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SUDAN: No fair trial for a woman facing now death by stoning for adultery

Woman faces death by stoning for adultery in the first Sudan stoning case in a decade

 

Campaigners say sentence amounts to torture amid fears that country’s new regime is rolling back women’s rights.

 

By Zeinab Mohammed Salih

 

The Guardian (13.07.2022) – https://bit.ly/3APlLLW – A woman in Sudan has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, the first known case in the country for almost a decade.

 

Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab, 20, was arrested by police in Sudan’s White Nile state last month.

Tiyrab says she is appealing against the decision. The majority of stoning sentences, which are predominantly against women, are overturned in the high court.

 

Campaigners worry the sentence is a sign that the military coup in October has emboldened lawmakers to roll back small gains for women’s rights made under the country’s transitional government.

 

The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), based in Uganda, said the sentence violated domestic and international law and called for Tiyrab’s “immediate and unconditional release”.

 

The centre said the woman was not given a fair trial and was not told that the information she gave during interrogation would be used against her. Tiyrab was also denied legal representation, it said.

 

“The application of the death penalty by stoning for the crime of adultery is a grave violation of international law, including the right to life and the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” the centre said.

 

In 2020, Sudan’s transitional government, which followed the ousting of Omar al-Bashir, announced reforms to some of its hardline criminal laws and Sharia policies. The reforms did not include stoning, but in August the country ratified the UN convention against torture. The ACJPS said stoning was a form of state-sanctioned torture and was in breach of the country’s human rights obligations.

 

Jehanne Henry, a human rights lawyer, said the sentence “shows that harsh sharia laws [and] penalties are still being implemented in Sudan”.

 

“The death by stoning case is a reminder that the criminal law reforms during the transition [government] were not complete, and that such harsh, archaic punishments are still officially on the books.”

 

Flogging, which was outlawed in 2020, is still handed out as a punishment by the courts. The last known case of a woman sentenced to stoning for adultery was in South Kordofan state in 2013. The sentence was overturned.

Photo credits: Keystone/Zuma/Shutterstock





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UKRAINE: Churches against the ‘gender ideology’ of the Istanbul Convention

Ukrainian Churches against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, due to the ‘gender ideology’

 

Orthodox and other Churches in Ukraine are opposed to President Zelensky’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention protecting women against violence and domestic abuse because of the ‘gender ideology’ included in the Convention. They complain about being excluded from the public debate.

 

 

Position of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations

 

RISU – (05.07.2022) – https://bit.ly/3uPflZr – The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, was signed 11 May 2011 and became effective 1 August 2014. Official opposition to the Convention has been voiced in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia, none of which has ratified it, and in Poland. Armenia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and the United Kingdom have not ratified it. Turkey denounced the Convention in 2021, alleging that LGBTQ groups had sought to use it to promote their ideology.

 

On 18 June 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky registered a bill on the ratification of the Convention in parliament. Parliament ratified it and the president signed it into law on 21 June, effective 1 October. Afterwards, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations objected that a full public discussion had not taken place, as had been promised (UGCC website, 24 June 2022).

 

Instead, the Council alleged, social media had been full of verbal attacks on religious organizations. The Council noted that religious persons and organizations are entitled to take part in all public discussions, and should not be excluded from the public forum.

Read the whole article here.

Position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC)/ Moscow Patriarchate

Union of Orthodox Journalists (27.06.2022) – https://bit.ly/3RxJMwW On June 21, 2022, the President of Ukraine signed a law, which had been opposed by all religious organizations in Ukraine and a significant part of society. Why?

On June 20, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada voted for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, the next day the President signed the law on the ratification of the Convention: “Its main content is simple, but extremely important. It is an obligation to protect women from violence and all forms of discrimination. We share European values.” But Ukrainian society, notably Christians, does not share the head of state’s optimism. What’s next?

Read the whole article here. It addresses the following topics:

Why Ukraine ratified the Istanbul Convention

The main destructive provisions of the Convention

  1. Popularization of gender ideology at all levels of education, culture and sports.
  2. Destruction of traditional ideas about social roles.
  3. Ample room for abuse

What are we to do now?

Conclusions

 

Photo: UOJ





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NIGERIA: Female student in Nigeria beaten to death over ‘blasphemy’

Female student in Nigeria beaten to death over ‘blasphemy’

Witnesses say police failed to disperse mob of fellow students in Sokoto who set victim on fire following WhatsApp comments

 

The Guardian (12.05.2022) – https://bit.ly/39P3fI6 – A female student in Nigeria was beaten to death and set on fire by fellow students who accused her of posting “blasphemous” statements in a WhatsApp group, two witnesses have said.

 

The school, located in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Sokoto, was immediately closed down following the attack.

 

Two suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of the student, who was identified as Deborah Samuel, said a spokesperson for the Sokoto state command.

 

“There is a WhatsApp group being used by the students, and her Muslim colleague student posted an Islamic piece. She criticised the posting,” said one of the witnesses, who declined to be named.

 

“She composed an audio that contains blasphemous comments on the prophet of Islam and posted in the group. That is what triggered everything.”

 

School security and police attempted to rescue the girl but were overwhelmed by the students, the witnesses said.

 

“Police have fired teargas on the students … then began firing shots in the sky to disperse the students, but they resisted,” said Summayya Usman Inname, a student in her second year.

 

“The police sacrificed the lady after the students began throwing sticks and stones at them, then the students used stones and sticks to beat the lady. After being beaten, she was set on fire.”

 

The Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto said in a statement that it had closed the college indefinitely “following today’s early morning student rampage”.

 

The Sokoto sultanate council condemned the “unfortunate happenings … that led to the loss of life of a female student at the institution”.

 

Nigeria is divided into a largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north. Incidents such as this are very rare.

 

In 2007, Muslim pupils at a secondary school in the northeast beat a teacher to death after accusing her of desecrating the Qur’an.

Photo credits: Graeme Robertson/The Guardian





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IRAQ: Solidarity for Iraq acid attack victim targeted after declining marriage offer

Outpouring of solidarity for Iraq acid attack victim targeted after marriage offer

Maryam al-Rikabi had acid thrown at her after refusing a marriage proposal, prompting calls for accountability

By Nadda Osman

 

Middle East Eye (17.12.2021) – https://bit.ly/3IYmIDv – Harrowing images of Maryam al-Rikabi, who has been scarred and disfigured by an acid attack, have prompted messages of solidarity and calls for accountability by thousands of social media users worldwide.

 

The student from Baghdad, Iraq, has suffered major burns to her face and body as a result of the attack. 

 

According to local media, the attack, which occurred in June this year, took place because she refused a marriage proposal. The man who proposed entered the family’s home while the father and mother were at work, and poured acid on her while she was sleeping, and stole her phone. 

 

Reports in local media also state that the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council announced on Thursday that investigations into the incident are ongoing.

 

The father of the victim has appealed to the head of the Judicial Council to take the case seriously and prioritise holding the attacker accountable. He also spoke to the media about the challenges al-Rikabi faces months on from the incident. 

 

Thousands of people have expressed their support for al-Rikabi, under the Arabic hashtag “Save Princess Maryam”.

 

The incident has triggered a debate about consent, misogyny and abuse against women in the country.

 

Many have used the online campaign to highlight gender-based violence.

 

Translation: A woman in Iraqi society does not have the right to say no to oppressors, jailers, or someone who wants to marry her by force. Maryam rejected him, so he ended up burning her. You don’t hear about this kind of thing, not even in the most terrifying horror films, but it is the reality women are living. Women do not have the right to choose their partner in life. The price of saying ‘no’ is her life. 

 

On Thursday, an online fundraiser was launched on the platform GoFundMe in an effort to raise funds for treatment abroad. 

 

The page has amassed over $24,400 by the time of publishing. 

 

The online fundraiser, organised by Rasha al-Aqeedi, an Iraqi researcher based in Washington, USA, states that it will go towards immediate treatment, psychological well-being and to support the family. 

 

“This young woman’s life just shattered before her eyes in seconds. She did nothing wrong. She was a fine-arts student in love with life and colours. Let’s do what we can to help her,” the fundraiser says. 

 

According to Human Rights Watch, domestic violence in Iraq remained endemic in 2020, including the killings of women and girls by their families and husbands. 

 

The rights group states that while Iraq’s criminal code criminalises physical assault, some articles give husbands the legal right to “punish” their wife “within limits prescribed by laws or custom”.

 

Photo credits:  Twitter 

 





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KYRGYZSTAN: Revolt over violence against women and police inertia

Demonstrations in several cities after the kidnapping and killing of Aizada Kanatbekova, 26. The kidnapper, Zamirbek Tenizbaev, 36, wanted to marry her. He had already been convicted several times for violence. Some policemen are suspected of being involved in the kidnapping. The fight against “marital abductions”

by Vladimir Rozanskij

 

AsiaNews (04.10.2021) – https://bit.ly/3wNXCRr – Demonstrations against violence against women took place in Bishkek and Oša on 8 April, following the kidnapping and killing of a young woman, with calls for the resignation of the interior minister.

 

The announcement of the Bishkek procession states: “The whole city is shocked by the story of the kidnapping and murder of the young woman Aizada Kanatbekova. The kidnapping took place early in the morning in the city center. The police had the surveillance video recorded, the license plate number and the car brand of the kidnappers, but they did nothing to save the girl. If you agree that all of this is unacceptable we invite you to come with us to demonstrate against violence “.

 

Aizada, 26 (right in the photo), was kidnapped on April 5. She had just lost her father and lived alone with her mother, Nazgul Shakenova. She graduated from the Turkish-Kyrgyz University of Manas was a national volleyball player a human rights activist and she volunteered during the pandemic. She was much loved by those who knew her, she dreamed of buying a house for her mother, and had no desire to get married; her friends say that she “loved her life, and she hurried to live it”.

 

Her attacker, the 36-year-old Zamirbek Tenizbaev (left in the photo), had already been convicted several times for violence. He had returned from Russia to Kyrgyzstan in 2017, and was a transporter, living on the street and sleeping in a car rented from a relative. At 7 am on April 5, Zamirbek attacked Aizada with the help of four people on her way to work. The kidnapper communicated with the relatives, saying that he could not live without Aizada, whom he had been bothering for weeks now. On 7 April a shepherd found a car with Aizada’s body, she had been suffocated with a T-shirt, and that of Zamirbek, who committed suicide after suffering numerous knife wounds.

 

The tragic affair had a particular resonance due to the inertia of the police, which further aggravated the scandal of the crime. It would seem that some policemen were involved in the kidnapping “for the purpose of marriage”: some policemen would have warned Aizada’s relatives to “prepare to meet her boyfriend, because Aizada must get married”. At the police station, only the “theft of a car” was initially recorded, which was later backdated to kidnapping after the outbreak of the scandal.

 

The demonstrations revealed popular the indignation at the medieval oppression of women with the people demanding the resignation of Minister Ulan Nijazbekov, accused of covering up the policemen involved in the affair. The crowd are calling for judicial sanctions against the practice of “matrimonial abduction” to be tightened, in Kyrgyz ala kachuu, and Prime Minister Ulubek Maripov, in office since the elections in February, has promised to review the laws in this regard. The population is also demanding the arrest of all the other participants in the kidnapping, condemning them for complicity in murder. Police arrested four suspects.

 

Aizada Kanatbekova was buried in the hometown of Balykcy. She had a ticket in her pocket to Istanbul, where she was to start working to buy a house for her mother. Now her name has become the beginning of the redemption of Kyrgyz women from the arrogance of males.

Photo credits: AsiaNews


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