Rabu, 5 Februari 2014

The Star Online: World Updates

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

Iraq illegally detains thousands of women, tortures many - Human Rights Watch

Posted: 05 Feb 2014 09:15 PM PST

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi authorities are detaining thousands of women illegally and subjecting many to torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of sexual abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Thursday.

Many women were detained for months or even years without charge before seeing a judge, HRW said, and security forces often questioned them about their male relatives' activities rather than crimes in which they themselves were implicated.

In custody, women described being kicked, slapped, hung upside-down and beaten on the soles of their feet, given electric shocks, threatened with sexual assault by security forces during interrogation, and even raped in front of their relatives and children.

"The abuses of women we documented are in many ways at the heart of the current crisis in Iraq," said HRW's deputy Middle East and North Africa director Joe Stork in a statement accompanying the report, titled: "'No One Is Safe': Abuses of Women in Iraq's Criminal Justice System."

"These abuses have caused a deep-seated anger and lack of trust between Iraq's diverse communities and security forces, and all Iraqis are paying the price."

A spokesman for Iraq's Human Rights Ministry said the testimonies in the HRW report were "over-exaggerated", but acknowledged that "we have some limited illegal behaviours which were practised by security forces against women prisoners", which it said had been identified by the ministry's own teams.

These teams had referred their reports to the relevant authorities, "asking them to bring those who are responsible for mistreating female detainees to justice", the spokesman said.

"Iraq is still working to put an end to prison abuse and, with more time, understanding of law and patience, such illegal practices will become a history," he said.

The 105-page report is based on interviews with imprisoned Sunni and Shi'ite women and girls, although Sunnis make up the vast majority of the more than 4,200 women detained in Interior and Defence Ministry facilities, HRW said.

The release of women detainees was a main demand of Sunnis who began demonstrating late in 2012 against the Shi'ite-led government, which they accuse of marginalising their community.

Security forces cleared one of two Sunni protest camps in Anbar province in December 2013. In the ensuing backlash, militants seized the city of Falluja and parts of Ramadi.

Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed across Iraq, according to Iraq Body Count, and the army is preparing for a possible ground assault to retake Falluja.

One woman who entered her meeting with HRW at a death row facility in Baghdad on crutches said she had been permanently disabled by abuse, displaying injuries consistent with the mistreatment she alleged.

Seven months later, she was executed despite lower court rulings that dismissed charges against her following a medical report that supported her accusations of torture.

HRW described Iraq's judiciary as weak and plagued by corruption, with convictions frequently based on coerced confessions, and trial proceedings that fall far short of international standards.

If women are released unharmed, they are frequently stigmatised by their family or community, who perceive them to have been dishonoured, HRW said.

"Both men and women suffer from the severe flaws of the criminal justice system. But women suffer a double burden due to their second-class status in Iraqi society," HRW said.

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

Thai polling chiefs try to work out how to fix disrupted election

Posted: 05 Feb 2014 09:05 PM PST

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai election officials met on Thursday to try to shore up a disputed weekend ballot that was disrupted by anti-government protesters who blockaded the streets of the capital, stopping some people from voting or candidates from registering.

Sunday's poll has been challenged by the main opposition Democrat Party, which boycotted voting, and the Election Commission is already investigating possible campaigning irregularities in a long-running political conflict that shows no sign of ending.

The election would likely return caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to power if it is not annulled but, whatever the result, it will not change the dysfunctional status quo after eight years of polarisation and turmoil.

Consumer confidence, which reflects views on the economy, job opportunities and future income, hit a 26-month low in January, data released on Thursday showed.

"Today's meeting will cover just about every issue to do with the election including the election itself and advance voting that faced disruptions on January 26," commission secretary-general Puchong Nutrawong told reporters.

"We'll also discuss what to do about constituencies where candidates were unable to register," he said.

Some 28 electoral districts in the south, a stronghold of the Democrat Party, failed to register candidates after protesters blockaded candidate-registration centres in December.

It was unclear how the commission would ensure that registration could take place in those districts but it has the authority to call in troops to guard voting booths.

Anti-government protests are still blocking parts of Bangkok in the latest round of an eight-year dispute that broadly pits Bangkok's middle class, southern Thais and the royalist establishment against the mostly poor, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Ten people have been killed in sporadic bursts of violence, although the capital has been calm since the vote and the number of protesters has dwindled.

The demonstrators say Yingluck is Thaksin's puppet and the costly giveaways that won his parties every election since 2001 are tantamount to vote-buying using taxpayers' money.

They say Thaksin's new political order is tainted by graft and cronyism and want an appointed "people's council" to replace Yingluck and overhaul a political system hijacked by her brother, who lives in exile to avoid a jail term for graft.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban faces charges of murder related to violence in 2010 when, as deputy prime minister, he sent in troops to crush protests by "red shirt" supporters of Thaksin. More than 90 people were killed.

Suthep is to appear in court on Thursday in that case, but he failed to turn up last time around and was due to address supporters later on Thursday, making an appearance unlikely.

Protesters succeeded in disrupting voting in a fifth of constituencies in the election. The incomplete poll means Yingluck could head a caretaker administration for months, unable to make policy decisions, until vacant seats are filled.

(Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Paul Tait)

El Salvador top court orders probe of civil war massacre

Posted: 05 Feb 2014 08:50 PM PST

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the country's top prosecutor to investigate the alleged massacre of dozens of civilians in 1981 by army troops during the nation's bloody civil war.

The court ruled General Prosecutor Luis Martinez had to reopen a previous investigation that had fizzled out without any charges being filed. The court demanded prosecutors charge any guilty parties and release publicly the results of its probe.

The ruling is an unprecedented move by the court to order the probe into a particular case relating to the country's 1980-1992 civil war.

The Supreme Court said that the prosecutor's office dragged its feet in the original investigation and the justices ruled that the prosecutor had violated the rights of a group of citizens who had been filing legal complaints about the massacre since 2006.

Military troops allegedly killed about 45 people, including women and children, in the community of San Francisco Angulo.

"The court orders the General Prosecutor to carry out a serious, far-reaching, diligent and conclusive investigation, within a reasonable time," the court said in a statement.

The ruling comes after Sunday's presidential election where a former Marxist guerrilla leader fell just shy of an outright victory and who has a strong chance of winning a March run-off vote.

Some 75,000 people died in El Salvador's civil war, when the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, fought a string of right-wing governments that received military backing from the United States.

Central American nations have struggled to move past the deep divisions left by conflicts between leftist rebels and U.S.-backed military forces. The landmark conviction of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt on genocide charges was thrown out by a court last year.

A truth commission investigated some of the worst massacres of El Salvador's war, but the country's Congress passed an amnesty law in 1993 that has impeded the prosecution of alleged war crimes.

The Supreme Court is currently studying a challenge to overturn the amnesty law.

(Writing by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved