[fund] promotion and application of religious laws

Over four years after a judge in Jouf annulled the marriage of Fatima and Mansour at the behest of Fatima’s half brothers, the Supreme Judiciary Council in Riyadh on Saturday overruled the decision and ordered that the couple be reunited in matrimony. “The divorce ruling is void, therefore the return of the couple together is inevitable now and does not require (another) marriage ceremony,” Ahmad Al-Sudairi, who has been providing the couple pro bono representation, told Arab News. Fatima was pregnant with the couple’s second child when on June 20, 2005 a judge ruled in favor of Fatima’s half brothers and divorced her from Mansour Al-Timani in absentia.

Bangladesh’s High Court has ordered authorities in an eastern district to protect and produce in court a 16-year-old girl who was lashed 101 times earlier this month after becoming pregnant as the result of a rape. The girl, who has not been named, received the punishment on the orders of village elders in the Brahmanbaria district who issued a “fatwa,” or Islamic ruling, declaring that she be flogged for immoral behavior. The elders pardoned the 20 year-old rapist. The incident occurred five months after the country’s highest court issued a ruling ordering authorities to investigate incidents of extra-judicial punishments and take action against those responsible.

In most countries, a woman in her mid-20s is legally an adult. And in most countries, foreigners are free to leave when they like. In its flagrant rejection of these two principles, Saudi Arabia is unique, and that is a big problem for 24-year-old Nazia Quazi.

The society for human rights in Iran, Southern California, urges Iranian authorities to immediately halt execution of Sarymeh Ebadi. Sarymeh Ebadi, 30 and BoAli Johnfeshani, 32 are at imminent risk of stoning to death after being convicted of “adultery” in the city of Orumiyeh, West Azerbaijan province. According to the recent news, their sentences have been approved by the province court on January 6 (Day 16) without representation by a lawyer. Despite the moratorium imposed in 2002, stoning sentences continued to be implemented in Iran.

Thousands of internally displaced in Somalia's central town of Beletweyne are on the move again following 10 days of fighting between rival Islamist militias, amid reports of continuing heavy shelling in parts of the town. According to a humanitarian bulletin covering 8-15 January by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA Somalia), at least 30 people have been killed and 50 injured, mostly civilians, with many artillery shells landing on residential areas. OCHA could not confirm the number of displaced.

A British woman who made a rape complaint in Dubai has been arrested for having illegal sex with her fiance, according to reports. The woman, a 23-year-old from London, said she was raped by a waiter in a luxury hotel after celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, also from London. But when she reported the alleged rape to police in the Middle Eastern state she and her boyfriend were arrested for having sex outside marriage and illegal drinking outside licensed premises.

The Hail Emirate has received official orders to implement the recent sentence handed down against the defendants in the case of Khamisa Sawadi, issued by members of the Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice in the City of Shamli (170 kilometers south of Hail), which was known in the media as 'The case of the elderly woman of Shamli'. Saudi sources have confirmed to Emirati newspaper, Gulf News, that the woman is still in her house and the sentence has not been carried out yet.

A city church in the leafy Desa Melawati suburb was set on fire at midnight as police warned angry Muslim groups not to protest a controversial ruling allowing Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” in its national language section. The attack on the Metro Tabernacle A/G, an Assemblies of God church in Jalan 4/4C Desa Melawati, completely gutted its administrative office on the ground floor. There were no reported injuries in the midnight attack. Police have yet to identify the attackers and no one has claimed responsibility for the attack which could be related to anger over the Dec 31 court ruling. The judgment has been suspended pending government appeal.

Née en 1941, Wassyla Tamzali a été avocate à Alger puis directrice des droits des femmes à l'Unesco. Elle milite dans le mouvement féministe maghrébin. Elle a publié, en 2007, chez Gallimard, Une éducation algérienne. Là elle publie Une femme en colère - Lettre d'Alger aux Européens désabusés (Gallimard 150 p., 9,50 euros).

كثفت السلطات البحرينية من برنامجها في التسويق السياسي مستغلة المرأة من عدة جوانب واستخدامها كماكنة ترويج دون أن يتحقق قبال ذلك تطور حقيقي لوضع المرأة على مستوى الحقوق المدنية والسياسية والإقتصادية والاجتماعية والثقافية. ففي الوقت الذي تروج السلطات لمشاركة المرأة في الحياة السياسية وإبرازها كمؤشر للتقدم والإصلاح، فان ذلك في الواقع العملي يقتصر على توظيف عدد محدود جدا من النساء في وظائف عليا بناء على انتقاء سياسي وطائفي، وليس بتطوير النظام الوظيفي بحيث يوفر لعشرات الآلاف من النساء المؤهلات فرص الحصول على الوظائف العامة وفرص التطور الوظيفي دون تمييز على اساس الجنس او الانتماء العرقي او الطائفي. اما فيما يتعلق بالمشاركة في العملية الديمقراطية فإن السلطة تبالغ في تسويق برامج التدريب والدعم لعشرات من النساء ليخضن انتخابات المجالس البلدية والنيابية، في حين لا تتمتع تلك المجالس بسلطات حقيقية، ولا يعتبر دخول النساء او الرجال في تلك المجالس فرصا حقيقية لاتخاذ القرار الذي تسيطر عليه الفئة الحاكمة من خارج تلك المجالس.

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