[violence] sexual violence

Les visages sont graves au collectif féministe Libanais Nasawiya tandis que les histoires de harcèlements sexuel verbaux et physiques défilent, et que le viol et le meurtre perpétrés sur Myriam Achkar fait la une des journaux.

« L’heure est venue de faire quelque chose, cette situation ne peut plus durer », déclare Farah, activiste des droits de la femme de longue date et membre du collectif.

No for Military Trials group, El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, Nazra for Feminist Studies, New Women Foundation and Hisham Mubarak Law Center filed a law suit before of the Administrative Court against the Commander in Chief of the Military Forces and the Minister of Defense and others appealing the decision of forcing women to examine their virginity in military prisons and detention places for Armed Forces.

أقامت مجموعة لا للمحاكمات العسكرية ومركز النديم لتأهيل ضحايا العنف والمبادرة المصرية للحقوق الشخصية ومؤسسة نظرة للدراسات النسوية ومؤسسة المرأة الجديدة ومركز هشام مبارك للقانون دعوى قضائية أمام محكمة القضاء الإداري ضد القائد العام للقوات المسلحة ووزير الدفاع وآخرين طعنا على قرار إخضاع الفتيات للكشف على عذريتهن داخل السجون العسكرية وأماكن الاحتجاز التابعة للقوات المسلحة.

This is one of those cases where the authorities seem to be blaming the victim for the crime of the perpetrators. Almost 3 weeks ago, a private party in Khomeini Shahr, in Central Iran was attacked by gang members. The gang put all the men in a room, locked them in, and then raped the 12 female attendees in the party. The story quickly became a national scandal and now the authorities say they have set up a "special court"  and a "police task force" to expedite the trial of 14 men who are arrested in relation to this heinous crime.

Ce 10 juin au matin, les manifestantes ont été brutalement tabassées et sexuellement agressées par des hommes qui auraient été convoyés en bus par milliers pour perturber la manifestation hebdomadaire. Les manifestants ont subi des fractures, des blessures au couteau et ont été battus. Plusieurs femmes ont été rouées de coups et soumises à des attouchements violents ; des attaquants armés ont tenté de leur arracher de force leurs vêtements. Les activistes qui travaillent avec l’Organisation pour la liberté des femmes en Irak rapportent que leurs attaquants étaient recrutés et payés par les forces de sécurité du gouvernement qui ont utilisé des hommes en civil pour éviter d’être accusées de ces violences.

We, feminist activists from around the world, stand in support of our sisters and brothers peacefully demonstrating for basic rights in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. On June 10, demonstrators were brutally targeted with sexual violence and beatings by men who were reportedly bussed in by the thousands to disrupt the weekly protest. Protesters suffered broken bones, knife wounds and beatings. Several women were severely beaten and violently groped; armed attackers attempted to forcibly strip off the women’s clothing. The activists, who work with the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, report that their attackers were organized and paid by government security forces who used the un-uniformed men to avoid accountability for the violence.  

In 2002, Mukhtaran Mai, a Pakistani seamstress from a small village in the Punjab province was gang-raped by men from a neighbouring clan. Several men from the dominant Mastoi tribe in Meeranwalla had volunteered to rape Ms Mai as a way to settle a score after her 12-year-old brother Abdul Shakoor was seen walking with a Mastoi girl. The decision had been taken by a village court to preserve tribal honour. The jirga, or council of village elders, summoned Ms Mai to apologise for her brother's sexual misdeed. When she apologised, they gang-raped her anyway. In April 2011, the Pakistan Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the Lahore high court and ordered the release of the five acquitted men. In February, 2009, WLUML issued a call for action: Pakistan: Interference in the case of Mukhtar Mai demanding that the Pakistani authorities ensured the trial of those accused of attacking Ms. Mai went ahead without interference. Unfortunately, there continued to be political influence in her case and regular serious threats to her life and the lives of family members in an attempt to pressure her to drop the charges against the perpetrators. Sanaz Raji explains the genesis of a petition to be sent to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, below. Please consider signing it.

This report is part of a WLUML three-part series on women’s rights in the context of the ‘Arab uprisings’. Last week: Egypt: Fighting for Women’s Rights in the Aftermath of the Revolution.

The Syrian government’s response to the uprisings across the country has been violent; over one thousand people have been killed so far, more than a hundred of them in the southwestern city of Deraa, and ten thousand people are said to have been detained by security forces. Syrian women, in common with their counterparts in Egypt and Tunisia, have played a crucial role in the protests against the autocratic political regime, which has hitherto successfully used the threat of the well-organised mukhabarat (secret services) to silence dissent. Their outspoken demands for the release of male family members, and the voices of those women who have themselves been targeted by government forces, has focused the attention of women’s groups and human rights organizations both inside and outside Syria on their situation.

A Libyan woman who says she was raped by supporters of Col Muammar Gaddafi is recovering from her ordeal in a refugee centre in western Romania, the UN says.Twelve weeks after she burst into a Tripoli hotel to tell her story to reporters, Eman al-Obeidi, 29, is now in a private clinic attached to the UN refugee centre in Timisoara, it says. She arrived there from Libya’s rebel stronghold of Benghazi on Monday. US officials have said she is welcome to apply for asylum in America. They promised to prioritise any application she might make.

On 29 May, proceedings brought by the prosecutor of the Press and Publications Court against Professor Omar el Gerai, a journalist and activist, and Abdallah Sheikh, the editor ofAjras Alhurria, began in Al Shemali Court in Khartoum North. The two journalists are being tried for an article published 6 March by Professor el Gerai in Ajras Alhurria entitled “Rape…under Sharia law”, (available here in Arabic). The article detailed the brutal treatment of the youth activist and Girifna member Safiya Ishag, who was raped multiple times and subjected to torture in National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) custody following her participation in the 30 January demonstrations in Khartoum. In his piece, Mr. el Gerai called for a formal investigation.

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