Inside Uttar Pradesh Station, Woman Raped by Four Policemen

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Michael Ransom, Contributing EditorLast Modified: 02:50 a.m. DST, 14 June 2014

"Policeman facing women in a protest march, Calcutta Kolkata India" Photo by: Jorge RoyanUTTAR PRADESH, India -- This past week has been a treacherous time for the safety of women living in the most populous state in India, Uttar Pradesh. The most unthinkable of these events occurred late Monday night, 9 June 2014, inside a police station in Hamirpur district.

When a woman entered the police outpost after dusk, she intended to leave with her husband. After explaining her connection to the detained man and asking for his release, the officers told the woman she would need to pay a bribe in order to see him freed. When she refused, four policemen proceeded to rape her inside of the police facility.

The highest ranking police officer has been detained, and authorities are now searching for three additional security officers still on the loose.

Several similar tragedies have occurred throughout the various rural villages that form the state of Uttar Pradesh. On Thursday, 12 June, a 19-year-old woman was hanged by a mob of men in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. This episode followed the rape and hanging of two teenage sisters in the early morning hours of 29 May, and another similar incident on Wednesday, 11 June, in the Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh. In this horrific crime, a 45-year-old Indian was raped and hanged below a tree.

Therefore, since the 29 May attack, four women have been killed by the brutalities of mob sexual assault in Uttar Pradesh alone. Many are claiming that the prevalence of these attacks are nothing new, only that the reporting and discussion of such crimes are increasing.

In many Indian states, rape goes under-reported because of a stigma against the victims of sexual assault. As the number of formal charges against perpetrators rises, so too does the awareness of the problem.

The aforementioned rape and hanging of two teenage sisters generated international outrage as reports emerged, both with regard to the atrocious act as well as the failure of police to investigate initial reports that a group of men had been seen accosting the young women. The indignation of Indian and international advocates was emphatic, but did little to discourage future cruelties of the same nature.

A final note. On Thursday, June 12, two preteen girls were raped by a group of men inside a hostel in Tamil Nadu state. The hostel is affiliated with a local church, but the offenders had no apparent connection to the congregation. An undoubtedly monstrous act, the attackers held the two girls at knife point while proceeding to violate them.

While the incident in Tamil Nadu took place on the opposite side of the country when taken in conjunction with the crimes throughout Uttar Pradesh state, the faraway communities seem in closer proximity because of these paralleled events.

The first step in addressing the brutality towards women is creating an environment where women feel safe to disclose the crimes committed against them. This process is already underway, and the people of India have protested in favor of increased legislation, and seen positive results. Safeguards against such terrible acts have increased since 2012.

But when policemen are perpetrators in the crime, as in the Hamirpur case, or when officers are complicit in murder, such as the double hanging in May, the shortcomings of these individuals signal a step backward for the movement as a whole.

Follow Michael on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Contributing Editor: @MAndrewRansom

Pregnant Pakistani Stoned in "Honor Killing" Outside High Court

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LAHORE, Pakistan -- Islam does not allow for "honor killings." And yet, a 25-year-old pregnant Pakistani woman is the latest victim of murder at the hands of her family. The couple had been engaged for several years, and were only recently married.

Farzana Parveen was beaten and stoned to death earlier today, 27 May 2014, outside of a high court in Lahore. Parveen and her newlywed husband Mohammad Iqbal had traveled to the court earlier today to debunk claims that Iqbal had abducted Parveen. The bride's family had reported the false claims to police in order to regain custody of the woman.

Before the couple had a chance to testify their mutual love, they were surrounded by a group in excess of 20. According to police, someone in the crowd shot a handgun into the air as the mob attempted to kidnap Parveen. Their efforts were ineffective, and at this point the assemblage struck Parveen with sticks and stoned her with bricks from an adjacent construction site. The brutal public display is continuing to draw disapproval by officials and the community.

The attackers included her father and several brothers. So far, only her father, Mohammad Azeem, has been detained. Officials are now searching for the brothers and other family members that conspired in the brutal murder.

Conservative communities in Pakistan practice arranged marriage. Through matrimony, many Pakistani families seek to associate with another family of like class, wealth and ethnicity. Today, marriage outside of this tradition is performed more often, but the stigma against an unendorsed marriage is strong.

According to Amnesty International, 960 "honor killings" were recorded in Pakistan in 2010. That number could likely be higher, as crimes against women are often unpunished and underreported in the region. Most follow a similar equation--males execute a female family member, in order to redeem the family name for the alleged immorality of the female relative.

Follow Michael on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Contributing Editor: @MAndrewRansom

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Sudanese Death by Stoning | Intisar Abdalla

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 23:53 PM EDT, 31 May 2012

Young Mother, Fati Issia and Son Moctar, Photo by Mercy CorpsKHARTOUM, Sudan - Intisar Sharif Abdalla, a young Sudanese woman has been sentenced to death by stoning for the alleged crime of adultery.  She was sentenced by an Ombada criminal court but is being held in the capital while her case is under appeal according to Reuter’s news agency.

Abdalla is the latest woman to become ensnared by would be arbiters of moral turpitude within the Islamic world. These men routinely condemn people under Sharia law to punishments ranging from flogging to stoning.

Convictions and sentencing of women for alleged sexual crimes has become increasingly prevalent in East and West African countries where extreme Islamist are coalescing their power base and instituting Taliban like rule over the populace.

In Abdalla’s case, she has also fallen victim to the confluence of events that led to the succession of South Sudan last year. South Sudan's population practices a variety of beliefs including Christianity and indigenous practices, whereas Sudan is ubiquitously Muslim.

During her trial by the Ombada court, she could not assist her lawyers in mounting any defense because she does not speak Arabic and an interpreter was not provided for her. Additionally, according to Reuters she is illiterate and her nationality has not been confirmed. She could have been a refugee fleeing one of the numerous conflicts that continue to plague either Sudan or South Sudan, or one of the neighboring countries.

Humanitarian groups, such as Human Rights Watch have sounded the alarm and brought Abdalla’s plight to the attention of the world. In addition to her rights being violated as a woman, her infant son is imprisoned with her as she awaits the outcome of her 22 April 2012 conviction.

Sudan began moving toward a more stringent interpretation of Islamic law following a 1989 coup. Ten years later in Northern Nigeria, Islamic extremists like Boko Haram implemented Sharia law with the desire to supersede existing legislative statutes codified by a non-religious government.

Like Northern Nigeria which seeks to usurp and replace existing laws with Sharia, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir committed to the adoption of a fully Islamic constitution following the secession of the south.

"If south Sudan secedes, we will change the constitution and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity," Bashir told supporters at a rally in the eastern city of Gedaref.

"Sharia [Islamic law] and Islam will be the main source for the constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language," he said. (Source: Guardian UK)

Nigeria and now Sudan have had cases in which Islamic Sharia courts have sentenced women to death by stoning. In Nigeria both Safiya Hussaini and Amina Lawal were sentenced for adultery, but after international pressure and global outcry, each of the women was subsequently freed.

However, while incarcerated they faced the prolonged threat of a horrible death, the possibility of being murdered extra judicially, as well as the psychological stress of living at the mercy of irrational misogynists.

Abdalla’s case will hopefully be dismissed or her sentenced commuted, which according to Fahima Hashim, a women's rights activist, is a real possibility because previous stoning sentences in Sudan had not been carried out. If Abdalla could comprehend the complexity of case and its potential outcome, it would provide scant relief, and for now we can do little more than wait with her.

Iran Halts Ordered Stoning Death

Hello. I read your recent article about stoning to death. Reading your article reminded me of the bleeding bruises in my heart once again. You wrote about murdering by stoning?

Have you ever held a bloody tool in your hands with which they have murdered your mother? Have you ever touched the bloody skin and hair of your mother who has just been killed in a deep hole? Have you ever followed the line of your mother’s blood in order to find her corpse thrown at the back of a truck?

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