Woman Dies in Fake Exorcism , Representative photo, FILE PHOTO © Mohsin Raza / Reuters
Defames Emirati TV Women on Social Media
Stalk Gang-Raped Muslim Women after India's Religious Riots
to Be Declared Null And Void in the Absence Of 10% Votes of Women: Pak Minister
Woman Dies in Fake Exorcism after Being Brutally Tortured By ‘Healers’
Gang-Rape: Amnesty Report Details Struggles of 7 Muslim Women Who Pressed
by New Age Islam News Bureau
The Die Is Cast, Disallow Hijab, Risk Jail, MURIC Warns
the rejection of stay of execution on the use of Hijab with school uniform in
Public schools in Lagos state by the Court a few days ago, the Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) has said any school authority who disallows female Muslim
students or pupils from using Hijab risks being jailed for contempt of court.
The Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola who described the rejection
as “bold, convincing and reassuring, in a statement to Vanguard said the
judgment has cemented people’s faith in the judiciary as the last hope of the
common man. Asiyat Abdul Kareem (through her father), Moriam Oyeniyi and the
Muslim Students Society of Nigeria had won appeal of case CA/L/135/15 against
the Lagos State Government on 21st July, 2016 when all the five judges of the
Lagos Appeal Court approved the use of hijab in Lagos public schools. The state
government immediately approached the Supreme Court to appeal the case and also
sought a stay of the execution at the Appeal Court. MURIC however appealed to
the state government to allow sleeping dogs to lie. “There is a limit even for
official ego. There must come a time when government scoops to allow the
general will to prevail. But the law is on the side of the general will this
time. “A government installed via democratic process cannot afford to
disrespect a court judgment. This latest decision is legally binding and Lagos
has no choice. Afterall, it is the center of excellence. According to Akintola:
“The honourable path is for the center of excellence to walk its talk. The
state government must instruct the Ministry of Education to tell school
principals to allow female Muslim children to use hijab in public schools.
“Without being immodest, we assure all and sundry that we know our rights. Any
school authority who disallows female Muslim students or pupils from using
hijab risks being jailed for contempt of court. We have been patient enough.
Our children have listened to us. They eschewed violence. They obeyed the rules
of decorum. Now the die is cast. “Muslims have been accused severally of
resorting to spontaneous violence even though they have always been provoked.
But the case is different this time around. Lagos Muslims went to court instead
of going violent and the courts have decided. Lagos government must allow the
law to take its due course. “Nigerians and indeed the rest of the world must
see this as a test case for democracy and the rule of law in Lagos State. We
want to know how democratic are our democrats? To be or not to be? That is the
question. Whether Lagos will respect the courts and allow the students to use hijab
as ordered by the court or whether the grandstanding, the stigmatization, the
oppression and persecution will continue is left to be seen. The world is
watching, Akintola stated. Read more at:
court adjourned the proceedings to prepare a defence for the next hearing on
Abu Dhabi court of misdemeanours has heard a case of a writer who was accused
of defamation for using social media to speak against Emirati women who work in
case is about a group of Emirati women working for local TV channels who lodged
a complaint against the writer after he published words of insult, taunt,
ridicule, slander and contempt against these women on social media.
accused testified he writes articles in a local newspaper, where he discusses
social issues of interest to the community.
DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Three years after religious riots in
India, Muslim women who reported being gang raped during the violence are still
waiting for their cases to be investigated while facing death threats and
harassment for speaking out, Amnesty International said.
than 60 people were killed and over 50,000 forced to flee from their villages
when clashes between majority Hindus and minority Muslims erupted in the state
of Uttar Pradesh in September 2013.
Muslim women came forward to report complaints of rape during the riots in
Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, but to date there has not been a single
conviction, the Indian branch of the rights group said on Thursday.
the last three years, two of the women changed their statements following
threats. One victim died during child birth in 2016. One case resulted in an
acquittal, one trial is currently underway and in two cases, trials have not
Uttar Pradesh government has failed to expeditiously investigate and prosecute
the cases and deliver justice," said Amnesty International India (AII) in
failures continue to keep the survivors in a state of fear and insecurity,
skeptical that they will ever get justice."
and police officials from Uttar Pradesh were not immediately available to
comment on the reports findings.
violence was triggered on August 27, 2013 when a Muslim youth was stabbed to
death by two Hindu youths after being accused of sexually harassing their
sister. A Muslim mob then stoned the two Hindus to death, government officials
- Hindu and Muslim - turned on one another with machetes and set alight homes
and places of worship.
three of them threatened me, saying that if I did not do what they asked, they
would kill my son. They took turns to rape me," said one of the victims,
named as Ghazala in report, who was raped in a sugarcane field in Shamli on
Sept. 8, 2013.
between Muslims and Hindus has been a defining feature of Indian politics since
the separation of Pakistan in 1947, when hundreds of thousands of people were
killed and millions displaced.
research - based on police and court documents and interviews with victims,
police and government officials - found that the police refused initially to
register the complaints and then failed to investigate allegations.
slow pace of the justice has meant victims and their families have been
threatened and intimidated by the accused, AII said.
to India's under-resourced, archaic judicial system long delays in trials are
common, but lawyers say delays in this case are due to discrimination against
Muslim women who are accusing men from the dominant Hindu Jat majority.
is not because the system is inefficient. And it is not because the police and
courts do not know how to work," said human rights lawyer Vrinda Grover at
the launch of the report.
is a matter of institutional bias within the police."
report comes at a sensitive time as Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous
region, begins state elections on Feb. 11.
and caste violence play a central role in politics in Uttar Pradesh and fanning
communal tension often brings political gains to parties that claim to protect
different religious and caste groups, analysts say.
by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla, Editing by Katie Nguyen. Please credit the Thomson
Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers
humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change
and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said
that results of elections in any constituency will be declared null and void if
less than 10 % votes of women are cast in any constituency. .
said that concerted and integrated efforts are being made at the federal and
provincial levels to provide equal opportunities to the women voters. She was
addressing a ceremony in connection with protection of women in Islamabad
today. The Minister said the parliamentary committee which is framing the
electoral reforms these days has agreed to ensure greater participation of
women in the electoral process. A quota is being allocated to enable women to
contest elections on direct seats. She said our society is changing and
becoming more receptive to the rights of women. Marriyum Aurangzeb said
education are the key for the empowerment of women. She said the government has
launched education reform programs in the federal capital and currently in the
process of reviewing the curriculum. She said efforts are being made to create
greater awareness about women related legislation amongst the masses.
Woman Dies In Fake Exorcism After Being Brutally Tortured By ‘Healers’
woman in Pakistan has died during a fake exorcism, after her 'healers' tied her
upside down to a tree, beat her with sticks, and fanned her with smoke and
incident began after Soraiya Begum, a resident of Dera Ghazi Khan, in Punjab
province, began talking to herself.
unusual behavior led her husband to believe she had been possessed by 'djinns,'
evil spirits described in Muslim mythology.
an effort to fix the situation, the man contacted people who claimed to be
'pirs,' a word used to describe Muslim saints or holy men. The men said the
woman was in need of an exorcism.
instead of healing the man’s wife, the so-called pirs began a ritual which
ultimately led to her death.
ritual involved tying the woman to a tree and beating her with sticks before
hanging her upside down and fanning her with smoke and heat, Geo TV reported.
seeing the brutality, Begum's husband tried to step in and stop the exorcism,
although the pirs paid no attention to his pleas.
was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital. Her husband has filed a
complaint with police, who say they are conducting raids in a search for the
Mohammad Sultan, head of the department of psychiatry at Khyber Medical College
Peshawar, told Geo TV that the woman was likely suffering from schizophrenia.
is sad that ignorance still prevails in our society about treatable medical
conditions where people live normal lives if given the proper medical attention
they require," he said.
went on to add that he "cannot understand" why people go to so-called
faith healers rather than taking advantage of qualified psychiatrists who offer
free treatment in the area.
doctor said that people claiming to be pirs "take advantage of the lack of
literacy and prey on the ignorant."
not the first time that Pakistan's self-proclaimed faith healers have made
headlines in the country. Last year a teenage girl died after being tortured
and raped during a fake exorcism. The teen was brought to a so-called pir by
her mother, who wanted her "psychosis" to be cured so she could
receive more marriage proposals, the Deccan Chronicle reported.
mother and daughter were also killed by a fake pir in 2015, after they were
taken to the alleged faith healer by a family member who wanted to rid their
bodies of ghosts, Pakistan media outlet The News reported at the time. The
false pir allegedly locked them in a room after burning a fire, causing them to
suffocate. The women were actually suffering from gastroenteritis, according to
September 8, 2013, a day after a massive gathering in a village outside
Muzaffarnagar city in which Hindu leaders from the dominant Jat community
addressed a crowd of over 1,00,000 people to save their Hindu daughters and
‘bahus’ from love jihad, 42-year-old Fatima was sexually violated by four men.
The men, who belonged to the Jat community and were known to her, assaulted her
in her own house in Fugana.
when she went to the local police station on September 20 to file an FIR, the
police refused to do so. It was on October 9, 2013, when she went to file an
FIR for the second time, after she was displaced from her own home, that the
police eventually registered an FIR. In August 2014, after the police had filed
charges against the accused men, two of the accused told other villagers to
pass on a message to her family that they would be killed if she did not
withdraw her accusation.
filed a complaint in August 2014, alleging that the accused lured her with
money -- if she complied, they would pay her Rs 15 lakh, and if she does not,
she and her family will be killed.
is one of the seven courageous women who came forward to lodge a complaint in
the aftermath of the violence, during which several women were allegedly
violated. Intermittent delays and intimidation has marred the investigation.
account forms the leitmotif of the aftermath of the violence that left over 60
people dead, over 200 injured and several women sexually violated. In the three
years since the violence erupted, there has not been a single conviction. A
report, “Losing Faith: The Muzaffarnagar Gang-rape Survivors’ Struggle for
Justice”, released by Amnesty India in Delhi on Thursday, details the cases of
seven Muslim women who came forward to press charges.
changes to India’s laws in 2013 requiring trials in rape cases to be completed
without unnecessary delay, trials have proceeded extremely slowly. The state
government and successive central governments have also failed to adequately
protect the survivors from threats and harassment — which in some cases led to
them retracting their statements — and to provide adequate reparation,” read a
statement from Amnesty International India.
FIRs in the cases were filed as late as February 2014 with the intervention of
the Supreme Court after advocate Vrinda Grover submitted a writ petition in the
matter. In one case, chargesheet has not been filed yet, and in another, the
survivor recanted her statement after continued harassment, stated the report.
In two of the cases, charges are not yet framed, while in one, the accused were
acquitted. Trial is yet to begin in a case, while in another, a petition
seeking the transfer of the case out of Muzaffarnagar was filed in April 2016.
March 2014, the Supreme Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to give
each of the survivors Rs 5, 00,000 as compensation, in addition to other
benefits, within four weeks. Six of the seven survivors received the
compensation on May 20, 2014, eight weeks after the Supreme Court ruling, after
Sitlhou, part of the Amnesty International India’s team sent to report on the
investigation, said that there has been a “deliberate delay”. “In one case, the
investigating officer took a complainant and paraded her in a marketplace of
shops owned by Jat men as part of investigation,” she said. After a complaint
with the National Commission of Minorities, the officer was removed.
added that there has been little assistance of the survivors, with many of them
even having to cook for the constables that guard them. After their
displacement, a lot of the women have been pushed to ghettoised colonies in the
area, she said.
Rehana Adeeb said that rights workers work under severe pressure to get the
women to speak. “There’s pressure from the authorities, from the accused, and
even from the Muslim communities,” she said.
Vrinda Grover, who has been spearheading the legal fight to deliver justice to
the victims, recounted several accounts of mischief on part of the accused and
their counsels to delay the investigation. In one case, one of the survivors
told the court that she does not remember the accused. “This is after she had
named the accused in the FIR; she bucked under the continued delay and the
absences of any support,” said Grover.
said that the Muzaffarnagar cases were the first in which section 376 (2) (g)
of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 were applied. Under the amended act,
rape committed during communal or sectarian violence will invite a punishment
of not lesser than ten years of rigorous imprisonment. The charges were not
applied in the original FIRs, leaving a window for the argument around consent,
for in-camera recording of rape testimonies was missing from the proceedings,
added Grover. “This is also the first instance in my career where I had to
request for police protection for my own self,” she said.
part of its recommendations, Amnesty International India has demanded a
vigorous pursuance of the cases to bring justice to the women, an investigation
into the threats or harassment of survivors, provision for effective legal
assistance and rehabilitation. They have also recommended for a robust law to
respond to communal violence, an adequately resourced victim and witness protection
programme and comprehensive police reforms.
second report on the rehabilitation of the survivors will be released in the
coming weeks, said Amnesty.
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