New Age Islam News Bureau
1 Jun 2012
• 13-year-old Rape Victim’s out-of-court settlement, Concerns Pak SC
• NGOs call for action against Pakistani cleric for anti-women decree During Friday Prayers
• Girls’ school blown up in Mardan, Pakistan by Terrorists
• Pakistani arrested for assaulting Sikh woman in Luton
• First time Saudi women to run trains on PNU campus
• Daughter of a Persian prince rescuer of prostitutes in Iran, Dies at 90
• Rome welcomed Pakistani dancer, but didn’t manage to save her
• Sadaf a Bahai citizen: Prisoner of the day
Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau
Photo: Sudanese woman sentenced to death by stoning
Sudanese Woman Jailed with Baby and Sentenced to Death by Stoning over Adultery
31 May 2012
Intisar Sharif Abdallah tried without access to lawyer and is being detained with four-month-old baby, prompting outcry
A young mother found guilty of adultery in Sudan has been sentenced to death by stoning, prompting an outcry from human rights campaigners.
Intisar Sharif Abdallah was tried without access to a lawyer and is being detained with her four-month-old baby, according to Amnesty International.
Amnesty puts Abdallah's age at 20; Human Rights Watch says she may be under 18.
Her family is appealing against the execution and it is unclear when it will be carried out.
Abdallah admitted to the charges only after her brother reportedly beat her. The conviction was based solely rests on this testimony. The man held with her reportedly denied the charges and was released.
Abdallah is said to be shackled by the legs and in psychological distress, unable to understand the nature of her sentence. Her other children are being cared for by family, who are of filing an appeal in Ombada. Jean-Baptiste Gallopin of Amnesty's Sudan team said: "The case is emblematic of the failure of the Sudanese judicial system. Intisar Sharif Abdallah was tried without access to a lawyer or a translator, despite the fact that Arabic is not her native language. She was convicted solely based on a testimony she gave under duress. She's being detained with her four-month old son, in a state of deep psychological distress. We call on the Sudanese authorities to stop the execution, overturn her stoning sentence and release her immediately and unconditionally.
"Stoning is a method of execution designed to increase the suffering of the victim, which means it is an extreme and cruel form of torture. International human rights law specifically prohibits death sentences resulting from unfair trial, as well as the execution of new mothers. In addition, we urge the government to have the best interest of Intisar's child as their main consideration during the judicial process."
Amnesty has urged its supporters to write to the Sudanese government and plead for the sentence to be quashed and for Abdallah to be set free.
The sentence was also criticised by Human Rights Watch. Daniel Bekele, its Africa director, said: "No one should be stoned to death and imposing this punishment on someone who may be a child is especially shocking. Sudan should immediately reform discriminatory laws and abolish the death penalty and all corporal punishments that violate the international treaty obligations it has promised to respect."
Sudan is one of seven countries where death by stoning is a punishment. Judges in the country have imposed the sentence on several women in recent years, but courts have overturned them all on appeal. The vast majority of adultery cases and stoning sentences have been imposed on women.
"Sudan should uphold international and African standards," Bekele said. "It should ban death by stoning and other corporal punishment, and revise laws that discriminate against women and girls."
The Sudanese embassy in the UK criticised Amnesty's attitude towards the country. Spokesman Khalid al-Mubarak said: "It is not interested in the welfare of our women because it never mentions the positive side. Our women have achieved equal pay for equal work. They occupy top jobs as ministers and members of the high court."
13-year-old Rape Victim’s family’s out-of-court settlement, Concerns Pak SC
By Hasnaat Malik
01 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Hearing suo motu case regarding the rape of a 13-year-old girl, the Supreme Court has expressed concern over the factors that compelled the victim’s family for out-of-court settlement in the case.
The court urged civil society members to play their role to discourage this type of settlements by supporting the victim families, as judicial intervention could not alone eliminate these acts in the country.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed, “ If we will not support the victim families then such type of cases would happen and this evil should be curbed with an iron hand.
The court asked the petitioners, Salman Akram Raja and Tahira Abdullah, to play their role in discouraging the out-of-court settlement in this case as they should meet with the family of the victim for moral support.
It also suggested them to file an appeal against the acquittal of accused by the trial court in this case because everything should be done with due process.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja further observed that these issues could not be ended through the intervention of the courts as everyone should play their role in supporting victim families.
The petitioner, Salman Akram Raja, said that he was shocked to know the Punjab prosecutor general had not opposed the out-of-court settlement in this case.
It is to be noted that on March 21, three people raped the girl. The sessions court had fixed May 22 for the indictment of the accused when the complainant informed the court that he had reached at an out-of-court settlement with the families of the accused.
NGOs call for action against Pakistani cleric for anti-women decree During Friday Prayers
01 June, 2012
PESHAWAR, May 31: Women associated with different non-governmental organisations on Thursday demanded of the government to take prompt action against a cleric and former MNA from Kohistan for issuing a threatening fatwa (religious decree) against NGO workers.
“It is time we raised our voice against such decrees and take the issue seriously,” said members of End Violence against Women/Girls Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata Alliance during a consultative meeting in Peshawar Press Club. The meeting was called to discuss the decree issued by a cleric and former MNA Maulvi Abdul Haleem of Kohistan against female NGO workers on May 4.
“During a Friday sermon, Mr Haleem had warned that women working with NGOs would not be allowed to enter Kohistan and that violators would be forcibly married off to the local men,” said Qamar Naseem quoting a media report.
Ms Naseem said that Maulvi Haleem had also reportedly stated that it was against the religious teachings that a woman received education and used it to get employment.
“We are here to form a strategy to ensure protection of women rights,” she said.
Noor Education Trust chairperson Zubaida Noor, Aurat Foundation’s representative Shirin Javed and Saira from Shirkat Gah described the hostile environment and misconceptions about the work of women rights’ activists as the main hurdle to their activities.
“We should not take such fatwas lightly as they encourage crime against women,” said Ms Noor.
Ms Javed said that it was time the female NGO workers stood up for their rights and tell the people that they were not doing anything unethical.
Other participants demanded that the government should take strict measures against people like Maulvi Haleem who deprived women of their rights. The women activists vowed to raise voice over issues involving protection of women’s dignity.
A participant said that almost a decade ago such a decree was issued by a cleric in Dir, but that had proved only a verbal threat. Such threats have been faced by women working with NGOs, said Ms Saira.
Other NGO workers hailing from rural areas said that it was time they broke silence on the threats they faced at the hands of extremists.
Riffat Kazmi, an NGO worker from Mansehra, said that all religious figures did not consider women’s work as un-Islamic. “Perhaps the decree is personal opinion of Maulvi Haleem and other ulema should be engaged to persuade him to stay away from hurling threats at women,” Kazmi said.
The participants also held a demonstration against the decree issued by the cleric and signed a charter of demands. They asked the government to take tangible steps for enforcement of relevant laws to protect women rights and conduct an impartial investigation into the issuance of decrees by religious clerics against women.
In a resolution, they called upon the government to ensure protection of basic rights of women, full implementation of relevant laws, inclusion of human rights and gender equality in syllabus and proper legislation to stop jirgas and clerics from issuing decrees against both men and women.
Girls’ school blown up in Mardan, Pakistan by Terrorists
01 June, 2012
MARDAN: Unidentified terrorists on Thursday blew up a girls’ primary school in the outskirts of Mardan. Police told media that the unidentified miscreants planted two bombs in Community Girls Primary School of Jalander Village, late on Wednesday, by keeping the security guard as hostage. They said that the blasts destroyed the building completely. In another incident, a house was damaged when unidentified terrorists hurled a grenade at it near Lond Khor Goro. The police started a search operation for the arrest of the accused persons.
Pakistani arrested for assaulting Sikh woman in Luton
By Asif Mehmood
01 June, 2012
* Sikhs protest outside police station, block roads
LONDON: A British Pakistani arrested in connection with an assault on a Sikh woman in Britain’s city of Luton on Monday was given conditional bail by magistrates on Wednesday.
Anan Majid Basharat, 19, appeared at Luton Magistrates Court after being charged with assault. He pleaded not guilty to the offence and was granted bail on the condition that he stays away from Luton, adheres to a curfew between 7pm and 7am and is not to contact anyone connected with the case. Security officials were called to the courtroom during the hearing after an outburst from a packed public gallery. Basharat will reappear before magistrates on August 6.
Full report at:
First time Saudi women to run trains on PNU campus
31 May 2012
For the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, Saudi women will take over command of trains on Princess Noura University (PNU) campus. Thirty-nine young women have completed their professional training abroad to take up the new job on the world’s largest women-only university campus.
Firyal Al-Kurdi, assistant director general of the company that is tasked with operation and supervision of the campus metro, said that the women had received a 90-hour special training from a number of countries. “There were four training courses held in Britain, Denmark and Italy during a 40-day period, which were supervised by specialists. They are now undergoing additional training inside the Kingdom,” she said.
Full report at:
Daughter of a Persian prince rescuer of prostitutes in Iran, Dies at 90
By Emily Langer
June 1, 2012
Sattareh Farman Farmaian, the daughter of a Persian prince who used her family’s power to found a trailblazing social movement on behalf of prostitutes and other disadvantaged Iranian women in the years before the Islamic revolution, died May 21 at her home in Los Angeles.
She was 90 and had lymphoma, said her daughter Mitra Jordan.
Ms. Farman Farmaian had lived in Los Angeles since the Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Western-backed shah, in 1979. In a widely read memoir, “Daughter of Persia” (1992), she wrote that she narrowly escaped execution after being denounced for her progressive social work, which included the establishment of family-planning clinics across Iran and a pioneering social work school in the capital.
By the time of her exile, Ms. Farman Farmaian had “single-handedly . . . changed the notion of prostitution” in Iran, said Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, the director of the Roshan Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. Before her work, he said, the country “tended to look down on prostitutes, blaming single individuals and not knowing . . . how these women might be trapped.”
Full report at:
Rome welcomed Pakistani dancer, but didn’t manage to save her
01 June, 2012
Fakhra Yunus was a Pakistani dancer from Karachi’s red-light district. In 2000, her face was disfigured by an acid attack: she accused her former husband, who has always maintained his innocence, and who was acquitted. Fakhra obtained political asylum in Italy, and she wrote a book about the experience called, ‘Il volto cancellato’ (‘The Erased Face’) with journalist Elena Doni. On March 17, 2012, at the age of 33, she jumped from the sixth floor of her Rome apartment. We asked Elena Doni to reminisce about who Fakhra was: today this story will be published in three countries simultaneously – in Italy in La27esima ora, the women’s blog of newspaper Corriere della Sera, in Pakistan in Dawn, and in the United States in the American online magazine “Women Writers, Women Books”.
When Fakhra was acting whimsically, fickle, lazy, or bossy, in order not to get angry I would think of the “Divinas” in Europe from the beginning of the Twentieth century: they were singers or actresses who were celebrated by poets and who the public adored, something which never again happened in Italy. In Pakistan, Fakhra was a real diva, and millions of poor girls dreamed having success like her.
Full report at:
Sadaf a Bahai citizen: Prisoner of the day
01 June, 2012
Right to Education: Sadaf Sabetian, a Bahai citizen sentenced to two years in prison, was arrested in Tehran on 27 May. She was transferred to Evin Prison to begin serving her prison term.
Sabetian, a resident of Sari, was arrested at the airport when she intended to take a short trip abroad on holiday. Sabetian had never been served judicial orders pertaining to a travel ban.
Sabetian was initially arrested in Sari in May 2011 and transferred to Tehran along with two others in relation to Bahai Online University, and was put on trial in January this year. In February, she was sentenced to two years in prison at Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati. Sabetian had been temporarily released on bail.