says. “People are a bit frightened of saying ‘You can’t do this here’ because people shoot back with ‘But it’s our culture’.

“But it’s not: this is just plain cruel. I won’t be put off by the politically correct argument. We have to be seen to be strong on this. I don’t care about human rights – I care about the rights of the child. Everything else has to go out of the window.

“We have one rule in child protection: the child is of paramount importance. I stick by that firmly.”

Together with the Waris Dirie Foundation¹, an international campaign group formed by the Somali-born supermodel who suffered genital mutilation as a five-year-old child, the Met announced a £20,000 reward last July for information leading to the conviction of anyone who performs or abets cutting.

Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, those involved could be jailed for 14 years. Yet the fact that no one has been prosecuted says much about the problems the police are facing.

“There are thousands of girls being cut in your country,” says Waris Dirie spokesman Walter Hutschinger. “We are sure it’s going on, and on a very big scale. Your law is one of the most comprehensive in the world, but it is useless if nobody will help to implement it.

“We have been contacted by girls from all parts of Britain – London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Reading, Slough, Milton Keynes, Crawley – anywhere there are big African communities.

“Many of these girls know they are about to be cut and are desperate for help, but they are even more afraid of what might happen to them if they come out in the open.

“One young woman wrote recently to tell us that she was about to be taken home to Somalia to be cut, and she was terrified because her older sister had died after cutting. [To avoid detection, the mutilation is often done in a girl’s native country.]

“She was thinking of running away – but she didn’t know where she could go or what she would do. The girl says genital mutilation has destroyed her family. We wrote back offering a meeting, but she has not been back in touch.’

During our investigation, we found similar difficulty finding girls willing publicly to condemn a practice whose “virtues” are impressed upon them from infancy so that they are effectively brainwashed into believing it to be an essential step towards womanhood.

Lali is so determined that other girls should be spared the misery she has endured since the cutter came to call four years ago that, last week, she bravely told us her story.

Continued.

¹Waris Dirie Foundation

Also see @ Broken Bodies – Broken Dreams:

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation: Part 2

Female Genital Cutting

Documentary on female genital cutting H/T drdapo


Related: Fighting Female Circumcision & Debating It’s Religious Ruling

01
Jan
08

Forced Marriages: Sexual Slavery Rape Child Molestation

unicef-photo-of-the-year-2007-stephanie-sinclair.jpg

The UNICEF Photo of the Year – 2007 portrays a sad reality.

My heart and soul cry for these little girls.

Images of Extremes

Eva Luise Köhler honors Stephanie Sinclair for her picture taken in Afghanistan

The American photographer Stephanie Sinclair is the winner of the international photo competition “UNICEF Photo of the Year”. Her photo shows a wedding couple in Afghanistan who could not be more opposite. The groom, Mohammed, looks much older than his 40 years. The bride, Ghulam, is still a child; she just turned 11. “The UNICEF Photo of the Year 2007 raises awareness about a worldwide problem. Millions of girls are married while they are still under age. Most of theses child brides are forever denied a self-determined life”, says UNICEF Patroness Eva Luise Köhler at the award ceremony in Berlin. According to UNICEF, there are about 60 million young women worldwide who were married before they came of age, half of them in South Asia.

1st Prize for Stephanie Sinclair

Child brides

He’s forty, she’s eleven. And they are a couple – the Afghan man Mohammed F.* and the child Ghulam H.*. “We needed the money”, Ghulam’s parents said. Faiz claims he is going to send her to school. But the women of Damarda village in Afghanistan’s Ghor province know better: “Our men don’t want educated women.” They predict that Ghulam will be married within a few weeks after her engagement in 2006, so as to bear children for Faiz.

During her stay in Afghanistan, it consistently struck American photographer Stephanie Sinclair how many young girls are married to much older men. She decided to raise awareness about this topic with her pictures. Particularly as the official minimum age for brides in Afghanistan is sixteen and it is therefore illegal to marry children.

Early marriages are not only a problem in Afghanistan: worldwide there are about 51 million girls aged between 15 and 19 years who are forced into marriage. The youngest brides live in the Indian state of Rajasthan, where 15% of all wives are not even 10 years old when they are married. Child marriages are a reaction to extreme poverty and mainly take place in Asian and African regions where poor families see their daughters as a burden and as second-class citizens. Already in their younger years, girls are given into the “care” of a husband, a tradition that often leads to exploitation. Many girls become victims of domestic violence. In an Egyptian survey, about one-third of the interviewed child brides stated that they were beaten by their husbands. The young brides are under pressure to prove their fertility as soon as possible. But the risk for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 not to survive pregnancy is five times higher than for adult women. Every year, about 150,000 pregnant teenagers die due to complications – in particular due to a lack of medical care, let alone sex education.

For her project, Stephanie Sinclair also traveled to Nepal and Ethiopia. She wants to do research on the topic of child marriage in other regions as well and then publish a book on the issue.

Photo: Stephanie Sinclair, USA, Freeleance Photographer

Forced marriages do NOT include consensual sex. Each and every time a husband who married due to a forced marriage arrangement, has sexual relations with his so called wife he rapes her!!!!!!!

Forced marriages = rape
Family authorized rape, child molestation and incest.
Sex slavery disguised as marriage.
Young girls treated as chattel, bartered and sold, into what turns into life as a sex slave.

The Bride Price

Rather than a willing union between a man and woman, marriage is frequently a transaction among families, and the younger the bride, the higher the price she may fetch. Girls are valuable workers in a land where survival is scratched from the grudging soil of a half-acre parcel. In her parents’ home, a girl can till fields, tend livestock and cook meals. In her husband’s home, she is more useful yet. She can have sex and bear children.

Afghanistan is not alone in this predilection toward early wedlock. Globally, the number of child brides is hard to tabulate; they live mostly in places where births, deaths and the human milestones in between go unrecorded. But there are estimates. About 1 in 7 girls in the developing world (excluding China) gets married before her 15th birthday, according to analyses done by the Population Council, an international research group.

brides190650.jpg

Stephanie Sinclair for The New York Times

Roshan Qasem, 11, will join the household of Said Mohammed, 55; his first wife; their three sons; and their daughter, who is the same age as Roshan.

Unfortunately, there are no reliable data about the age of Afghans at marriage. Husbands are not ordinarily old enough to be their wives’ fathers or grandfathers, but such February-September couples as those pictured here are hardly rare either. In such marriages, the man is likely to view the age difference as a fair bargain, his years of experience in exchange for her years of fecundity. At the same time, the girl’s wishes are customarily disregarded. Her marriage will end her opportunities for schooling and independent work.

On the day she witnessed the engagement party of 11-year-old Ghulam Haider to 40-year-old Faiz Mohammed, Sinclair discreetly took the girl aside. “What are you feeling today?” the photographer asked. “Nothing,” the bewildered girl answered. “I do not know this man. What am I supposed to feel?”

Be sure to click on the link: Photographs: Child Brides

Special Report: Muslim Forced Marriages In Europe

Women under Islam: Forced marriage – Part 2 of 4

The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain – Forced marriage

When Islam Breaks Down

Forced Marriage Troubles

20
Dec
07

China: Falun Gong Persecution – Organ Harvesting

Warning: Marked as: mature & graphic.. [images]

H/T Freethoughts

THE PERSECUTION OF FEMALE PRACTITIONERS OF FALUN GONG IN CHINA

Although practiced by as many as 100 million people, it was banned — under pain of imprisonment, torture and death — by the Chinese government in 1999.
Falun Gong, literally “Practice of the Wheel of Law”) also known as Falun Dafa, “Great Law of the Wheel of Law”) is a system of “mind and body cultivation” introduced by Li Hongzhi to the public in 1992. Falun Gong refers to five sets of meditation exercises (four standing, and one sitting meditation), and Falun Dafa refers to a set of religious teachings Li claims to provide salvation for mankind .
Falun Gong has been the focus of international controversy since July 20, 1999, when the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) began a suppression of the movement nationwide, except in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. The PRC government claims to have banned the group for what it considers to be illegal activities. The Falun Gong claims that the ban was the result of personal jealousy of the group’s popularity on the part of Jiang Zemin, a former President of the People’s Republic of China. The suppression of Falun Gong is considered a human rights violation by a number of (mostly western) human rights groups and politicians.

The atrocities being committed against women who practice Falun Gong are escalating. The accounts below are just a small sample of typical examples of torture being endured by these women in detention centers and forced labor camps throughout China.:

• Widespread use of electric stun devices to shock women on sensitive body parts such as the genitals, breasts, mouth, head, and anus.
• Force-feeding using liquid mixtures containing hot pepper or a thick saline solution with only a small amount of water added; this usually causes severe vomiting.
• Forced injections of higher than normal dosages of drugs that damage the central nervous system.
• Prolonged hanging from shackles on the wrists.
• Forced standing for long periods of time in freezing temperatures, wearing little or no clothing and drenched in ice water.
• Piercing through the fingertips with sharp bamboo sticks or through the nipples with wire.
• Prolonged and daily beating with instruments such as wire cables, nail studded batons, planks, etc.
• Sleep deprivation.
• Beaten with poisonous iohuomals branches, a hemp-like perennial plant, with downy branches and piercing thorns that causes red, blistered and extremely painful, itchy skin.
• Public humiliation by being paraded through the streets wearing derogatory signs.
• Subjected to snake and scorpion bites or left outside without clothing in mosquito infested areas.
• Restrained with dirty items stuffed in their mouths, such as used sanitary napkins, cleaning rags, dirty socks, etc.

Chen Lihua 36, female, a farmer from Dawangzhuang Township. She was detained in an office of the township government on January 4, 2000, for going to Beijing to appeal. Dozens of young male officials led by Li (an official in the office of the communist party committee,) came to the office and forced her to take off all her clothes. Official Bo thrust an electric baton into her vagina, shocking her to the floor. Then, one man held her arm and electrically shocked her body and handcuffed one of her hands to the window. Official Wang held her other hand while Bo grabbed her breasts and shocked her upper body repeatedly. She was tortured this way for quite a while, and then was told to put on her shirt and sit on the floor. Dozens of men kicked her so hard that she rolled around on the floor screaming in agony.

A 14-year old girl was forced to walk with a heavy brick on top of her head and her feet were bound to heavy rocks. While she walked, guards repeatedly slapped her in the face. At night the officer ordered her to hold a position touching her toes with knees straight. When she could not maintain the position, the guards beat her with clubs. After being tortured like this for an entire night, she could not walk without being assisted by someone. Guards threatened practitioners who protested the mistreatment saying they would stuff their mouths with used sanitary napkins.
Because the sheer magnitude of these abuses against women this is only a small number of cases, representing the specific types of torture and brutality being unleashed upon female practitioners by Chinese government officials.

The evidence that Falun Gong practitioners are being persecuted by being extracted of their organs

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.liveleak.com posted with vodpod




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Est. October 13 2007

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