Monday, April 22, 2013

Indian police get punished for sabotaging investigation of rape case involving five-year-old girl

It's good to see that the police who sabotaged the investigation of a rape case involving a five-year-old girl are being punished for their actions. An inquiry into the latest acts of corruption by the Indian police is necessary, so that they are judged and shamed by the public for failing to live up to their responsibilities. This inquiry should be a lesson to any other Indian police officers who are thinking of neglecting their responsibilities and getting away with it--the public is watching is you, and will not remain silent when you engage in acts of corruption.

It's also good to see that the rape victim has been taken to a better hospital where she can finally receive the  appropriate treatment for her injuries. I wish the little girl and her family all the best in trying to receive the justice that they so rightfully deserve. As for the Indian police, shame on you again for not taking the case of a five-year-old girl getting raped seriously, and for trying to pay off the victim's family to pressure them into dropping the case!!!

What is your reaction to this story? Please share your comments below.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Indian police sabotage yet another investigation of rape case

This is outrageous! How many more females need to become victims of sexual assault before the Indian police and government take women's rights seriously?! We are talking about a five-year-old girl who was kidnapped, beaten, and raped by her neighbour, and had a bottle of hair oil and a candle found inside her body!!! To make matters even worse, the police initially refused to register the case, insulted the victim's family, and tried to pay off the victim's family to get them to drop the case! The callous treatment of the victim's family by the police shows that the Indian police are more interested in defending the rights of criminals than of actual victims!

The doctors who withheld important information about the girl's condition from her own family are also to blame in all of this--how could they not inform the victim's family of her condition?! What is even more disgusting is the fact that the rape victim has been taken to a rundown hospital that doesn't even have the proper facilities to treat her condition! The complete lack of concern for this little girl's life is absolutely appalling!!! Whoever was involved in preventing the rape victim and her family from receiving justice should be jailed for life--they are no better than the rapist! India prides itself as a democracy that respects human rights, yet this most recent case of rape that has been ignored by Indian authorities shows that the opposite is true!!! SHAME ON YOU INDIA!!!

What is your reaction to this rape case? Please share your comments below.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Provide justice to families of missing and murdered Aboriginal females in Canada with national inquiry

It's encouraging to see that most of Canada's provinces and Aboriginal organizations are united in asking for a national inquiry for missing and murdered Aboriginal females to be launched. The issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal females in Canada is a national tragedy that deserves a lot more attention from the legal system and the media. How can we go around the world preaching the importance of human rights and democracy, when we are failing Aboriginals in our own backyard? How many more protests and conferences will it take before we provide justice to the victims' families? A national inquiry is LONG overdue!

How do you feel about the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal females in Canada? Please share your comments below.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Iran must immediately release blogger with heart condition!

An April 12, 2013 article from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) reports that doctors at Ghezel Hessar Prison, located in Iran, have concluded that jailed blogger Mohammad Reza Pourshajari is too unhealthy to remain in prison. However, he has been forced to serve his sentence, despite already having suffered two heart attacks, according to his daughter Mitra Pourshajari, who was interviewed by the ICHRI. She also commented that the authorities will be held responsible if they do not offer furlough for her father's open heart surgery, should he suffer another severe health issue.

On September 12, 2010, Mohammad was arrested at his home. He was brought to trial at Branch 109 of Alborz Province Courts with Judge Gholam Saraee handling his case. He was charged with insulting Ayatollah Khamenei and for supposedly being a threat to national security. Mohammad was punished with three years' jail time. However, in December 2011, he was punished with another year in jail, this time being charged with blasphemy. He has been taken from Rajaee Shahr Prison to Ghezel Hessar Prison with no explanation. According to Mitra, her father's case is still open and the judge dealing with his case has stated that the Intelligence Ministry is still conducting further research on the case--despite the previous two convictions. She fears that her father will face even more punishments.

Mitra also stated that evidence of two blocked arteries in her father's heart became apparent after a heart attack last October, and that prison doctors have even concluded that her father is too unhealthy to face jail time. Despite all this, Mitra states that over the past six months, the authorities did not even bother to transfer her father to a hospital. She added that her father suffers from additional diseases, ranging from disc problems, kidney stones, and an enlarged prostate.

Mitra is also concerned about the prison's dirty living conditions and her father's poor health. She has demanded her father's release and asked the Iranian legal authorities to get him treatment quickly, as he has already suffered two heart attacks. She also stated that the future of his health is looking more uncertain, especially considering the fact that his arteries are 85% blocked. Mitra also stressed that her father's heart condition is the direct result of being imprisoned--he did not have any health problems before being jailed. She stated that the authorities will be held responsible if her father suffers another severe health issue.

The needless persecution of Mohammad Reza Pourshajari and his daughter prove yet again that the Iranian regime has no respect for human rights. Punishing someone with unfounded charges shows that the Iranian legal system does not care about true justice. To add insult to injury, Mohammad is being denied access to treatment, despite being in obviously poor health. To deny medical care to someone whose health is clearly deteriorating is incredibly inhumane, and clashes with the Iranian government's claims that it is trying to enforce morality.

How do you feel about Mohammad Reza Pourshajari's persecution? Please leave your comments below.

Human rights defender must be released immediately!

An April 11, 2013 article from the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), an organization that advocates for human rights in the Middle East, reports that Abdullah Al-Hadidi, a human rights defender in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been sentenced to 10 months in jail for tweeting. According to the GCHR, the Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance made the decision to sentence Al-Hadidi on April 8, 2013. His conviction is the first under the UAE's new cyber crime law and refers to the supposed publication of misinformation related to the UAE94 case. (The UAE94 case refers to the trial of 94 UAE activists. For more information, please visit: 

The GCHR also notes that court access to the UAE94 trial was severely limited, and entry was denied to journalists and several members of the international community. However, Al-Hadidi was allowed into the courtroom and made notes of the trial, posting the information on Twitter. He also helped families of the victims who were being persecuted by documenting their cases.

In the early morning hours of March 22, 2013, Al-Hadidi was arrested by plainclothes policemen at his home located in Sharjah, a city in the UAE, in the presence of his three children and wife. The policemen did not show a warrant for his arrest, and he was taken to a police station in Sharjah. At the police station, the family was told that Al-Hadidi was wanted for a financial offence, and prevented them from bailing him out.

He was taken to Abu Dhabi the same day, as a court security official filed a complaint against him because Al-Hadidi allegedly used force against officers from the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police. This security guard had also removed Al-Hadidi from the courtroom during the most recent trial related to the UAE94 case, which happened on March 19, 2013.

Al-Hadidi was questioned about the information he posted on Twitter, and maintained that he is telling the truth about what happened during the UAE94 trial. He was taken to the office of the general prosecution of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and charged under Article 265 of the Penal Code and the new cyber crime law for publishing information about the UAE94 trial dishonestly and deceptively. He was unable to receive bail.

On April 2, 2013, the Court of First Instance permitted the defence to submit its evidence before sentencing. On April 4, 2013, the defence witnesses, who are all families of the victims in the UAE94 case, stated that Al-Hadidi did not use force against the security guard who removed him from the courtroom. Al-Hadidi was found not guilty after court examination. However, the victims' families were not questioned about the information he posted on Twitter, and Al-Hadidi was charged with posting the information on Twitter.

Al-Hadidi's arrest highlights once again the widespread disregard for human rights and freedom of expression across the Arab world. By punishing Al-Hadidi for posting information that UAE citizens have every right to know about, the UAE authorities are setting themselves up for criticism. It does not matter how much the UAE tries to sell itself as a tourist paradise--as long as crackdowns on dissent continue, the ugly truth about the UAE's human rights abuses will remain.

Citizens around the world also have a responsibility to pressure the UAE government into respecting human rights. Aside from raising awareness about what's happening in the UAE, let's withhold our tourism dollars from the UAE government. Boycott all travel and study abroad opportunities in the UAE until the UAE finally releases all innocent victims from jail and respects human rights--let's not feed a draconian regime with our money.

How do you feel about Al-Hadidi's arrest? Please share your comments below.