Monday, August 18, 2008

Saria Liaqat & Urooj Akbar - Living Well

It is said, that the best form of victory over oppression or violence, is for the victim to end up living well... I can only hope that the following article will be instrumental in proving that to be true... after years of recovering from the horrific acid and kerosene fire that their husbands inflicted on them, these women are actively working in the field of Salon Beauticians, in Pakistan, all because the owner of Depilex, Masarrat Misbah, met a woman who suffered an acid attack, who asked for help and didn't turn away, as many others would and have...
the past few days, Namal Toosi's article for the Associated Press, has
been picked up by dozens if not scores of newspapers around the globe and has rendered Depilex's website for it's humanitarian effort on behalf of the 240+ registered burn sufferers off line, because of the visits it is getting... that in itself shows the interest and the outrage this form of abuse has engendered...

it was said by a member of a government body in the Indian Subcontinent, that laws made by governments in support of women's rights and against honour attacks and killings, will not make the difference they are meant to, without a change in the society as a whole... implying that the laws were useless and a waste of the government's time... THAT has to be the biggest cope out line going... without laws to begin with, society cannot begin to govern itself... and with the publicizing of these abuses, there will be a growing force to reckon with in change for the better... certainly we must keep the feet to the fire, of members of government that think like that... making them complicit by omission, in the killings and maiming of women and girls...
The Pictures on this page, except the one of Saria Liaqat at age 15, were taken by AP-Press photographer, K.M. Chaudary...
It should also be noted, as it is in the articles, that these women are some of the least damaged by their attackers... many more are in severe states of pain and disfigurement... their were in 2007, 33 attacks of this sort in Pakistan alone... and these are the brave ones that reported to the police... others are either too afraid of their attackers or their own families, or haven't the money to afford lawyers... many are an embarrassment to their families honour... (Italian only; English version under construction)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Female Holocaust of our Species

Updated: July 11th, added Dowry Killings
Updated : July 1st, tweaking some of the paragraphs...
Updated : June 30th 2008, Addition of Fraternal Polyandry & Trafficking for Marriage
Updated : June 21 st 2008, correction of Tora-Kari to Karo-Kari

Originally Posted: June 21st 2008

June 21st: we in Canada, had a landmark criminal charge; the first example of an Honour Killing charge in Canada... the father of a 16 year old girl, has been charged with first degree murder for the alleged premeditated planning and carrying out the her murder, in an Honour Killing... the trial will come later this year it is hoped... and a week later, the brother has also been charged with first degree murder, which implies he was alleged to also physically be involved, and helped plan the murder... for the murder of an innocent life by premeditate and deliberate means, cannot but deserve any other charge than first degree murder, and if found guilty, carrying the stiffest sentence of all, life in prison, which we hope will be, without parole... to send the strongest message into the community, that in Canada, we will not acquiesce to tribal laws...

her family killed her because she refused to wear traditional clothes, from their culture of origin... she had been raised in Western society and wished to be like other girls her own age...
she ran away 2 times, but in the end it is alleged that she was lured back by her brother, to pick up her clothes... at which time she was alleged to have been beaten and lethally strangled by her father, with the alleged aid of her brother... she had no chance to get away again...

I have not mentioned the culture, because in reality it is not just one culture that does this, it is significant in several cultures, where the female is under the control of a Patriarchal father, whose word is greater than the law of the land... whether if be Arab, Hindi, Sikh, Chinese, Argentine, Hungarian, Romanian, Italian or Greek... where the father has ultimate authority, the Patriarch or High Priest of the House, women are general regarded as property for sale as baby factories, and must be protected at all costs, to protect the family investment, honour and culture... a woman cannot choose whom to marry, nor to marry without consent, as the 'Dowry' will not be paid and the investment lost... as well, it is a stain on the family honour, as her actions may influence other females in the family and the local area...

in Canada, reports of this type are mercifully rare... however, it has come to my attention, that while crimes like this are not committed in our country, they are hatched here, and carried out abroad, by relatives or hired assassins for the family...
a man who rejected the marriage to a woman in Canada, was assassinated in India, days before he was to be married to another woman... at the request of the woman he spurned and her family...

This is a list of things done to women by societies around the world... it is not complete, as I can't for reasons of self censorship, tell all that I know, but when / IF you finish reading this, I think you will agree, this is WAY TOO MUCH, as it is...

{well, it doesn't take long on the net to be corrected, and I for one welcome any and all correction, valid of course... Trust, But Verify ;) Joanne has pointed out that I got the heading to this section on Honour Killings wrong... instead of Taro-Kari, it is 'karo-kari', thanks for the translation; as they say, close, but that only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades... ;) it is nice to have something to smile about after all this time... Thanks Joanne, for the smile and the correction... }

Karo-Kari, Honour killings, where a real or perceived slight to the families honour is held over a male or more often, female, by their relatives. The slight, can be anything, from improper dress; being seen with a person of the opposite sex in public, which is perceived to be an adulterous relationship whether real or not; being raped can lead to death, as it is perceived as a desecration of the families honour, the virginity of the woman or girl, and therefore she is damaged goods, not fit for marriage, a drain on the families wealth, and stain on their honour; the dowry not being large enough, or unable to find a marriage partner, or the woman is infertile, can cause an honour killing; refusing to abide by family decisions, ie forced marriage, deciding to marry someone not approved of by the family. This is the tip of the iceberg. For more information, go to
Whether this is done for religion or not, the fact remains that the religious and legal apparatus of the countries in which it occurs tend to back up the use of honour killings, by not supporting the women when she comes for help; condemning her if she does and often times imprisoning her or handing her over to her family for lethal punishment, and not prosecuting the offenders or handing out light sentences.
In many societies, a woman that chooses her own husband and elopes, is accused of adultery, or her husband with kidnapping and rape, where both are punished, sometimes with jail, as in one case, but most often with honour killings if caught... there is no room for interpretation of choice, it is taken as fact that a crime has been committed, no matter how much proof to the contrary is brought... the family honour has been slighted... there is no defence against the charge of dishonouring the family, the person is guilt from the time she/he is accused, and the only course is to carry out the sentence...

Vani, the practice of trading girls and women like animals to settle disputes: a jirga (tribal or village court) in Sukkur has ordered that five girls be exchanged to settle a dispute arising out of an 'honour killing'. These exchanges are also made for land or other family related disputes. The girls become literal slaves to the new family, and are beaten or raped at will.

Forced suicide, occurs when the victim is locked up alone with a weapon or poison, fed minimal food to keep her alive, until she kills herself in desperation. Or is raped, beaten or tortured, by her relatives until she is mentally broken and in desperation accepts death as an escape, often pulling the trigger, taking the poison herself, jumping off of a high building or ledge, or assisting in her own hanging. This practice is in reaction to the outlawing of Karo-Kari, where the family, to get around the law, forces the accused woman or girl, to murder herself to save the family honour.

Forced Marriages, this is a broad subject in that it is not just by betrothal... in the case of betrothal, it has become practice to sell, or take dowry for a daughter... some have been thus sold into slavery as young as 6-8, where they become second, third or fourth wives and sex slaves of older men... some as much as 40 years older... it is when they can't get a suitable dowry back for a daughter, or is returned by the new husband for whatever reason, that a girl may be killed in an honour killing... being that she is not valuable enough to the family, or at fault in some way... a commodity to be bought and sold...

Dowry Killings: now this I find confusing... a Dowry is paid by the Husband's family to the wife's family, while it seems that a Gift or Dowry is also expected from the Wife's family; this I am assuming is not universal in all cultures... but, in the cultures that it does happen, if the Wife's in-laws are not happy with the dowry amount from her family, they can kill her... will try to clarify this later...

April 2010 update,

at the base of this article is this comment: As Pankaj Mishra, noted Indian essayist and novelist and a Hindu familiar with the plight of women of all faiths, writes: "Almost every day, the media berate Islam, often couching their prejudice in the highly moral language of women's rights: It is not due to oversight that Indian women murdered for failing to bring sufficient dowry, a staggering 6,787 in 2005 (and since reported at 8,093 in 2007), occupy a fraction of the print acreage devoted to the tiny minority of veiled women." 

Buying (Dowry) of women from other tribes, for Marriage: the taking of women from their states, as in India, or from other countries, for the purpose of marriage, whether legally or illegally.... in India because of the lower number of women in some states, it has become common practice to go outside the state or village to other areas, even where the people do not have the same culture or language, and buy, (that is pay the parents the "dowry") women for wives...

Polyandry the practice of one woman marrying many husbands... check out Wikipedia for examples of this around the world...

Fraternal Polyandry or Adelphogamy: this is the word for more than one husband, for one wife, by marriage to the brothers of one family; but that is predicated on the woman doing the choosing;

Buying of a woman for use of the sons of a family: Northern India, there is a practice, by brothers, of clubbing together their money, to purchase a woman, to wed one of them, so that the wife of the one in practice, is the wife of all and must provide domestic and marital services to the household :-( this is an informal arrangement, where there is no legal marriage to the whole group...
In contemporary Hindu society, due to sexual discrimination (Female Fetal Genocide and Infanticide) leading to a sharp loss in the number of marriageable women, many social scientists have expressed a fear of a compulsion toward polyandry in the near future. This is in fact happening now... and I might add, it may become a similar problem in other Asian countries, from Turkey to China, and from India to Kazakhstan... another problem area may be the reducing of the age of consent, or ignoring it all together, to expand the pool of available females, locally...

Chechen Marriage Kidnappings, a practice that seems unique to this country, in which suitors, accepted or not, will, with the help of their relatives, kidnap women off the street, and if kept over night, the victims family honour is stained, and they are forced to marry. During the kidnapping the woman is surrounded by her kidnappers and verbally abused, to force her to accept her fate. While there is some who think this a romantic thing between two consenting people, it is in many instances a forced marriage, wherein the woman is not an agreeing party.

Acid Attacks, the practice wherein a man is spurned by a woman, and in retaliation, is splashed with acid to disfigure her, so that no one else may have her, this to cleanse the honour of the spurned suitor.

Muti, in general, this means Medicine, and is a herbal attempted at healing; but in recent years it has become to mean the practice of taking human or animal body parts for ritual or ceremonial magic for good luck or to ensure a person achieves a promotion or goal. This is prevalent mostly in south and central African nations. Young people are most often sourced for the human body parts, either in attacks on the way home at night, or in home invasions. One horrific incident stands out in my mind, where 4 men invaded a single mother's home, and hacked off her teenage daughters legs at the knees, while holding her mother down, leaving her to bleed to death, in her mother's arms.
It has also been suggested, that the rape of female babies as old as 3 to 5, has been promoted as part of Muti, in an attempted to cure Aids. It has been said that if it is a white, blond haired, child it is more effective, but in practice it seems that any child will do. Of course this is not a cure for aids, but one that is promoted in tribal areas, by traditional medicine men.

Rape as a weapon of war, it has become standard practice in African and Asian wars to go on raping rampages by enemy forces against the women of opponents. There is strategic reasoning in this, as it makes the women unfit for marriage in some cultures, in all cases it traumatizes the civilian populations, causing ethnic migrations out of land that has been taken, or in cases where the women are kept as 'wives', it provides a ready breeding supply for the next generation of fighters, in other words, women are little more than baby factories.

Forced in to Prostitution, or sex slavery: this can come about by kidnapping or being sold by the parents to the brothel owner... even when rescued by police or anti-prostitution activists, the girls are no longer wanted by the family, as they are worthless for marriage, and they are a stain on the families honour... many are forced back into prostitution... this is a problem that crosses national boundaries and is a source of problems in Europe and North America as it has become fashionable, as in the Joseph Fritzl case, to go to those countries that support this practice, for sex that would be illegal in the country from which the vacationer comes from, ie child sex...
as well, the importing of women for the purpose of prostitution into European and North American countries is now becoming a noticeable problem, especially around large scale events such as the Olympics, and the World Cups, by organized crime syndicates that earn money from the women... they also import them into larger cities, where they may not speak the host language, making them easier to keep under control... here I am thinking of some east Asian women that were discovered several years ago in Toronto, held as sex slaves...
after they have past their prime I don't know what happens to them, as I have never heard of any that have been released... it is sad to think that they would be treated as disposable goods... but it is not impossible... their 'owners' would not want them around as evidence...

Female Fetal Genocide: is the practice determining the sex of a baby through Ultra Sound and of choosing to abort female fetus... this is practiced in all South Asian countries, and attempted in Western countries by people from Asia, and by Westerners who put a value on having male offspring to carry on the family name.

Female Genital Mutilation; this is the practice of altering the female to ensure that they are kept 'pure' for marriage, or to ensure that the woman remains faithful, by desensitizing her erotic organs. In order to keep her pure, one culture sews up the genital lips so that there is only space enough for urine to flow. In order to keep a woman faithful, at puberty, the clitoral nub is gouged out, often with unsterilized instruments... there is a significant death rate in societies that practice either, and as well, at the time of giving birth there is a 20% chance of death for the mother or child. This problem is now, not just a third world problem, it has entered the developed world, with immigrants that still wish to practice it. Many are now taking their children back to the home country for the procedure and bringing them back to grow up, in the 'ghettos' that they create by congregating together.

Male Genital Mutilation; this is a little known ceremony, in some African countries, not dissimilar to the Circumcision done in western hospitals; but there the difference ends... this is done with stone knives, and in a forest camp ground... the practice is in a sense a form of Muti, to usher the boys into manhood... however the death rate is real, and sadly no one is reporting on it, I add it here only because it does need reporting...

ok, by now if you have reached this point, you should be heart sick at the atrocities; that I can write this down is because I have been reading about this for the past 3-4 weeks, and in the case of Southern Africa, even longer. Yet, it still hurts, the pictures of these beautiful children haunt me, knowing that they have been shot, stoned, hung, strangled, poisoned, raped, burned and mutilated all because they were found accessible and/or accountable by their oppressors.
This post is a small pin prick in the elephant that this Holocaust is... yet if we all make posts and comments, e-mails and whatever we can do, then surly the combined weight will change the situation.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe recently said that the ballpoint pen cannot win out over the gun... I for one don't want to believe that... someone else said, the Pen is mightier than the sword... let us prove it by the weight of our words... we need a Fatwa against the killing of women in the name of honour, just as we have had a Fatwa against terrorist acts, by any nation... let us stand up for our daughters, mothers, and wives against the tyranny that says they are not even human beings, but items of trade, valued only for their vaginal hymen, and capacity for breeding. This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages, have we not progressed beyond this...

In reply to Ellen: yes this is a deeply depressing post, but in the debate or discussion on the treatment of women it is necessary to be frank about the conditions in which women and girls live... I have been as circumspect as possible, even to the point, as I said at the beginning, of self-censorship... I realize that many, many would be shocked beyond endurance at what goes on, and has gone on, in the world... and I have not heard or seen it all by any stretch... if it can be imagined, I am sure that it is or has been done... sadly, the Josef Fritzls of the world are legion... the Elisabeths, Kerstins, Aarushis, Noors and the millions that are unnamed are deserving of our best efforts at securing their rescue, rehabilitation, and the punishment of the sadistic monsters, both male AND female, that prey on them... and if we who are believers, our prayers... so that when we pass through the veil, and meet those that didn't make it, we can say in all honesty:

'We tried our best; I am sorry it was not enough! Please forgive us!'

Timeline of important events in Elizabeth Fritzl's Life Time

Up dated July 11th 2008: the judicial statements by Elisabeth begun

this is a time line of important events in Elizabeth Fritzl's life, and the life of the family that she had in the dungeon...

there are two events I have not been able to track down... 1) when she started school, 2)the time period when her mother was living away from the family... that last was reported on another blog, but didn't get the source...

as well, wonder if there is a source for Birthdays for the family...
the ages in here are approximations only...
I probably should have included Rosemarie's ages in here as well...

the text does not come out exactly as formatted in the compose window, but this will have to do...

I know that this will be tedious to read, but bear with it, I really do think that this is important for understanding the situation Elisabeth found herself in... thanks for visiting...

Sources, Wikipedia Page, various newspapers...

1966 - Elizabeth was born
1977 - JF began to sexually abuse her
Elisabeth is 11
- JF began application to city for permission to extend his basement
Elisabeth is 12
1981 - Elisabeth began training as a waitress/cook
Elisabeth was 15
1982-83 - JF began work on his dungeon extension to his already planned basement extension, adding, toilet, fridge, and hot plate... it appears that it was 35m²(380 sq ft) NB but that is unconfirmed at present

1983 - she was in cooking school and fell in love
January, she ran away from home and, together with a friend from work, went into hiding in Vienna. She was found by police within three weeks and returned to her parents. She rejoined her training course.
Elisabeth is 17

1984 - upon completion of her course in the summer Elisabeth was offered a job in the city of Linz.
28th of August - JF imprisoned her in the dungeon, when she was making plans to leave and live with a sister, possibly in Linz
for 9 months, from September to the following May, she is kept in the dark, on a leash or chain attached to a pole, and fed only when she submits to JF's sexual needs... it may be that it took 9 months to break her spirit, so that she would not rebel (NB if not break her spirit, then at least to convince her that she was trapped, and not going to get out)
Elisabeth is 18/19 years old

NB 4 year gap here... SHE WAS ALONE FOLKS... at this point, there was no TV for certain; no mention of a radio or other sources of entertainment...

1988 - Elisabeth becomes pregnant for the first time; JF gets her books on child birth and pregnancy, which are all she has to prepare her for the coming event
Elisabeth is 22
- Elisabeth delivers Kerstin into the world, (NB alone??)
Elisabeth is 23

1989/90 - Elisabeth becomes pregnant for the second time
Elisabeth is 23/24, Kerstin is less than one perhaps
- Elisabeth delivers Stefan into the world, now she has two babies to look after
Elisabeth is, 24, and Kerstin is 1

1991 - Elisabeth becomes pregnant for the 3rd time
Elisabeth is 25, and Kerstin is 2, and Stefan is 1
- (August/ September) Elisabeth delivers Lisa into the world
Elisabeth is 26, and Kerstin is 3 and Stefan is 2
- May, Lisa is left on door step at 9 months
Elisabeth is pregnant for the 4th time
Elisabeth is 27, and Kerstin is 4 and Stefan is 3

1994 - February, Elisabeth delivers Monika into the world
Elisabeth was 28, Kerstin was 5 and Stefan was 4
JF began work on the extension of the dungeon, by digging a walkway to an already excavated area of at least 2 room... this would expand the dungeon from it's
35m²(380sq ft) to 55m²(600 sq ft)
December, The fourth child, ten-month-old Monika, was found in a stroller outside the entrance of the house. Shortly afterwards, a phone call was made to Rosemarie, apparently, from Elisabeth. The caller asked Rosemarie to take care of the child. However, it is assumed that JF was able to use a recording of Elisabeth's voice to make the call. Rosemarie reported the incident to the police, expressing her astonishment that Elisabeth knew of their new and unlisted phone number. (NB these "cults" sure have great investigative powers to find Rosemarie's unlisted number, ie why didn't the police investigate this)

1995 - Elisabeth is pregnant again, this time with the twins
Elisabeth was 29, Kerstin was 6 and Stefan was 5
1996 - May
, Elisabeth delivers Michael and Alexander into the world
Michael dies after 3 days and is cremated in the boiler
Elisabeth was 30, Kerstin was 7 and Stefan was 6
1997 - August, Alexander is left outside the family door after 15 months with Elisabeth, Kerstin and Stefan... (NB, God, but that has got to have hurt, all of them, big time; parting with him, he was probably beginning to walk and be a little angel)
Elisabeth was 31, Kerstin was 8 and Stefan was 7

1998 - JF goes on a 4 week vacation to Thailand, presumably leaving Elisabeth and family with enough food in the freezer
Elisabeth was 32, Kerstin was 9 and Stefan was 8

NB Then there is a big gap here... 3 years

2001 - Elisabeth is pregnant for the 6th time and last time
Elisabeth was 35, Kerstin was 12 and Stefan was 11
2002 - May, Elisabeth delivers Felix into the world
Elisabeth gets a washing machine as a present so she did not have to wash her own clothes and that of the children by hand anymore NB so that means for 18 years she washed clothes by hand, and dried them by hanging them out, no wonder there was mold all over the dungeon, one police officer described it as like being in a submarine; and the police that had to investigate the dungeon, needed psychological counseling afterwards
Elisabeth was 36, Kerstin was 13 and Stefan was 12

NB another big gap, nothing reported of note, Felix was kept in the dungeon, because it was felt that Rosemarie had enough to do, handling the raising of the other 3

2008 - April 19th - Kerstin has been having stomach cramps and fainting spells, Elizabeth begs her father to take her daughter to the hospital, when over the counter medication don't help anymore... JF waits several days, until Rosemarie leaves for her annual holiday, and then brings Kerstin out to the world; and either takes her to the hospital or sends her in an ambulance; but takes Elizabeth back to the dungeon before leaving for the hospital himself... Elizabeth may have put a letter on Kerstin's person, asking for help, but that has not been confirmed by police or the hospital; they do mention a letter in which the mother of Kerstin, begs them to look after her daughter and make her well again

2008 - April 26th - for a week, she, Felix and Stefan will be glued to the TV, and watching the news, see the request by the doctors, for Kerstin's mother to come forward from the 'cult'... Elisabeth again begs her father to let her go... by this time Rosemarie is back, having heard about Kerstin, and JF brings the kids up, (NB whether before Elisabeth goes to see Kerstin or after is not clear) and tells her that Elisabeth has returned home...

Evening of April 26, Elisabeth comes out of the dungeon for the second time in a week, and this time rides to the hospital with JF to see Kerstin and the Doctors. The Doctors, inform the police and both Elisabeth and JF are taken into custody, separately.
night of April 26/27 police arrest Elisabeth on suspicion of child abandonment of Kerstin, (NB they don't know yet about the dungeon or the other children) when she came to visit Kerstin in hospital in Amstetten for the first time out. But after 2 hours of questioning, hearing her story, go to the house with JF who confesses and shows them the dungeon... (NB that is one version of the events, but until the trial we won't know for sure the exact sequence)

May 12 they had started to reduce medication that was keeping Kerstin in a coma.

May 14 a handmade poster created by Elisabeth, her children and her mother at the therapy facility was displayed in the Amstetten town center. The message thanked local people for their support. "We, the whole family, would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for sympathy at our fate," they wrote in their message. "Your compassion is helping us greatly to overcome these difficult times, and it shows us there also are good and honest people here who really care for us. We hope that soon there will be a time where we can find our way back into a normal life. "

May 15 Kerstin opened her eyes and shows that the feared brain damage was far less likely after she laughed nervously at those around her. (NB I wonder what she was thinking at that moment, as her last memory may have been falling over in the dungeon)

May 15th to June 1, Elisabeth travelled back and forth from the clinic to the hospital (NB possibly daily) to be there to encourage Kerstin. The doctors acknowledge that this was a big part of the reason for Kersin's recovery, (NB understandably, there is a strong bond between these two women that probably goes way beyond mother daughter relationship, and perhaps can only be understood by military personnel who have trained, and gone into combat together, but that is my own opinion, not having read anything on it in the press)

Sunday 1 June at nine o'clock in the morning, the moment of truth arrives,
when the breathing apparatus that had kept her alive until then had been removed.

June 8th Kerstin is taken to the clinic where her mother and family were waiting for her; she went sitting up in the seat (NB: doesn't say if in front or back; cannot imagine how this must have felt for the young woman. First time in a vehicle and watching the world, not through a TV screen.)

June 11 the family was moved into a house on the clinic grounds and now move up to a more intensive regime of therapy

June 24th update on Kerstin: doctors caring for the family say that Elisabeth's daughter Kerstin, 19, was making great progress since she had started getting specialist help from ergonomics experts. Ergonomics is more commonly applied to designing office environments. But by useing a mixture of scientific and evidence-based information about an individual's physical and psychological capabilities and limitations, they are able to design an environment that will help her to fit in and grow stronger after her ordeal.

JUNE 24TH we learnt on July 15th that the family had been moved out of the clinic's house, into a house in a secret location, to continue their recovery... this was revealed at the same time that Elisabeth was going through her recorded testamony... which had been leaked by an annonomous person in the Judicerary office... obviously we were not to know that because we had the day before the leak, had been told it would be 2 weeks before the testamony... a pattern has emerged, of telling us after the fact, that something major in Elisabeth's life had happened...

June 26, the children have been tutored by female teachers, half days, and are being prepared for end of term exams; surprisingly, Stefan is finding it easier than expected, and shows an advanced level, and will be allowed to take some of the exams

July 10th, the proscecution made the announcement that the pretrial hearings to take Elisabeth's victim statements will be held in the next 2 weeks...

July 11th, it has been stated on the BBC that the statements process began today, quoting unnamed judicial officials... Elisabeth was taken to a secret location, where, with the judge, her lawyer, doctor and the prosecution, video linked to Josef Fritzl's lawyer, (Josef declined to participate) where her statement process was begun... this will continue next week... for some reason 1 day of unspecified hours was not enough... it is to be hoped that there was no medical reason for needing more than one day...

July 19th, the pre trial testamony of Elisabeth has been complete, it is over... unless there is a need to clarify an item, which will be a short interview, there is going to be no more full day testamony... it is not clear if there will be a need for the testamony of her mother, children or other members of the family... this may be all they need...

For Elisabeth now, I feel that it is all over but the waiting to see what happens at the trial, which will be anti-climatic... she will get on with her life and with the raising of her children... it has been 3 months since Kerstin was released from the dungeon to go to the hospital... and in that time, they have done a huge amount of recovering from their ordeals... very often the biggest part of the recovery, over 50% is done in the few months after... how much more they can recover will depend on themselves and how much they work at it...
I will note the times and outcome of the trial, but not much detail... it now has nothing to do with Elisabeth... unless she comes forward to say something to the public, it is time to put this to rest... God bless you dear and lovely lady... you have touch all our hearts, in ways you cannot imagine, and you will not be forgotten... {{{XX}}} to all of you... Schnee Wolfe 1948

Elisabeth is 42 (NB possibly turning 43 as I saw mention of her passing that mile stone), Kerstin is 19, Stefan is 18, and Felix is 5 turning 6

Monday, June 30, 2008

Female Infanticide & Fetal Genocide, THE RESULTS ARE NOW!!

The news is out!! I
In North India, there is now a shortage of brides and men who are looking for women to marry, must look outside their tribal area... in the Toronto Star today, June 30th , a special to the Star report on the situation and it's effects on the women who are TRADED in marriage... when will it be the turn of other countries in Asia who practice such illogical and horrible crimes against the female of our species...
Are we going to see kidnappings and trading for females from the west or from country to country in the region... as a commodity to keep the genes of a tribe or country going... or wars where the young men of a nation go out in search of women to bring back for 'wives'... or more horrible in this era, organized crime getting involved in the trafficking of females to other countries, for profit... stealing them off the street or out of their beds... tricked into overseas jobs that make them vulnerable to kidnapping... mail order brides, like in the 1800's when North America and Australia were growing...

Killing of baby girls triggers social upheaval in India

Jun 30, 2008 04:30 AM
Sonya Fatah Special to the Star


BAGHPAT, INDIA–Six years ago, Sandhya Sharma lived in a mountain village in Himachal Pradesh, the land of snowy mountains that is nestled in the western Himalayan range.
Sharma, 26, had never left her village before she was brought here, to the Indo-Gangetic plains of Uttar Pradesh, India's most densely populated state, married to a man whose language and culture were unknown to her.
Sharma talked about the deep isolation she felt immediately after her marriage.
"At first I never spoke to people. When I did, no one would understand me, so I cried a lot," said Sharma as she gently fussed over her year-old twins.
Such set-ups are neither marriages of convenience, nor of choice. But in the northwestern states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, such arrangements are on the rise. It's a trend that seems strange in a culture where language, caste and regional identity are so deeply and separately treasured. But take one look at the 2001 national census and the numbers offer an explanation – they reflect the sad saga of the killing of baby girls and aborting female fetuses in India.

Sonya Fatah is a Journalist based in Southeast Asia

Weng'an City Riots over Rape and Murder Li Shufen

Girl's death inflames China

Thousands rallied in Guizhou province, June 28, 2008, setting fire to buildings and vehicles. Protesters were furious over how officials handled the death of a reportedly raped 16-year-old girl.
Excerpted -
Jul 02, 2008 04:30 AM
Bill Schiller Asia Bureau


Parents agree to bury daughter whose mysterious death sparked riots in southwest China

R.I.P. Li Shufen, you were a beautiful flower, plucked too soon, and discarded wantonly... you won't find peace or justice here...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Aarushi Talwar - Crime Page

The Facts, Just the Facts!!

Victim 1: Arushi Talwar,
Age 14,
DOB - Saturday, May 24, it was Arushi Talwar’s birthday
DOD - May 16th, 2008, approximately 1am to 2am
Class IX student of Delhi Public School in Noida
cell phone # 9910520630
Aarushi Talwar had a profile at Orkut, as social networking site
one must be 18yrs or older to use Orkut... BD is part of reg.–aArUsHi–Profile-html

May also have had Facebook

Close friends of
best friend Fiza (Classsmate??)
daughter of Dr Anita Durrani, unnamed

Victim 2: Yam Prasad Banjade aka Hemraj
DOD May 16th, 2008, approximately ???
Eight months ago, (October 2007) when Hemraj was hired to replace Vishnu
Cell phone # 9213515485

Family Members
at crime scene:

Dr. Rajesh Talwar
has serious asthma

Dr. Nupur Talwar

Arushi Talwar

other than crime scene:

brother, Dr. Dinesh Talwar

brother, Ramesh Talwar

Hemraj’s uncle, Ram Prasad

House Servants , past and present

Yam Prasad Banjade. Aka Hemraj

Bharti, part time maid

Vishnu; Vishnu Sharma alias Vishnu Thapa former domestic helper

Umesh Sharma, the Talwar’s driver:

Nim Raj Kaushal alias Raju. Former domestic help

Shambu, male servant

Vijay Mandal, a domestic helper from same L block in Jalvayu Viha

People Around the Case

Abhijeet Chatterjee, Talwar’s lawyer,

Pinaki Mishra, another Talwar family lawyer

RK Saini, CBI counsel

Krishna’s lawyer, F C Sharma

Uma Thakur, the social worker that talk to Hemraj on May 11th

Upendra Pancholi, the head priest in the temple in Haridwar

Dheeraj Kumar, temple at the Baba Balaknath Mandir in Sector-62, Noida

Shyam Sunder, security supervisor for the residential neighborhood

Dr Sudhir Gupta, Associate professor of forensic medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Clinic Workers
Vikas, the clinic manager.

Jeevan Sharma, Hemraj’s son-in-law

Krishna, the compounder and receptionist

unknown persons
Dinesh Verma supposedly framed father of Aarushi???

Friends & Neighbors of Note

retired Senior police officer K.K. Gautam, a neighbor; finds body of Hemraj

“close” friends Prafful Durrani and Dr Anita Durrani
Dr Anita Durrani shared the dental clinic with Dr Rajesh Talwar.
good friends for over 13-14 years. They were like an extended family.

doctor-friend Bharat Bhushan, who was present in one version, on the occasion to record Aarushi Talwar’s death

Pradeep Tayal, the friend of the Talwars, is also the common and mutual friend of the Dr.'s Durrani. and works in Flex Industry.

Crime Scene
address of crime scene: L-32 Jal Vayu Vihar home in Sector-25, Noida.

Both Arushi Talwar and Hemraj had similar wounds on their necks, it had been though that the wounds were made by a scalpel, but that was put to rest; it now seems that the two died of blunt trauma to the head, and the neck wounds, by a knife, were to make sure of the job

at present, no one is sure who died first, there have been conflicting reports from the press, usually surrounding their speculation on the motive for the deaths

victims clothing and the bed linen may have been removed from scene
Arushi was found in the house, presumably her room
, while Hemraj was found out on the terrace, covered by a 'cooler lid'

There may have been a trail of blood from the door to the terrace to Hemraj's body, this per K.K. Gautam's statement in the press, but the day before when the mattress was taken to the terrace, the workers for Dr. R. Talwar did not report seeing any blood trail.

The house appears to have been cleaned up after the killings, ie the blood that should have been on the stairs to the terrace was not there

Weather for the 15 to 16th, clear overnight,
Temperatures ranged from 96 F /36C to 87F / 31C,
Winds light, or non existent, visibility 1.7mi/2.8km
Sunrise: 5:30am, Sunset: 7:05pm
Civil Twilight, from 5:04am to 7:31pm
Moon: ¾ full, Rise: 3:56pm May 14, Set: 2:57

What is known for fact:

1)Days before murders

A ‘mystery scrapper’ visited Arushi Talwar’s Orkut profile regularly. This Internet identity reminded her about murder victims over the Internet sites.

Uma Thakur, the social worker, said that Hemraj approached her on May 11, 2008. Hemraj desired to consult her on a matter. He requested for an hour of audience with her. She told him that she was busy at that time of 7:30 pm. Uma Thakur related that Hemraj looked frightened.

Umar Thakur claimed that she had spoken to Hemraj’s son-in-law. She claimed that the younger man told her that Hemraj and Arushi shared a normal relationship and there was nothing improper about them.

Krishna’s phone made an outgoing call at 12.17.32 pm on May 14 to a land line number: 011-24360509. CBI officers confirmed that the number belonged to them but refused to acknowledge that they received a call from Krishna.

2)Hours before murders
Rajesh Talwar’s driver, Umesh, said that Dr. Rajesh Talwar did not go to work on Thursday

Arushi came home from school at????

Sankalp, a very close friend of Arushi spoke to her at around 4:45 pm on May 16. The conversation was a general one, mainly regarding school. Sankalp was very sure that Arushi was not bothered about anything till then and spoke to him very normally and was her usual self. Sankalp said, “Arushi was very close to her parents and never said anything negative about them”. There was also no trouble involving the servant of the house, Sankalp confirmed.

On Thursday night, someone made 6 calls to Dr Anita Durrani cell phone number on Dr Rajesh Talwar's cell phone, it is not known if Dr A. Durrani was the person spoken to or what the conversations were about. Police have not said where Dr. A. Durrani's phone was when calls were picked up.

Jeeva (Jeevan Sharma??) said that Hemraj called him at 5:30 on Thursday. He told that his madam (Dr. Nupur Talwar) had instructed him not to go to the clinic, as per his normal routine, since Arushi was home alone.

9 - 9:30 p.m., Arushi Talwar spoke to her friend Anmol from her mobile phone; when was phone turned off and why..
Arushi had her last meal at about 11 pm.
span >What did she do between the time she came home and this phone call

3)during murders
There has been no confirmed or substantiated descriptions of what happened in the house on the night that the murders were committed: from 11pm to 6am the night of May 15 to 16

4)after murders, before discovery
On the morning of May 16th, a part time maid, Bharti, arrived at the house to work. Bharti found the gate locked on the outside of the house. Madam Dr. Niranjan threw down the keys from her balconey and the maid opened the gate to enter the compound

Dr R. Talwar claims that he opened the gate (or door) for her, there are reported to be 3 doors to get into the house from the road so both statements could be true (if so, then how did the killers get passed the 3 doors, or was there another way not mentioned...)

5)Hours after discovery
Umesh said that he was instructed by Dr. Rajesh Talwar to carry Aarushi’s bloodstained mattress to the terrace and leave it there. Umesh carried it with the help of Vikas, the clinic manager. (at some point later, mattress is found on neighbor's terrace, ripped)

6)Days after discovery; ie Police Investigation
day after murder; Senior police officer K.K. Gautam, a neighbor; door to terrace is locked on inside; he has to break door, and finds body of Hemraj under cooler lid, hidden from view. He also looks into bedroom, and reports that he sees evidence pertaining to the crime, but what he does not say.

Within 2-3 days the body of Arushi was cremated; is there a date

Police said they obtained proof. Rajesh Talwar & Nupur Talwar told the priest in Hardwar to record Arushi Talwar’s time of death as 2:30 am, on Friday morning, May 16, 2008.

Superintendent of Police (City) Mahesh Mishra was transferred out on Sunday afternoon, May 18, 2008. The station house officer of Sector-20 police station of Noida was also transferred out.

On Wednesday, May 21st, it was established that the authorities in charge of the twin murder cases were Senior Superintendent of Police Noida A.S. Ganesh, Special Task Force (STF) and a few others.

Noida Senior Superintendent of Police A Satish Ganesh gave a press conference on Thursday, May 22, 2008. He said that it would take another 15 more days for the police to crack the case. Was there anything else said at that press conference, was it televised

May 26 The Hindu website said that on Tuesday, Arushi Talwar’s classmates and friends organized a peaceful candle light procession. They walked from DPS Noida to her house. That was a distance of 1 1/2 kilometers. The students said nobody close to Arushi was questioned by the police. The teens said that instead of investigations, the police were laying the blame on the dead, who could not utter a single defense.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008, The Times Of India:
Pinaki Mishra, another Talwar family lawyer, has requested for the case to be handled by CBI (crime branch investigation?) because he was dissatisfied. Pinaki Mishra claimed Police made a scape goat of Rajesh Talwar.

May 31st or June 1st CBI take over police investigations from Noida local police, who have botched the job

June 5th,
The blood stained blanket, clothes and other items have been recovered too late. CBI could not confirm if they had been washed. The famous palm print at the terrace has been discarded as almost useless because it was a gloved print!

June 6
CBI believed that Aarushi Talwar was killed first before Hemraj. This was established from viscera reports, post-mortem reports, finger/ palm prints found in Aarushi’s bedroom and prints found in the terrace. They conclude so because the prints in Aarushi’s room were clean from blood and the prints found on the terrace had blood on them. So after Aarushi was murdered, her blood stained the prints of the killer. This is not substantiated by the police themelves; this may be press speculation

Sat. June 7 2008.
1.All India Institute of Medical Sciences was consulted. They examined the medical reports of Aarushi Talwar. Some experts said that she was killed by the blow and incisions to her head. Her neck injury was inflicted the last of all. The wounds were deep and could not be caused by a surgical scalpel as the thin instrument could only cut through skin one layer at a time. Since the victim had deep wounds, it looked like it was the work of a knife. If the neck was cut first, blood would have sprayed out and stained the rest of the bedroom. (conclusion: her heart had stopped pumping and she was dead when her neck was cut) The Associate professor of forensic medicine, Dr Sudhir Gupta, gave his expert opinion.

CBI Joint Director Arun Kumar released some information. On June 11th
Monday, June 9, CBI gave Krishna a lie detector test.
Tuesday, June 10, Krishna had his second polygraph test.
Wednesday June 11, Krishna is taken to Bangalore for a narco test.
Krishna taken into custody
Krishna spoke to the media before he was taken away by the CBI. Krishna said he was being framed to protect Rajesh Talwar. His last words were a plea, “Save me!”

June 22 2008 CBI said that they ran checks on Krishna, Rajkumar, Vijay Mandal and Umesh. They do not have any criminal records.

June 24th CBI said that the forensic test revealed that Krishna’s khukri is clean. There was no possibility of that khukri being the murder weapon.

Date unknown: two different accounts as to who was with Dr. R Talwar when he recorded Aarushi's Death with the temple

Upendra Pancholi, the head priest in the temple in Haridwar said that Rajesh Talwar, Nupur Talwar, Rajesh’s brothers Dinesh and Ramesh and doctor-friend Bharat Bhushan were present on the occasion to record Aarushi Talwar’s death.

The head priest at Hardwar told the police that 5 people came to see him to record the death of Arushi Talwar. Nupur Talwar, Rajesh talwar, Dinesh Talwar, and the Durranis.

By June 26th, By now it is obvious that the CBI are doing no better at this investigation that the Noida police force...


at this point, June 26th, I can only say:

Motive: there has been no motive given that corroborates the evidence found or presented by the police to the press,

Suspects: the logical suspects are still the parents, but there is no proof,

Under Investigation: the servants or workers from the clinic are being pursued to appease the public outcry, and to make it look as if the police are advancing the case. Why they are keeping Dr R. Talwar locked up is anyone's guess; God only knows and she is only guessing...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Living Hell in this Life Blog with updates as they happen on the case, with links to donation and other sites of interest to the case, such as the clinic they are kept in, and the lawyer's office for Elisabeth and family... Kidnapped at age 10, and held for 8 years in basement, with occasional periods outside, eventually escapes, and captor commits suicide Boys kept in locked room, one being used for meat, while still alive... Girl that was kept in isolated conditions and never learned to talk... not family members, but similar to Fritzl in dungeon creation Scottish dad that keeps daughter prison and tries to get her pregnant to be able to claim benefits... girl kept prisoner by dad, raped and beaten repeatedly in from of chronically ill mother...,,30200-1314849,00.html The French Fritzl, gives birth to 6 children during her captivity, in hospital, while the whole village knows, and does nothing... Argentina Fritzl like case Austrian woman imprisons 3 daughters for 7 years another kidnapped girl, by someone other than the parents, Japan... Italian Fritzl Type case Canadian woman sentenced to 9 years for starving her autistic sister to death more on Canadian woman sentenced to 9 years for starving her autistic sister to death

there was another case in Austria, where an adopted daughter was kept in a cold room, locked, and treated like an animal; this seems to have been some years ago... I have not been able to find any information on the net about it... I am beginning to realize that there won't be any cases like this in Asia, because they would be covered up, or as in child marriages, permitted by society...

Hungarian Natascha, aka Magyar Natascha

I am publishing this, after some thought, as it is sad to relate, that there is nothing whatsoever on the net other then one other story in a tabloid newspaper... I have tried to discover more, sent one e-mail to a clinic where she might up, but of course didn't know her... unlike the other European cases, this woman has vanished off the face of the planet it would seem... The Picture is from one of the two articles on her, but it is possible that it is faked, as the skin tone does not match the description... though evidence of beatings is obvious...
I have deliberately left out any links to the papers... not with any idea to thewarting people looking, but with the idea that if they are not there, maybe people will not look... she deserves her peace... I wish 'Snow White' much happiness, and hope her recovery is well on it's way...
"Hungarian Natascha" Found in Budapest

A 27-year-old Hungarian woman in Budapest was held captive for 13 years in her home by her father and regularly raped and beaten, Hungarian media are reporting. News of her ordeal comes weeks after the escape of Austrian girl Natascha Kampusch from her kidnapper and she is already being dubbed the "Hungarian Natascha".

Her father, a prison guard, had forbidden her to leave the apartment they shared since she was 14, newspapers reported, citing social workers. The woman has been dubbed the "Hungarian Natascha" by the media in reference to 16-year-old Austrian girl Natascha Kampusch, who was kidnapped and held for 8 years before managing to escape.

Newspapers said the Hungarian woman, who has not been named, was repeatedly raped and beaten by her father in front of her seriously ill mother. The case came to light after the father died and the mother, who was also abused by the man, contacted authorities.
Social workers who came to the flat noticed that the daughter had snow-white skin. "My colleagues saw that that the young woman can't have been outside for a long time," a social worker told Hungarian television. She appears "like a 12-year-old child with gray hair."
The woman is severely traumatized and afraid of everyone and speaks only falteringly. She receives daily visits from social workers. No further details were released.
The neighbors apparently didn't notice what was going on. The mother has since died.

Horror In Cannibal Case in Czech Republic

This Crime came to my attention earlier this year, but only in so far as the search and arrest of the woman named Anna, AKA Barbara Skrlova was concerned... I knew nothing of the background, until today... another 'dungeon' story, only with aspects of cannibalism & torture, not rape or confinement for breeding purposes... as has been noted in the Fritzl case, where were the neighbours before the video was discovered... was there nothing to tell that something was amiss in that house... what if the neighbours didn't have a baby monitor that would pick up the video signal... what would have been the fate of those boys... and seeing as there is one such weird breakaway cell of that Grail Cult, are there more which we don't know about... what are the authorities doing to find out... I think that this is making more questions than answers...


Cannibal Family Ate Boy's Flesh
Posted Jun 20, 08 11:35 AM CDT in World, Crime & Courts
(Newser) – A family of Czech cannibals is on trial for hacking off pieces of a 7-year-old boy who survived the ghoulish abuse, the Sun reports. The horror unraveled last year when a neighbor’s baby monitor picked up images of the chained-up boy meant to be seen by the boy's mother.
The partially skinned boy and his 9-year-old brother were also burned and whipped. Also involved in the abuse was a 34-year-old posing as an adopted 13-year-old sister. The imposter, the boys’ mother, and other relatives are members of the Grail Movement cult and claim its leader coordinated the abuse using text messages.


Chance discovery of abused child reveals bizarre Czech Grail Cult
By Daniel McLaughlin in Budapest
Saturday, 2 June 2007

A flickering image of a small naked boy, lying tied-up on the bare floor of a room, was the clue that drew the Czech Republic into a tale of child abuse, obscure sects and a mysterious vanishing girl that has shocked and baffled the nation.
The picture was spotted by a father keeping an eye on his baby, when his video monitor received a stray signal from a similar device being used in a neighbouring house in the quiet town of Kurim, close to the south-eastern city of Brno.
When police searched the area on 10 May, sisters Klara and Katerina Mauerova allegedly refused to open a locked door in their home. When firemen broke it down, they found Klara's eight-year-old son Ondrej inside, bound with duct tape, badly dehydrated and watched over by a video camera. Investigators believed Ondrej had been maltreated for six months, and he was taken into care with his brother Jakub and a girl called Anna, whom a court had allowed Klara Mauerova to adopt in March.
What was just a case of child abuse seized the nation's attention, however, when Anna disappeared from a children's home, sparking a search for her in nearby woods and villages.
Then came the bizarre revelation that "Anna" was not a 13-year-old girl, but a 34-year-old woman in disguise. Police believe "Anna" was actually Barbara Skrlova, a friend of the Mauerova sisters who, like them, belongs to a breakaway faction of an organisation called the Grail Movement.
The Grail Movement follows the teachings of Oskar Ernst Bernhardt, a German also known as Abd-ru-shin, who from 1923-38 wrote the Grail Message, which depicts man as a being whose spirit can return to its source in heaven by performing good deeds on Earth. It claims to have at least 10,000 followers worldwide, including several hundred in Britain.
"We broke with the people involved in this 11 years ago, after they added to the Grail Message with their own imaginings and fantasies," said Artur Zaplukal, spokesman of the Grail Movement in the Czech Republic, where it has about 1,500 followers. "I sent them a letter telling them they were no longer part of the Grail Movement."
Amid constant twists to a case that is being called one of the strangest in Czech criminal history, police now say they believe "Anna" never really existed.
Investigators think that when Klara Mauerova appealed to a court for custody of Anna, whom she said had been abandoned by her family, the daughter of a fellow cult member pretended to be the young girl.
They then gave the newly created identity of Anna to Ms Skrlova - so she could be groomed for a leading role in the sect.
"The community probably wanted to turn her into an idol for worship," one policeman told the national Czech newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes.
Social workers say Ondrej and Jakub now appear to be fine, and the search continues for "Anna", who becomes more mysterious by the day.
This week, President Vaclav Klaus received a nine-page letter defending Ondrej's mother, from someone claiming to be the missing Anna. "I have a feeling someone is playing a very strange game with us," said the bemused Mr Klaus.

The World Awaits Answers To Zimbabwe Crisis

ok, Should the Crisis in Zimbabwe turn, as some pundits have predicted into a genocide of Rwandan proportions, will the world support an armed intervention, on the same scale that rescued that beleaguered country... Already South Africa's Zuma has come out hitting hard at Mugube, even though the present Gov't's UN representatives, have forced a weakening of that bodies statement on the situation... now it is up to Africa and the world to step up and do there bit to right the terrible wrongs that have been done, by there own acts of omission... the rest of us wait with held breath for an answer... will we resolve to wipe away the stain of honor, that has persisted since the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan... and do something that is principled, and not for obvious monetary gain... Come on Leaders of Africa and the West... we await your answers...
Zimbabwe: ANC’s hard-hitting statement restores South Africa’s pride
24 June 2008, 17:18 GMT + 2
“THE ugly incidents and scenes that have been visited on the people of Zimbabwe persuade us that a run-off Presidential election offers no solution to Zimbabwe’s crisis. The very legitimacy of a run-off election has already been severely compromised by the actions of both Zanu-PF militants and those state officials who do not even conceal their partiality in favour of the governing party.”The words of Morgan Tsvangirai? Of Helen Zille? Or those of Gordon Brown?Wrong on all three counts. These are the words that appeared in a statement released by the ANC yesterday.They are words that will profoundly change the diplomatic climate surrounding Zimbabwe.For the first time, Mugabe stands alone in Africa, the South African lifeline to legitimacy which has been maintained by President Thabo Mbeki finally severed.For the first time, the world speaks with one unequivocal voice on Zimbabwe, acknowledging that Mugabe’s is a government prolonging its stay in power through unacceptable means.The ANC statement was echoed by ANC President, Jacob Zuma, who said yesterday: “We cannot agree with Zanu-PF. We cannot agree with them on values. We fought for the right of people to vote, we fought for democracy.”But the ANC’s words do not just provide hope to Zimbabweans, they finally break the great human rights drought in South African politics.The ANC statement returns this country to its rightful place in world affairs — on the side of the people, in favour of democracy, believing in human rights and against the tyrants.It represents welcome nourishment for a young democracy that has been starved of hope by years of Machiavellian diplomacy which has seen this country silent on human rights in face of world anger.We must now return to our core values and stand by them whatever the short-term cost.
But then we did water the whole thing down at the UN … WHILE the ANC and its president Jacob Zuma have gone some way towards restoring this country’s pride, the same cannot be said for our morally lame diplomats at the UNThey finally agreed to a fairly strongly worded UN resolution calling on Mugabe to “stop the violence, cease political intimidation, end the restrictions on the right of assembly and release the political leaders who have been detained.”But only after excising a clause stating that “until there is a clearly free and fair second round of the presidential election, the only legitimate basis for a government of Zimbabwe is the outcome of the March 29 election.”

Examples of honour killings

A woman is raped, her body abused and suffering, she goes to the police, she reports the attackers, either family members or relatives of family acquaintances in her village... the police ask her for the obligatory 4 male witnesses, she says they are the men who attacked her... they will not condemn their family members... the police send her away, telling her they will investigate; but instead report the crime to a local religious court... the court brings the woman in, and say that with out the 4 men, she is too be accused of adultery, and must face the religious penalty... stoning... she protests her innocence to no use... she is resigned to her fate, because it is her sentence in life... and she is stoned...

A girl falls in love with a boy of another religion... her family finds out, and the village as a whole take her apart, outside the village; she has been accused of religious apostasy, even though there is no evidence that she has converted or seeks to give up her religion ... father, brothers, uncles, take up stones, and while she lays on the ground, in her red coat, pleading with her father, who throws the first stone; then a shower of stones is launched against her... two people at least record this on their cell phones... it ends up on You tube... her last moments show her rising up on one elbow or arm, only to be knocked down, with the weight of a lump of concrete or stone crushing her head... no one is charged...

A young couple was killed to uphold the woman's family honour. The reason: the young woman and man had married without permission... there crime according to the religious court: she had committed adultry and he had kidnapped and raped her... even though they are married...
Their half-stripped bodies were laid out on the dirt - dumped outside for all to see. "From the society's point of view, this is a very good thing. The blot has been removed" said a hooka-smoking senior citizen. Almost the entire village echoed the same sentiments. An old woman however whispered: "Aaurat ke liye, maika bhi paraya, sasural bhi parya, us ke liye hai kya." (A woman is stranger in her parent's home and also in her in-law's home; what is there for her). The victim's mother admitted, "We did it because she deserved it. We have managed to redeem our honour". Moreover, the father without the slightest regret or remorse reportedly confessed to committing the murders. A neighbour added: "They have been killed to set an example, so that no one repeats the same mistake".

A Jordanian girl 14 is walking across the street, and her brother sees her... inadvertently, she has in crossing the street headed directly towards a house where only young boys live... he catches and accuses her of going there... and rouses the village, and she is stoned...

A Pakistani killed his eldest daughter for marrying against his wishes. He then killed his three other innocent daughters aged 12, 8 and 4, fearing that they too might have been infected by his eldest daughter and follow in her footsteps. He did this ostensibly to save the family honour which he believed had been restored by killing his four daughters.

A 13 year old girl, begins a long distance relationship with a cousin in another state... her father finds out, and takes the girl out to a shed and beats her; then she is hung and beaten more while she strangles to death, kicking away at the air, as her face turns blue. Then the father takes her lifeless body down and to make sure she is dead, cuts off her head...

in Germany, a young woman, leaves home to get away from her family and begin a life of her own... she tries to cover her tracks; she starts training for a job, and meeting new friends... then one night on the way home, a voice beckons from the shadows, and she sees her brother and a cousin... her brother calls her name, and her blood runs cold, as she sees him raise his hand, the glint of a gun... her last thought is fear, as the gun goes off and her head explodes from the bullet crashing into it...

the girl has been beaten and raped... her father tells her she is dead to him... her only choice is how she will die, either a slit throat or poison... she is numb, as she chooses poison... and soon is in convulsions as the poison takes affect... dieing a gruesome death

this is only a sampling... 5000 women a year die in honour killings... and those are only the ones we know about... many more go unreported, or are reported erroneously as suicides, crimes of passion, or the women have simply disappeared, their bodies never found...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Polygamy Editorials in Newspaper Spark Angry Reaction, and Debate

In the past month the Toronto Star published 2 editorials and some articles regarding Polygamy in Canada... this reflects the laws which we have in place against the practice, and the existing practices of polygamy in contradiction of those laws... the reasons for their ambivalence in our society to prosecute and the lack of debate on the subject... while the fundamentalist Mormon sect in Bountiful, BC has remained silent on these articles, only responding to question put to it's leaders, the Islamic Community in Toronto has reacted sharply, to the point of what I would term character assassination of one of the writers, a woman... below is an excerpt from an editorial written regarding the attacks...

"I, however, was surprised by the personal attacks against her. Her commitment to her faith has been questioned by other Muslims and some have even suggested it was improper for a Muslim reporter to report on this.

One "open letter" that came to my office, the Star's letters page, and is now circulating in the online blogosphere, accuses her of demonizing Islam itself. "If your intention was to spark debate on polygamy in the community then the Toronto Star was not the forum for it," the letter states. "There is already ample anti-Islamic sentiment in the world and it is not befitting for a Muslim to add to it.
"As a Muslim woman, you had an Islamic obligation, to defend this aspect of your faith, not to deliver a further blow to an already bruised community."

Polygamy in Islam is not a requirement for men, it was instituted as a means by which women, in underdeveloped countries, with no protection, or means of support, could find that support and protection, when they needed it... ie as widows, orphans... it has become an abused system in modern western societies, where there is no need for this... men are having multiple wives, and collecting benefits from the government social welfare system... this is wrong... as well, young girls are being trafficked for the purpose of arranged marriage's to older men...

In the case of the Fundamentalist Mormon religion, it is more complicated... in their religion, it is considered a prerequisite for men to have multiple wives to get into heaven, and for women to be married to such men... this is a stumbling block to prosecution of these cases...

but as the original author of the editorial rightly said, the major concern in polygamist marriages has to be the welfare of the children... and in this there is no agreement... not enough studies it seems have been done to determine whether there is a negative affect... this I have to look into more...

however, for at least one woman who was lied to by her husband, on the advice of the Imman who married him to his 3 wife, she has divorced him, and has moved on... Is growing and has begun a new life...

the Imman who married her husband, made this comment when confronted:

"This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion," he said. "If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that."

Yet in Islam there is no such justification for his actions... The president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, who speaks frequently on polygamy issues:
"Muslims should not enter into polygamy while they are living in Canada, because the local Canadian law prevails. It overrules the Islamic law if there is a conflict between the two," he said.

Islamic men coming into the country as immigrants, who already have multiple wives, do it seems have protection under the law and social services... however those already here as landed immigrants or citizens of Canada, who wish to practice polygamy, whether it is bringing in women to marry, marrying women here, or going to home countries to marry, do not have any such protection under the law, and are open to charges...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Facts on Female Genital Mutilation in the UK

the Independent has an article on FGM and looks like it may be good news...

Female circumcision: a tradition steeped in blood

Brian Brady reports on a police operation to protect more than 20,000 girls, some aged nine or younger, thought to be in danger of forced genital mutilation
Sunday, 22 June 2008

Female genital mutilation is widely practised in Iraqi Kurdistan where around 60% of girls will have their labia and clitoris excised at a young age with the intention of reducing their interest in sex to make them more faithful.To sign a petition protesting this, please send your details to

Petition text:
To the esteemed Head of Kurdistan Region Parliament, Presidency of Kurdistan Region, Kurdistan Region Counsel of Ministers
We ask your esteemed assistance to issue legislation to stop female genital mutilation in Kurdistan and to establish practical procedures to end this abnormal practice. This request comes after attempts over many years to end this practice. But recent surveys suggest that female genital mutilation is still ongoing in a fair part of Kurdistan. Sixty percent of girls and women are circumcised in various parts of Kurdistan. Girls are forced to cut away a very important part of their bodies and suffer long-term physical and psychological conditions. They also become more susceptible to certain diseases. Many traditional authorities in the Muslim world justify female genital mutilation by saying it has become mandatory in Islam. But it is not rooted in Islam. The practice is a crime against women. This is why it is conducted in silence and secrecy. Science has also rejected the practice. Numerous human rights charters classify it as physical and psychological violence. At present, international organizations like the UN, WHO and various women organizations consider female genital mutilation to be a major crime against females.Thus, imposing immediately a resolution and law to stop this practice should be the principle duty in front of Kurdish authorities. Countering this problem is essential if the international community will continue to depict the Kurds as among the progressive nationalities which believe in female rights, counter violence against women and grant women the rights they deserve. The democracy which Kurdistan enjoys since the toppling of dictatorship should enable us to talk about problems freely and bring reforms. Attached is a list of the names of those individuals and groups that have signed this memorandum.

With regards