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ALGERIA: Violence against women exposed at the UN in Geneva

Violence against women exposed at the UN

Gender-based violence, sexual abuse and the accusations of rape Khadiyatu Mohamud against Brahim Ghali. Speech of Hans Noot, representative of Human Rights Without Frontiers.

HRWF (10.11.2022) – On 11 November, Algeria’s human rights report will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). On the eve of this hearing, a side-event related to this issue was organized two days before at the UN in Geneva. HRWF’s representative, Hans Noot, who was one of the panelists, addressed the rape issue in Algeria. Here is the text of his paper:

“Last month, Human Rights Without Frontiers, which I represent here today, was invited to a hearing by the European Parliament to share its expertise on the issue of violence against women as an abuse of power. One aspect of the issue was dealing with sexual abuse by political leaders. I will today address the general issue of violence against women and rape in Algeria and conclude with one concrete example concerning a political leader.

Since the beginning of the last decade, things have been evolving positively for women in Algeria at the legal level but a lot still needs to be done concerning violence against women and rape, in law and in social attitudes.

In December 2015, Algeria’s Parliament adopted Law no.15-19 which criminalises certain forms of gender- based violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, harassment in public spaces, verbal harassment and psychological violence, as well as establishing penalties for assault against a spouse or female family members.

Amendments to the Penal Code, adopted in December 2015, criminalized physical and psychological violence against a spouse as specific offences, and broadened the existing provisions on sexual harassment.

However, the amendments still allow spouses responsible for violence to escape prosecution if the victims forgive them. This opens the door to pressure the victims and their families into withdrawing complaints.

In addition, article 41 of the labour code identifies cyberviolence and online harassment as criminal actions.

Most notably, the Family Code which, as aforementioned, governs ‘private’ matters, contains no provision relating to domestic violence. According to one Algerian newspaper, in this respect the Family Code can be seen as the foundation for legitimating violence within the family and the domestic sphere.

Algeria should remove the forgiveness procedure from its legal provisions and should also provide services and access to justice for victims by specially trained professionals which are safe, legal, sensitive and confidential. Medical and psychological services dealing with the post-traumatic impact of sexual violence should also be available.


A higher level of violence against women is rape.

In Algeria, rape is not clearly defined. It is limited to a man having sexual relations with a woman against her will. It is only severely punished when it involves ‘penetration of the vagina by a male genital organ’ but does not cover the use of an object or the penetration of other orifices, nor the rape of small boys, for which the term “indecent assault” is used.

Article 336 of the Criminal Code provides for a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison in case of rape but when the victim is a minor – less than 18 years old, the sentence is doubled: 10 to 20 years in prison. Articles 337 and 337bis provide for the same sentence when the rape is perpetrated by a member of the family. However, spousal rape is not criminalized and the perpetrators remain unpunished. A law and amendments to the Criminal Code are therefore needed to cover this issue.

Moreover, the law emphasizes ‘morality’ and ‘decency’ rather than the physical and psychological integrity of the victim, their protection and prevention against repeated assaults.

Another type of victims failing to be protected by law and in practice should also be given some visibility. As consensual sexual relations outside marriage and same sex relations are criminalised in Algeria, this may stop victims of sexual violence from coming forward for fear that they might be prosecuted if their allegation of rape is not believed.

Algeria does not have protection orders or systems, which leaves women exposed to violence and threats of retaliation when they seek help. Algerian law focuses almost exclusively on the criminalisation of gender- based violence.

In conclusion of this issue, Algeria should put an end to discriminatory rape laws and protect survivors of sexual violence. Decriminalising sexual relations between unmarried consenting adults and same-sex sexual relations would also facilitate the care for the victims by state and private institutions.

Abduction and rape of a female minor

Abduction and rape of a minor girl is another serious issue in practice.

Article 326 of the Criminal Code states that anyone who, without violence or threat, ‘abducts’ or ‘kidnaps’ a minor under 18 years of age is liable to 5 years’ imprisonment. However, rapists can avoid prosecution by marrying their teenage victims and if the girl’s family does not press charges.

At present, a whole reflection is underway on this subject, and more particularly on the abrogation of this article 326. Once this is done, judges will have to refer to the prohibition of marriage before the age of 19 and the obligation of consent of the spouses. At present, judges have to produce an order each time they want to authorize the marriage of a minor to her abductor. This is a way of enshrining rape and the impunity of the rapist to preserve the honor of the family. The suffering of the victims, on the other hand, is ignored and they are condemned to live with their rapist.

In conclusion of this section, Algeria should repeal provisions that allow rapists to avoid prosecution by marrying their teenage victims.

The case of Khadiyatu Mohamud

Sexual abuse and rape of women by men in power in a patriarchal context, in a religious context, in a professional context, in the world of sports, in the economic and political world is another widespread but mostly hidden issue.


In all countries of the world, political leaders have abused their power in their relations with women and girls, and have enjoyed total impunity. This was recently the case with a minister in France, with a former head of state in Gambia and also with the president of Zimbabwe, just to name a few examples. Algeria is no exception to the rule.


For years, Khadiyatu Mohamud has been unsuccessfully accusing the head of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, of rape.

Who is that Brahim Ghali? He is a Sahrawi politician based in Algeria. He serves as the current president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). He is the Secretary General of the Polisario Front. 

Ghali has served as a historic figure and played a key role in the struggle of the Sahrawi people in Algeria for self-determination and independence from Morocco.

In 2013, Khadiyatu Mohamud filed a complaint against him for rape and sexual abuse in Spain, where she was living.

She was then 18 years old and was working as an interpreter for the Polisario.  She had then been invited by an NGO in Italy. For that purpose, she needed the authorization of the diplomatic representation of the Polisario in Algeria as a necessary first administrative step before asking for a visa from the Italian embassy. In his office in the evening, Ghali blackmailed her, she said: a visa in exchange of sexual services. She refused but she was raped. Her mother, a traditionalist woman, told her not to make it public because nobody would ever want to marry her while her brother encouraged her to lodge a complaint. It took her three years to decide to file a complaint when she was in Spain but it was shelved.


But in 2021, Ghali went to Spain to recover from a critical health state due to COVID-19. Khadiyatu Mohamud used that opportunity to call upon the Spanish authorities through the media to remove her complaint from oblivion but Madrid remained deaf to her complaint. However, at that time, the Asociación Saharaui para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos managed to get the reopening of a lawsuit against Ghali for alleged torture, that had been provisionally dismissed. On 19 May 2021, the Spanish Audiencia Nacional summoned him to testify as a defendant in the torture case presented by the Spanish NGO. Unfortunately, the judge Santiago Pedraz determined the accusing parties had not brought any evidence of Ghali’s culpability. Shortly afterwards, Ghali left Spain in total impunity and went back to Algeria.


In Algeria, the authorities have always failed to process or even just consider the rape case of Khadiyatu Mohamud for obvious political and geopolitical reasons. According to the Algerian legislation, Brahim Ghali should have been sentenced to a prison term of 5 to 10 years but he has never been prosecuted.”


Photo credits: UN


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NIGERIA : Christian woman on trial for blasphemy

Christian woman on trial for blasphemy in Northeast Nigeria

Charges based on a WhatsApp message she shared.

Morning Star News (05.10.2022) – https://bit.ly/3TUVQbU – A Christian woman in northeast Nigeria is on trial after being held incommunicado for more than four months on blasphemy charges for forwarding a WhatsApp message, sources said.


Rhoda Ya’u Jatau, 45, was arrested in Bauchi state in May after receiving a WhatsApp message from Ghana condemning the gruesome killing of Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a university student in Sokoto state also falsely accused of blaspheming Islam.


Jatau shared the message condemning Yakubu’s May 12 death with colleagues in Warji County, and Muslims who saw it accused her of blaphemy and sought to kill her. Security agents from the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s secret police, arrested her on May 20, and she was incarcerated when Muslim mobs stormed her house seeking to kill her, sources said.


“Ever since her arrest, Mrs. Jatau has been detained in prison over false accusations of blasphemy,” charged with “inciting public disturbance, exciting contempt of religious creed and cyber-stalking,” said her attorney, Joshua Nasara, in a press statement.


Efforts to secure bail for Jatau, a health worker with the Warji Local Government Area, have been “frustrated and denied by government authorities and leaders of Islamic groups in the state,” Nasara said.


The charges accuse Jatau, of Tudun Alheri, of posting a video that disparages Allah, Muhammad (the prophet of Islam), his parents and the entire Muslim community to a WhatApp group of the Primary Healthcare Authority of Warji Local Government Area, allegedly “with the intent to cause religious crisis,” he said.


The charges allege that she thus violated Sections 114, 210 of the Penal Code Law and Section 24 subsection 1b(i) of Cybercrime Prohibition Prevention Act 2015.


Jatau was held for two weeks before she was charged, and since then she has been held incommunicado in prison as authorities and Muslim leaders in the state delayed her trial, Nasara said.


An application for bail was filed on July 20, after she was held the legal maximum of two months without trial, but it was not assigned to a judge until July 26, and by then judges had gone on vacation, Nasara said.


“It was in August that the application was reassigned to a vacation judge who heard it for the first time on Aug. 11,” he said.


The Rev. Ishaku Dano of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Warji County said the blasphemy charges are false. Jatau shared the WhatsApp message only as a word of caution against further violence in northern Nigeria, where Muslim mobs were wreaking havoc, he said.


“Information we obtained from Mrs. Jatau shows that the WhatsApp message she received and shared in her group was for caution against violence and against the use of derogatory language in addressing other people’s faith, but that was not the interpretation by the Muslims,” Pastor Dano said. “And since the occurrence of the incident in May 2022, there have been campaigns by Muslims for Mrs. Jatau to be killed for blasphemy against Muhammad.”


Pastor Attacked


In the Birshi area of the city of Bauchi, gunmen on Sept. 16 broke into the home of Pastor Zakka Luka Magaji and shot a relative staying with him, sources said.


“Seven terrorists invaded my house and attacked me and my family,” Pastor Magaji said. “I was their target even though I don’t know their motives. The injured relation staying with me who was shot during the attack is getting better now.”


The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bauchi State Chapter, said the attack on Pastor Magaji typifies the challenges facing Christians in northern Nigeria.


“The government must do everything possible to protect Nigerians from such attacks by terrorists, as life is sacred and must be protected at all costs,” said the Rev. Abraham Damina Dimeus.


Ahmed Wakil, spokesman for the Bauchi State Police Command, confirmed that seven armed terrorists attacked the pastor’s home, that he was unhurt and that the relative was wounded.


“A 32-year-old man who is a member of Christian Life Church living with Pastor Zakka was injured in the process,” Wakil said. “The police personnel who were there on a rescue mission immediately took the injured victim and rushed him to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, for treatment of gunshot wounds.”


Nigeria led the world in Christians killed for their faith last year (Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List report. The number of kidnapped Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the previous year, according to the WWL report.


Nigeria trailed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases, according to the report.


In the 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest ranking ever, from No. 9 the previous year.

Photo: Rhoda Ya’u Jatau. (Facebook) – morningstarnews.org

Further reading about FORB in Nigeria on HRWF website

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УКРАИНА: Сексуальное насилие и изнасилования со стороны России

Сексуальное насилие и изнасилование как злоупотребление властью в войне России против Украины

Выступление на слушаниях “Сексуальное насилие и изнасилование как злоупотребление властью”, проведенных Комитетом FEMM Европейского парламента 13 октября.

Вилли Фотре, “Права человека без границ”.


English HERE


Участниками дискуссии были


Г-жа Катажина КОЗЛОВСКА, общественный деятель,

основатель и президент Фонда #SayStop

Доктор Бранка АНТИК-ШТАУБЕР, сотрудничает с организациями, оказывающими поддержку жертвам сексуального насилия в Боснии

Г-н Вилли ФАУТРЕ, директор и соучредитель организации «Права человека без границ»


Открытие: Заместитель председателя Европарламента Радка Максова


Официальные фотографии с мероприятия здесь


HRWF (14.10.2022) – Злоупотребление властью, ведущее к сексуальному насилию и изнасилованию, имеет множество аспектов и может происходить во многих контекстах. В семье, в профессиональной сфере, в религиозном контексте, в мире спорта, в экономическом и политическом мире. Еще одна область злоупотребления властью и крайней жестокости, но уже в военное время, касается вторжения России в Украину, где иностранная оккупационная армия использует свою власть для совершения массовых поборов, включая сексуальное насилие и изнасилования.


Сексуальные домогательства, насилие и изнасилования в Украине в военное время


Уже более 230 дней резко возрастает количество обвинений в сексуальном насилии со стороны российских военнослужащих в Украине. На данном этапе, несмотря на интенсивную работу МУС и органов ООН, трудно даже приблизительно оценить количество пострадавших из-за ряда факторов.


Жертве и в мирное время трудно рассказать о столь травмирующем опыте. Поэтому можно представить себе, что чувствуют такие жертвы в военное время. Это означает, что свидетельства, собранные ООН, МУС или Красным Крестом, будут представлять лишь малую часть масштабов трагедии. Огромное количество случаев остается за кадром, поскольку многие женщины бежали в страны ЕС, были перемещены внутри страны или депортированы в Россию при неизвестных обстоятельствах. Кроме того, война все еще бушует на оккупированных территориях Украины.


Чрезвычайный характер сексуальных злодеяний, о которых исторически мало сообщается, означает, что в Украине пройдет еще много времени, прежде чем станет ясен весь масштаб проблемы. Небольшие города в пригороде Киева, которые уже известны миру массовыми убийствами мирных жителей, – Буча, Бородянка и Ирпень – также преследуют истории об изнасилованиях. Украинские официальные лица и активисты получили множество сообщений о сексуальных зверствах из регионов, которые и сегодня остаются под оккупацией.


В таких условиях собрать достоверные данные крайне сложно. В украинском обществе, особенно в сельской местности, сексуальные преступления настолько стигматизированы, что их жертвы боятся осуждения со стороны своего социального окружения. Обычно за помощью от имени жертвы обращаются ее родственники и друзья.


Позиция ООН и других институтов в отношении сексуального насилия и изнасилований в Украине


Несмотря на все упомянутые трудности, очевидно, что российские солдаты используют изнасилование как тактику войны. Это четко подтвердила Прамила Паттен, Специальный представитель Генерального секретаря ООН по вопросу сексуального насилия в условиях конфликта, когда она, после своего визита в Украину в начале мая, 6 июня провела брифинг для Совета Безопасности ООН. 


С 24 февраля Прамила Паттен выступила с тремя публичными заявлениями, “чтобы гарантировать, что этот вопрос не будет замалчиваться или не останется безнаказанным”. Она также призвала все стороны конфликта обеспечить защиту гражданского населения от сексуального насилия.


“Слишком часто потребности женщин и девочек в условиях конфликта отодвигаются на второй план и рассматриваются как нечто второстепенное”, – сказала она.


Она также предостерегла от слишком долгого ожидания действий, сказав:

“Активное поле боя никогда не способствует точной «бухгалтерии” […], если мы будем ждать достоверных данных и статистики, то всегда будет слишком поздно” и призвала международное сообщество немедленно мобилизоваться.

Информация с мест и статистические данные, предоставленные следственными органами, действительно скудны и фрагментарны.


По состоянию на 3 июня Управление Верховного комиссара ООН по правам человека (УВКПЧ) получило сообщения о 124 предполагаемых актах сексуального насилия, связанных с конфликтом, по всей Украине – в основном в отношении женщин и девочек, и я осмелюсь сказать, что только 124.


В июне Мониторинговая миссия ООН по правам человека в Украине (ММПЧУ) опубликовала отчет, охватывающий период с 24 февраля по 15 мая 2022 года, в котором Матильда Богнер, глава этого органа ООН, отметила, что она получила многочисленные заявления и смогла проверить 23 случая сексуального насилия, связанного с конфликтом, включая случаи изнасилования, группового изнасилования, пыток, принудительного публичного раздевания и угроз сексуального насилия.


Наталья Карбовская, соучредитель и директор по стратегическому развитию Украинского женского фонда, выступила в Совете Безопасности ООН со следующим заявлением:


“Хотя полный масштаб сексуального насилия, связанного с конфликтом, еще не известен, по оценкам правозащитников и правоохранительных органов, сотни случаев были совершены не только в отношении женщин и девочек, но также мужчин и мальчиков и людей другой гендерной идентичности.”


Ла Страда Украина, известная правозащитная организация, с начала марта получает звонки о случаях сексуальных преступлений. За первые два месяца войны, по их словам,  стало известно о 17 жертвах: одном мужчине и 16 женщинах, трое из которых были подростками.


По словам Юлии Аносовой, юриста группы, они получили по своей “горячей линии” истории о группах солдат, совершавших изнасилования на глазах у зрителей.


Организация по безопасности и сотрудничеству в Европе (ОБСЕ) также сообщила о случаях сексуального насилия, связанного с конфликтом, в частности об изнасилованиях и принуждении к обнажению, по всей стране, отметив, что эти нападения часто имеют место в сочетании с другими преступлениями, включая убийства.


Прамила Паттен, Специальный представитель ООН по вопросу  сексуального насилия в условиях конфликтов, завершила свой июньский доклад в ООН  следующими словами:

“Нам не нужны точные данные для расширения масштабов гуманитарного реагирования или для того, чтобы все стороны приняли превентивные меры”.


На этом фоне она призвала гуманитарные организации уделять приоритетное внимание поддержке жертв сексуального и гендерного насилия.


Украина сотрудничает с ООН (Полезные рекомендации)


3 мая вице-премьер-министр Украины Ольга Стефанишина подписала с представителем ООН Рамочную программу сотрудничества в сфере предотвращения и противодействия насилию, связанному с конфликтом.


В Рамочной программе выделены пять важнейших направлений, которые могут быть использованы в качестве руководящих принципов для текущего и будущего решения проблем сексуального насилия и изнасилований:


– Во-первых, укрепление верховенства закона и подотчетности как центрального аспекта сдерживания и предотвращения преступлений, связанных с сексуальным насилием. 

– Во-вторых, укрепление потенциала службы безопасности и обороны для предотвращения сексуального насилия. 

– В-третьих, обеспечение доступа жертв сексуального насилия, а также их детей к адекватным услугам, включая сексуальное и репродуктивное здоровье, психологические, юридические, социально-экономические услуги и поддержку реинтеграции. 

– В-четвертых, обеспечение того, чтобы вопросы сексуального насилия рассматривались в рамках любого соглашения о прекращении огня, и обеспечение того, чтобы амнистии за преступления, связанные с сексуальным насилием, были прямо запрещены. 

– И в-пятых, борьба с торговлей людьми в условиях конфликта в целях сексуальной эксплуатации или проституции.


Существует правовая база, существует политика, основанная на прошлом опыте в других конфликтных ситуациях, существует политическая воля для поиска, предоставления и анализа доказательств, существуют механизмы судебного преследования. Безнаказанность не может и не должна преобладать, даже если на выявление, поиск и арест преступников уйдут годы или десятилетия, как это было в случае с нацистскими преступниками Второй мировой войны.

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Polisario head Brahim Ghali accused of rape in Brussels by Khadiyatu Mohamud

Polisario head Brahim Ghali accused of rape in Brussels by Khadiyatu Mohamud

HRWF (14.10.2022) – On Thursday 13 October, the FEMM Committee of the European Parliament held a hearing of several experts on the issue of “Sexual violence and rape as abuses of power.” Khadiyatu Mohamud, who for years has been accusing of rape the head of the Polisario Front Brahim Ghali, was at the Parliament and shared her testimony with quite a number of MEPs.

During the FEMM Committee hearing, Willy Fautré, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers, raised the issue of sexual abuse by political leaders.

He first exposed the case of Khadiyatu Mohamud who has been accusing the head of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, of raping her. She was then 18 years old and was working as an interpreter for the Polisario.  She had then been invited by an NGO in Italy. For that purpose, she needed the authorization of the diplomatic representation of the Polisario in Algeria as a first administrative step before asking for a visa from the Italian embassy. In his office, in the evening, Brahim Ghali blackmailed her, saying: a visa in exchange of sexual services. She refused but was raped. It took her three years to decide to file a complaint when she was in Spain but it was shelved by the judiciary.

The second case concerns Toufah Jallow, crowned in a beauty pageant in Gambia, who was raped several times by former President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh. She now lives in Canada and also fights for justice. Human Rights Watch published an excellent report about the multiple rapes perpetrated by Yahya Jammeh.

In the evening, both women testified at the Press Club in Brussels, stressing how difficult it is to share such a traumawith one’s own family and to take the decision to file a complaint. Both survivors also explained that up to now it has been impossible to get justice in their case, which is unfortunately quite usual in cases when a prominent political leader is accused of rape.

These are not isolated cases. This year, a French minister was accused of rape by two women and two months ago, a young woman living now in Australia accused Zimbabwe’s president of rape several years ago. 

There is still a long way to go with male politicians at all levels who think they are above the laws.

 Photo: Khadiyatu Mohamud at the European Parliament

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RUSSIA: Rapper commits suicide, refusing to kill Ukrainians

Rapper commits suicide, refusing to go to war

By Gabriel Bras Nevares

HRWF/ Hotnewhiphop (02.10.2022) – The tragic act was in protest of the Russian military, particularly the war against Ukraine.

Russian rapper Walkie has caused shock in Russia after he took his life after being drafted into the Russian Army. The 27-year-old believed the war against Ukraine was unjust and, according to The U.S. Sun, told friends that he could not “take the sin of murder on my soul.” Walkie, real name Ivan Vitalievich Petunin, was one of 300,000 extra Russian citizens who President Vladimir Putin drafted for his continued war against Ukraine.

Walkie’s body was found near a high-rise building in the city of Krasnodar after having talked to fans about his decision. “If you are watching this video, then I am no longer alive,” he told supporters in a video. “I can’t take the sin of murder on my soul and I don’t want to. I am not ready to kill for any ideals.”

“I choose to remain in history forever,” Walkie continued. “As a man who did not support what was happening. I am not ready to take up arms and kill my own kind.”

This was not the first time the rapper had been drafted into the Russian Army. He hated his previous experience, and first tried to get out of serving again by getting signed into a mental hospital. Unfortunately, that did not pan out, and he took his own life as “a way to express [his] final protest.”

The Russo-Ukrainian conflict has a long history, with war between them and Russia bubbling up over decades and decades. It gained international recognition in 2014 and once more in early 2022, when Russian forces began to invade the nation.

May Walkie Rest In Peace, and may the war between these countries end so more lives aren’t lost.

Kremlin spokesman’s son refuses to join Russian army in prank call 

By AFP  with Euronews   (23.09.2022) – The son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to join Russia’s army in a prank call with opposition activists.

The viral stunt was released online shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilisation”.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters that he was “aware of it” but stated that the full transcript of the phone call had not been published.

The hoax was conducted live by Dmitri Nizovtsev, host of “People’s Politics” YouTube channel that was created by supporters of jailed Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

In the viral video, Nizovtsev called Nikolai Peskov, posing as an army recruiter in charge of calling up reservists to fight in Ukraine.

“A summons [for medical examination] was sent to you today,” Nizovtsev said in a firm voice to Nikolai Peskov.

But the 32-year-old implied that he would refuse to be enlisted, stating “of course, I won’t come tomorrow at 10:00.”

“You must understand, if you know that I am Mr Peskov, how wrong it is for me to be there,” he added, apparently disconcerted.

“I will deal with it on another level,” Nikolai said, before stating that he is not a volunteer “rank and file”.

“I have no problem defending my homeland – but I need to understand the expediency of my appearance there, I am talking about certain political nuances.”

Moscow has said that the “partial mobilisation” would only involve300,000 reservists who have “military experience” but some citizens are fleeing the country following Putin’s speech.

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SUDAN: NGOs urge the EU to defend human rights in Sudan

NGOs urge the EU to defend human rights in Sudan

Sign the petition. The call is open to signatures by other NGOs. Just send an email to international.secretariat.brussels@hrwf.org, writing “Our NGO ………….. (name) support the call to the EU to defend human rights in Sudan”

Joint letter Mr. Josep Borrell

Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Members of the Council,

Dear Mr Borrell,

We are writing as a coalition of human rights organizations to convey our grave concerns about the situation in Sudan, particularly the human rights violations targeting demonstrators and political activists.

Since December 2021, security forces have forcibly disappeared scores of demonstrators and unjustly detained hundreds more as part of a bigger crackdown on dissent to the October coup.

Security agents allegedly used sexual abuse and rape threats against demonstrators.

When arresting demonstrators during rallies, police, particularly anti-riot police and the Central Reserve Police (CRP), as well as other military forces sympathetic to Al Burhan, have brutally beaten and kicked them, in some instances indulging in sexual abuse.

Many significant cities in Sudan have arbitrary detentions.

Security forces often send protestors caught on the streets or at their homes to Khartoum’s two Criminal Investigation Department (CID) facilities, one in Khartoum and the other in Bahri.

The Federal Investigation Police, as it is popularly called, is a component of the police that investigates major crimes. Children who took part in the protests have not been spared maltreatment or arbitrary arrest. The government has curtailed freedom of speech by shutting down the internet, and women’s rights are jeopardized.

Domestic and other gender-based violence is on the rise in Sudan, as are new discriminatory legislation and patriarchal limits on women’s rights. Laws prohibiting women from working outside the house without the approval of their husband or father, as well as inequity in the family and workplace, were among the limitations emphasized. The government erected various legislative barriers to equality and reinforced existing social practices that oppress women and girls.

We firmly think that the EU represents human rights, individual liberties, democracy, and gender equality. We encourage the European Union to denounce human rights crimes in Sudan and to put an end to the Burhan regime’s persecution of the Sudanese people immediately.

In the name of

Belgium’s Sudanese Community

AIDL (International Alliance for the Defense of Human Rights and Liberties)

The European Association for the Defense of Minorities

The Fundamental Rights Movement

The International Hindu Struggle Committee

World Council for Public Diplomacy and Community Dialogue

and others

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