Airports across the country were on Friday alerted about the possibility of rape-accused UP minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati trying to flee the country even as chief minister Akhilesh Yadav promised all help in the case.While the minister continues to elude police, a relative of the woman has said a UP Police officer who recorded the victim’s statement threatened to kill them.
Yadav and his Samajwadi Party are facing the heat over the missing minister as the state holds sixth round of voting on Saturday.
The case, the BJP said, was a pointer to the worsening law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.
A letter of cancellation would soon be opened against Prajapati and all airports were alerted to prevent the 49-year-old from fleeing the country, official sources said.
A letter of cancellation is a technical term for alerting immigration authorities about the possibility of a suspect leaving the country.
The Sashastra Seema Bal, which guards Uttar Pradesh’s border with Nepal, too, was on an alert.
An FIR was recently registered against the minister for allegedly gang-raping a woman and molesting her daughter. The FIR was filed on the directions of the Supreme Court.
“The matter is in the Supreme Court…The government will fully cooperate and go by its order,” Akhilesh Yadav said to a question at a hurriedly convened press conference in Lucknow.
When his attention was drawn to a tweet by state BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya that said Prajapati was hiding in the chief minister’s house, Yadav asked the mediapersons to check for themselves.
Prajapati is the SP’s candidate from Amethi, which voted on February 27.
A relative of the woman allegedly raped by Prajapati and his aides alleged that a police officer who came to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi to record the victim’s statement, threatened to kill them in a fake encounter.
In a complaint filed at the city’s Hauz Khas police station, the relative alleged that a DSP-rank officer on Thursday barged into the ward where the victim’s 16-year-old daughter is admitted and threatened them. The officer also snatched their mobile phones.
A couple of days ago one of our fellow Word Press Bloggers ( chanportuguesa.wordpress.com ) left me a comment about an article I had reblogged a couple of weeks before. The article I had reblogged was out of Portugal and the content matter was about a 67-year-old homeless woman who was raped and beaten by a ‘refugee’ who was from North Africa. The article said this man who is in his twenties was a person that was supposed to have been sent to Italy but Italy refused to let him in so Portugal ended up having to keep him. The articles spoke of how messed up Portugal’s political system is in that their own citizens like this 67-year-old woman were having to sleep in the streets yet the government was giving food, clothing and housing to refugees. I know that this is exactly how things are done here in the U.S. so what he was saying sounds familiar as this is how our government has operated for decades now.
The following comment is the reason that I thought to do this article today, they make a very good point and I promised I would do this article concerning his comment. When I had posted this reblogged article I had made a comment about the ‘rape culture’ concerning the ‘refugee’, here is the quote. “I am curious to know which culture is that? What is your though on this article? French troops raped starving children in Central Africa.” Before I started this article I decided to look up the word rape in the online dictionary to see exactly how it is defined, the following is what it had to say. “Rape: origin of rape: Middle English/Anglo-French/Latin from 1250-1300 A.D..” Noun: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vigina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ or other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.” The article said that this young man beat her in the face breaking several facial bones and he forced sex upon her. To me, it does sound like this young man without a doubt is guilty of what could be described as a ‘text book’ rape of this poor old lady, but this is just my opinion, others may somehow have a different opinion though.
Our fellow Blogger said at the end of his comment “French troops raped starving children in Central Africa.” This may be true, it may not, I do not personally know one way or the other. If this has happened it would not surprise me though. It does seem that I remember reading an article or two about a year ago where such things were mentioned, but were those articles truthful, I wasn’t there, I do not know. I also remember reading articles over the past few years where U.N. troops were blamed for this exact same crimes/sins. Were those true? Unfortunately it sounded like it was. I know that in many cultures during armed conflicts that soldiers from many different countries have used rape as a weapon against the people they are fighting against. Here in the States our ‘National Culture’ says that none of our troops would ever do such a thing, but there is always some tares among the wheat. To me, rape is a moral issue. Many will say I am wrong, it is only a physical issue, really, it is both. But if a person, soldier or not, is a moral person, they will not touch another person in this manner. What I am saying is that if a person is brought up in a religion that teaches that rape is a sin and the person who commits such a sin must be executed, a devout person of that religion will never do such harm to another person.
Now, back to this refugee in Portugal who raped and beat this 67-year-old homeless woman. I know that some people will jump to the conclusion that because he is from North Africa that I am coming down on African or upon Black culture, no, that is not correct. The culture I was referring to in this case is his religion which is that of Islam. I know that I just angered a lot of folks with that statement yet if you will keep reading for a couple more moments you will see more clearly why I have said that. Look at the street level of the Islamic countries, look at that culture concerning women, look at how they are treated. I know that there are some folks who believe in Islam who are educated and kind toward their wives and children so this is not a ‘blanket’ condemnation of Islam. There are good and bad people within every religion on Earth. But, think about this reality for a moment please. Think about the Islamic countries where a woman can not go out of her house without a male relative beside her. I have heard and read articles from Islamic men who believe that if a woman goes out of her house on her own she is just asking to be raped, why else would they go out alone they say. Even if they are hand in hand with their husband and they are showing more skin than a Burka allows, they are a whore. Is this a morality issue on the part of women? Or is it a maturity or moral fallacy of the men, or even of their religion that they were raised in?
There is no doubt that morality throughout the world is decreasing rapidly and not just in the Islamic world. Here in the States there was a time when women dressed much more modestly, and so did the men. There was a time when it was considered a sin if you could see a woman’s ankle below her dress and dresses with a v-neck which showed cleavage was scandalous. Yet there was also a time when the men always wore long-sleeved shirts and only long pants, no shorts were allowed and men never took off their shirts in public. Yet it is my assertion that those who sexually attack others are themselves very morally weak. Even if you come from a culture like Islam it is not okay for anyone to force themselves upon another person. It is an obvious truth that when you take Islamic men out of an Islamic culture and place them in a culture like France, Italy, or Portugal that a huge amount of these morales adult male children think it is perfectly okay to assault ‘single’ women and even very young girls. The world is facing a moral decline yet this article today is only about the evil in the lack of sexual morals. We have also read several times during the past couple of years where in India where Hindu men have been gang raping young women and girls literally to death. It is rather common to hear of the rape cultures within the body of Africa where no religion seems to be at fault. Here in the States we usually only hear of cases where Priests commit these sins on young children.
No group is without sin because each group, each religion, is made up of individuals, we stand or fall on our individual merit, or the lack thereof. The reason that today’s article highlights the Islamic culture is because of their teachings. Not so much the teachings of the Quran which is a “Book of the Saying” of the Prophet Muhammad, the huge issues are concerning the Book called the “Hadith” which is the “actions” of the Prophet Muhammad. They are taught from birth that a ‘good’ believer must emulate the actions of their Prophet. Please read this book folks, their Prophet should be the very last person that any parent would ever want their child to act like. The people of Islam know these facts, they tend to try to hide this truth from ‘the western world’. If you really wish to understand why I believe Islam teaches its male followers to perform their lives with such violence toward everyone, especially women and young girls. I know of no other major ‘religion’ that tells their followers to be so violent toward other people that is why many folks I have spoken with do not even consider Islam to be a ‘religion’, they believe that it is no more than a Demonic Cult.
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) _ One of Jerry Sandusky’s sons faces multiple charges of sexual offenses involving children, more than five years after the former Penn State assistant coach was himself first arrested.
Court records filed Monday say 41-year-old Jeffrey S. Sandusky was charged with 14 counts, including criminal solicitation and corruption of minors.
The online court docket says Jeffrey Sandusky was arraigned Monday and bail was set at $200,000. He’s currently in the Centre County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania.
Jeffrey Sandusky’s lawyer declined to comment on the allegations. The district attorney’s office says it will release a statement Monday.
WTAJ-TV says state police accuse him of sending inappropriate texts to a victim and asking for naked photos.
Jerry Sandusky is serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexual abuse of 10 boys.
The FBI may have scored a big win with operation Playpen, which helped dismantle a ring of TOR-based pedophiles and prosecute its members (thanks, Rule 41), but that was just one battle in the ongoing war against the sexual exploitation of children. That fight is now a bit easier for European law enforcement, which as debuted a new machine learning AI system that hunts for child porn on P2P networks.
The system, known as iCOP (Identifying and Catching Originators in P2P Networks), works similarly to Microsoft’s Photo DNA, wherein images of child porn are tagged with a digital signature after being collected in the course of an investigation. These signatures are then shared as a global database for law enforcement. If the same images or videos resurface during other investigations, they’re automatically flagged. This saves law enforcement the stomach-turning drudgery of manually checking the images against the database. This saves time, manpower and accelerates investigations. What’s more, it automatically identifies new material (anything that doesn’t get flagged), which provides fresh leads on more recent crimes.
And given that, according to the UN, 16 percent of people who possess this sort of material have themselves abused children, reducing the amount of time between discovery and arrest can help save children from further exploitation. The iCOP system is designed for use on Gnutella and has been trained with tens of thousands of images ranging from adult porn and benign images of kids to the full-on sexual abuse of minors.
Interpol has already begun testing iCOP for its own use in the Lyon region of France. Once installed on the Interpol system and linked to other databases like Project Vic, iCOP returned false positives in less than 8 percent of images and in just over 4 percent of videos.
“It significantly reduces the overhead for investigators,” Awais Rashid, a professor at Lancaster University (which helped develop the system) told WIRED. “Instead of having to trawl through large numbers of images and videos to identify new child abuse material, investigators are provided with automated matches which are highly accurate. In practice, this means investigators having to look at a small number of images and videos rather than thousands.” Given its initial success with Interpol, the iCOP team hopes to expand the system out to TOR-obscured networks.
Warning: the following article contains graphic descriptions of torture and killing as they were presented in court
Rurik Jutting, the 31-year-old British former banker who in the fall of 2014 tortured and murdered two Indonesian women in his luxury high-rise apartment in Hong Kong, has been found guilty of murder. He will be jailed for life.
Jutting, appearing healthier and many pounds lighter than he was when he was arrested just over two years ago, was stoic when the jury delivered its unanimous verdict in Hong Kong’s High Court on Tuesday afternoon. He had pleaded not guilty to murdering 23-year-old Sumarti Ningsih and 28-year-old Seneng Mujiasih, but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of “diminished responsibility.” His defense attempted to bolster this claim by pointing to various disorders that supposedly impacted Jutting’s capacity to act rationally: narcissistic personality disorder, cocaine-and-alcohol-abuse disorders, and sexual-sadism disorder.
A smattering of applause went around the public gallery of the courtroom when the jury’s foreman read the verdict.
Justice Michael Stuart-Moore said: “You get prison for life. That is all. You can go now, thank you.”
In a statement he wrote that was read by his barrister, Tim Owen, Jutting expressed remorse.
“As has been commented on throughout the hearings, my actions in the deaths of Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih in the days preceding the deaths was horrific, even by the standards of homicide trials,” Jutting wrote. “The nine jurors were attentive and thoughtful. They have delivered a verdict to which I cannot have any objection”
He said he remained “haunted daily” by the crimes.
“We have been made to dredge the very depths of depravity in the defendant’s descriptions of what he did in three days of torture,” Justice Stuart-Moore said after the jury was read. “He describes himself as evil and a monster. Neither description is adequate to bring home the horror of what he did.”
In a statement released yesterday, Seneng’s family stressed the financial hardship her death had caused. “Our family hope the perpetrator can be punished as heavily as possible,” the statement read.
The verdict marks the end of a two-week trial that was alternatively gruesome, awkward and tedious. It was, Justice Stuart-Moore said on the first day of the trial on Oct. 24, a particularly strange legal affair: a murder trial in which the most incriminating evidence — the iPhone footage shot by Jutting both leading up to and immediately after the killings — was willfully created by the defendant himself.
It was in these videos that the nine members of jury became apprised of what happened on the 31st floor of the J Residence, a luxury apartment building in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district, during the last week of October 2014.
In the early hours of Oct. 25, Jutting left his apartment and made his way into the thick of Wan Chai, a bustling neighborhood famous for neon-lit bars with names like Club Bunny, where scantily clad girls linger out front.
There, he met Sumarti, a single mother who, in 2011, had left her infant son with family in Indonesia and came to find work in Hong Kong as a domestic helper — one of hundreds of thousands of such women in the former British colony, many of them from the Philippines and Indonesia. Like some of her peers, Sumarti occasionally moon lighted as a sex worker for extra income.
Jutting, who had been transferred by Bank of America Merrill Lynch from London to Hong Kong in the fall of 2013 had paid Ningsih for sex before. On that occasion, he had become so violent that she had offered to refund half his money if he would let her go home. Following his arrest, Jutting told police that to bring her home on the night of Oct. 25, he had to offer a particularly large sum to coerce her. He contacted her on his cell phone, in which she was saved simply as “Indo,” for Indonesian.
She consented, and together they returned to his apartment. By Jutting’s account, things escalated quickly.
“I made her get naked,” he said to his iPhone camera shortly after her death. “I held her throat, then she tried to force me off her. But there’s nothing she could do.”
For three days, he kept her prisoner. He said he bound her, beat her, violated her sexually, and at one point forced her to eat his excrement. He finally killed her by slitting her throat as she licked his toilet bowl.
After killing her, he dragged her body into his shower, and later shoved it into a suitcase he put on his balcony, and began to record the hours of monologue that two years later would be used to incriminate him. Heavily under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and sleep deprivation, he babbled about his cocaine addiction, his history of sadistic fantasies, and Sumarti herself.
“I learned more about that girl over three days than I have about people I’ve worked with for years,” he said to the camera. “She is — was — a remarkable person. Many of the finest people I’ve known have been prostitutes.”
In the days that followed, Jutting continued to binge on cocaine and Red Bull as Sumarti’s body began to decay on his balcony. He did not leave his apartment, subsisting on Pizza Express delivery and spending “virtually every minute reading and watching pornography,” as he later told police. Eventually, he said, he “had a plan to torture.”
“I realized how much I enjoyed that combination of alcohol and cocaine and physical torture – it gave me a sense of enjoyment I’d never had with anything,” he later told police. “I knew I would do it again.”
Eventually, he left his apartment, going first to a sex shop in Lan Kwai Fong, a nightlife district near downtown that is popular with expatriates and tourists, to buy bondage rope and other items. On his way home, he stopped at a hardware store, purchasing nails, sandpaper and a blowtorch, which he planned to use for torture.
“Let’s be clear about these, I am going to use these to torture someone in the most inhumane way possible,” he said.
However, when he solicited Seneng on the night of Halloween, leaving his apartment and returning with her shortly after midnight, there was no prolonged period of torture, unlike with Sumarti. The court heard that Seneng began screaming after finding a knife on Jutting’s couch, prompting him to quickly cut her throat.
He was, at that point, reportedly delirious, hallucinating that police and “special forces” were outside his apartment, preparing to seize him. He eventually called 999, Hong Kong’s emergency hotline, and asked if he could surrender. The dispatcher evenly asked if they could instead send officers to his home, and he complied. He was arrested by dawn.
Jutting has spent the past two years in prison in Hong Kong, where he has been interviewed by several psychiatrists who have served as witnesses for the defense during the trial. On the stand, Dr. Richard Latham and Professor Derek Perkins have rendered a portrait of a man with incredibly high intelligence — he recorded an IQ score of 137 — but sadistic tendencies and a pathological narcissism that rendered him incapable of emotionally handling blows to his ego.
When, as an adolescent, he applied and was accepted to Winchester College, a prestigious boarding school in the U.K., he was reportedly devastated that he came sixth in the scholarship assessment, rather than first. Later, after graduating from Cambridge with a first-class degree in history but a second-class degree in law, he challenged university administrators regarding the latter, claiming the examiners “did not understand him well enough,” which Perkins attributed to an entrenched “sense of entitlement.”
After Cambridge, in 2008, he forewent plans to practice law and instead took a job at Barclays in London in the structured-capital-markets division, then moved to Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2010. Around this time, the court heard, he began drinking excessively, going on long binges where he would solicit sex workers and do cocaine with them. (He would later admit that he had spent “more than a million dollars” on sex workers in the two years preceding the killings.)
His professional performance gradually began to suffer. In September 2013, Bank of America Merrill Lynch moved him from London to Hong Kong, allegedly to “get him out-of-the-way” after an investigation into a dubious tax product he had tried to sell in Luxembourg, the court heard.
The defense’s expert witnesses inferred that it was the move to Hong Kong that precipitated his final mental collapse. He had no social life, instead spending his time drinking copious amounts of liquor and wine in his luxury residential tower and seeing sex workers from the neon-lit bars nearby. He traveled to the U.K. for a friend’s wedding in March 2014, where he reportedly did so much cocaine that he missed a work meeting in London. He blamed his absence on having HIV.
His physical and mental atrophy continued upon his return to Hong Kong, and in September 2014, he found a cocaine dealer of his own, who was named to the court simply as Marvin. Marvin, the court heard, was bringing Jutting massive sums of cocaine on a regular basis; the defendant claimed he was doing several grams in a day.
From there, his apparent decline into instability was rapid. He rarely went to work; when he did, he did so erratically, showing up only for short stretches. He later described his rage and humiliation when his boss send a junior employee to look for him at home. He spent his days watching and reading violent pornography that trafficked in themes like rape, kidnapping and torture.
The defense concedes that parole for Jutting is highly unlikely to impossible. Asked outside the courtroom if he was surprised by the verdict, Michael Vidler, Jutting’s attorney, simply shrugged. “The jury has spoken,” he said.
Justice Stuart-Moore said that if Jutting applied for transfer to a British prison, “the English authorities will know exactly the type of person they are dealing with.”
(I FOUND THIS ARTICLE ON TWITTER UNDER ‘BOXED IN’)
Saudi Arabia, a woman’s life is controlled by a man from birth until death. Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, but in some cases a brother or even a son, who has the power to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf.
As dozens of Saudi women told Human Rights Watch, the male guardianship system is the most significant impediment to realizing women’s rights in the country, effectively rendering adult women legal minors who cannot make key decisions for themselves.
Rania, a 34-year-old Saudi woman, said, “We are entrusted with raising the next generation but you can’t trust us with ourselves. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Every Saudi woman, regardless of her economic or social class, is adversely affected by guardianship policies.
Adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel, marry, or exit prison. They may be required to provide guardian consent in order to work or access healthcare. Women regularly face difficulty conducting a range of transactions without a male relative, from renting an apartment to filing legal claims.
The impact these restrictive policies have on a woman’s ability to pursue a career or make life decisions varies, but is largely dependent on the good will of her male guardian. In some cases, men use the authority that the male guardianship system grants them to extort female dependents. Guardians have conditioned their consent for women to work or to travel on her paying him large sums of money.
Women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia have repeatedly called on the government to abolish the male guardianship system, which the government agreed to do in 2009 and again in 2013 after its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Following both hearings, Saudi Arabia took limited steps to reform certain aspects of the guardianship system. But, these changes remain insufficient, incomplete, and ineffective; today, the guardianship system remains mostly intact.
Until the guardianship system is removed entirely, Saudi Arabia will remain in violation of its human rights obligations and unable to realize its Vision 2030, the country’s “vision for the future,” that declares women—half of the country’s population—to be a “great asset” whose talents will be developed for the good of the country’s society and economy.
Saudi Arabia has made a series of limited changes over the last 10 years to ease restrictions on women. Notable examples include allowing women to participate in the country’s limited political space, actively encouraging women to enter the labor market, and taking steps to better respond to domestic violence.
For example, in 2013, then-King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the Shura Council, his highest advisory body. On December 12, 2015, authorities allowed women to participate in municipal council elections, with women voting and running as candidates for the first time in the country’s history. The elections were a significant, symbolic victory for women, particularly as many women had campaigned for this right for more than a decade.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has also issued a range of decisions significantly increasing women’s access to the labor market, as part of a broader economic reform program aimed at decreasing the country’s reliance on oil. These include removing language in the labor law that previously restricted women’s work to certain fields “suitable to their nature,” and no longer requiring that woman have guardian permission to work. Authorities have provided incentives to employers to hire women and earmark certain positions for women and provided thousands of scholarships for women to study in universities abroad.
Saudi Arabia has also taken steps to better respond to violence against women and to provide women with better access to government services. In 2013, it passed a law criminalizing domestic abuse and, in 2016, established a center specifically tasked with receiving and responding to reports of family violence.
Saudi Arabia has also worked to improve women’s access to government services, including enabling women to secure their own ID cards; issuing to divorced and widowed women family cards, which specify familial relationships and are required to conduct a number of bureaucratic tasks; and removing requirements that a woman bring a male relative to identify them in court.
Limitations of Reforms
While the reforms are a step in the right direction, they remain partial and incomplete. The male guardianship system remains largely in place, hindering and in some cases nullifying the efficacy of these reforms.
As Hayat, 44, said, “I don’t believe we can change this in small steps. It is what is happening right now. We need a very brave call from the government to remove this [guardianship] and make it equal.”
While women now serve on the Shura Council and on municipal councils, these victories remain limited and authorities continue to curb women’s ability to participate in public life. Women made up less than 10 percent of the final list of registered voters for the December 15, 2015 elections.
Many women faced barriers linked to the guardianship system when registering to vote, such as a requirement to prove residency in their voting district—a difficult or impossible task for many women whose names are not generally listed on housing deeds or rental agreements—or a requirement to present a family card, often held by a male guardian. In the end, only 21 women were elected to the municipal councils out of 2,106 contested seats. Municipal councils themselves have limited authority and, in January 2016, the government decreed council meetings would be sex segregated—women councilors must participate via video link. Following the announcement, a woman councilor stepped down.
The guardianship system also impacts women’s ability to seek work inside Saudi Arabia and to pursue opportunities abroad that might advance their careers. Specifically, women may not apply for a passport without male guardian approval and require permission to travel outside the country. Women also cannot study abroad on a government scholarship without guardian approval and, while not always enforced, officially require a male relative to accompany them throughout the course of their studies.
Zahra, 25, whose father refused to allow her to study abroad, said, “Whenever someone tells me, ‘You should have a five-year plan,’ I say I can’t. I’ll have a five-year plan and then my dad would disagree. Why have a plan?”
If the Saudi government intends to end discrimination against women as it has promised and to further the reforms it has already begun to undertake, it cannot allow restrictions inherent within the guardianship system to continue. For example, the government does not require guardian permission for women to work, but does not penalize employers who do require this permission. The government does encourage employers to hire women, but requires employers to establish separate office spaces for men and women and to enforce a strict dress code on women, policies which create disincentives to hiring women.
The need for substantial, systemic reform is perhaps starkest with regard to the state’s response to violence against women. Saudi Arabia has taken steps to better respond to abuse, but has done so within the framework of guardianship. The guardianship system allows men to control many aspects of women’s lives and makes it difficult for survivors of family violence to avail themselves of protection or redress mechanisms.
The extreme difficulty of transferring male guardianship from one male to another and the severe inequality in divorce rules make it difficult for women to escape abuse. Men remain women’s guardians, with all the associated levers of control, during court proceedings, and until a divorce is finalized. There is deeply entrenched discrimination within the legal system, and courts recognize legal claims brought by guardians against female dependents that restrict women’s movement or enforce a guardian’s authority over them.
Women who have escaped abuse in shelters may, and in prisons do, require a male relative to agree to their release before they may exit state facilities.
Dr. Heba, a women’s rights activist, explained, “The [authorities] keep a woman in jail… until her legal guardian comes and gets her, even if he is the one who put her in jail.”
Failing to abolish these and other tools available to male guardians to control and extort female dependents will guarantee that women continue to face tremendous obstacles when trying to seek help or flee abuse by violent guardians or simply to pursue paths different than the ones their guardians have determined best.
The Time is Now
Saudi officials often argue that the failure to end discrimination against women is not due to state policy, but due to difficulties in implementation, and that the country must move slowly as the government’s hands are tied by a conservative culture and a powerful clerical establishment’s interpretation of Islamic law.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Economist that women’s travel was not entirely restricted, and pointed to social and religious criteria to explain the restrictions that he believed existed. When asked why women’s labor force participation was so low, he said, “The culture of women in Saudi Arabia. The woman herself.”
Saudi Arabia’s imposition of the guardianship system is grounded in the most restrictive interpretation of an ambiguous Quranic verse—an interpretation challenged by dozens of Saudi women, including professors and Islamic feminists, who spoke to Human Rights Watch. Religious scholars also challenge the interpretation, including a former Saudi judge who told Human Rights Watch that the country’s imposition of guardianship is not required by Sharia and the former head of the religious police, also a respected religious scholar, who said Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving is not mandated by Islamic law in 2013.
The state clearly and directly enforces guardianship requirements in certain areas, including restricting women’s ability to travel and requiring guardian consent for a woman to marry. In other areas, there appear to be no written legal provisions or official decrees explicitly mandating a guardian’s consent or presence, but public officials and private businesses ask women for either without fear of sanction.
Saudi Arabia, which acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2000, is legally obligated to end discrimination against women without delay, including by abolishing the male guardianship system. As long as it fails to take steps to eliminate the discriminatory practices of male guardianship and sex segregation, the government is undermining the ability of women to enjoy even the most basic rights.
In April 2016, Saudi Arabia announced Vision 2030, which declares that the government will “continue to develop [women’s] talents, invest in their productive capabilities and enable them to strengthen their future and contribute to the development of our society and economy.” The government cannot achieve this vision if it does not abolish the male guardianship system, which severely restricts women’s ability to participate meaningfully in Saudi society and its economy.
In discussing the role of women in Saudi Arabia and the pace of change, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in his Economist interview, “It just takes time.”
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said deputies discovered Kala Brown in the town of Woodruff after they heard the 30-year-old woman banging on the chained and locked container, according to WYFF 4.
Brown, who had a chain around her neck, told her rescuers that her captor kept her inside the container for two months and fed her regularly, the news outlet said. The container was about 30 feet by 15 feet, Wright said.
“It’s only by God’s grace we found that little girl alive,” the sheriff added.
A missing persons report had been filed for Brown and her 32-year-old boyfriend Charles Carver, who authorities have still not found.
Todd Christopher Kohlhepp, a 45-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested in connection with the incident, the Associated Press reports. Brown, who worked for Kohlhepp, warned detectives that there may be other victims. “We’re trying to make sure that we don’t have a serial killer on our hands,” Wright said.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘LIGHTNING INJURY RESEARCH PROGRAM’, NOAA, AND MD./PROFESSOR MARY ANN COOPER, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO)
Medical Aspects of Lightning
How Big A Problem Is This? Statistics
Lightning has been the second largest storm killer in the U.S. for the last 40 years, exceeded only by floods. A lightning strike can result in a cardiac arrest (heart stopping) at the time of the injury, although some victims may appear to have a delayed death a few days later if they are resuscitated but have suffered irreversible brain damage.
According to Storm Data, a National Weather Service publication, the U.S. averages 73 reported lightning fatalities per year. Due to under reporting, the figures are more realistically about 100 deaths per year. Only about 10% of people who are struck by lightning are killed, leaving 90% with various degrees of disability.
ODDS OF BECOMING A LIGHTNING VICTIM
U.S. 2000 Census population
Odds of being struck by lightning in a given year
(reported deaths + injuries)
Odds of being struck by lightning in a given year
(estimated total deaths + injuries)
Odds of being struck in your lifetime (Est. 80 years)
Odds you will be affected by someone being struck
(Ten people affected for every one struck)
Who Gets Injured
While about one-third of all injuries occur during work, workers compensation companies are often reluctant to acknowledge the injury or pay related medical expenses. About another third of injuries occur during recreational or sports activities. The last third occurs in diverse situation, including injuries to those inside buildings.
How Do Lightning Injuries Affect People?
While any death is a blow to a family, eventually the family readjusts and goes on. However, for those who have a relative who suffers significant disability from lightning, life changes forever and the dreams of that family and the survivor may be markedly altered. The family income may be tremendously decreased if the survivor was one of the breadwinners, or the spouse or another family member may have to quit work to care for the survivor if the disability is great enough.
While about one-third of all injuries occur during work, workers compensation companies are often reluctant to acknowledge the injury or pay their medical expenses. About another third of injuries occur during recreational or sports activities. The last third occurs in diverse situation, including injuries to those inside buildings. Many injuries in each of these groups can be prevented with proper education, well conceived lightning protection systems that protect the people as well as the equipment being used or �shelters� where the survivor may seek safety, and lightning safety plans for coaches, parents, and referees at sporting events. While lightning safety and injury prevention is an individual responsibility and decision for adults, adults are ALWAYS responsible for the children in their care, particularly if it is an outdoor sports activity such as soccer, t-ball, camping, etc.
Unlike high voltage electrical injuries where massive internal tissue damage may occur, lightning seldom causes substantial burns. In fact, most of the burns are caused by other objects (rainwater, sweat, metal coins and necklaces, etc) being heated up and causing the burn rather than caused by the lightning itself.
Lightning tends to be a nervous system injury and may affect any or all parts of the nervous system: the brain, the autonomic nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system. When the brain is affected, the person often has difficulty with short-term memory, coding new information and accessing old information, multitasking, distractibility, irritability and personality change. A great quote sums it up perfectly:
“Patients have difficulty in all areas that require them to analyze more items of information than they can handle simultaneously. They present (appear) as slow because it takes longer for smaller than normal chunks of information to be processed. They present as distractible because they do not have the spare capacity to monitor irrelevant stimuli at the same time as they are attending to the relevant stimulus. They present as forgetful because while they are concentrating on point A, they do not have the processing space to think about point B simultaneously. They present as inattentive because when the amount of information that they are given exceeds their capacities, they cannot take it all in.”
Early on, survivors may complain of intense headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, nausea, vomiting and other �post-concussion� types of symptoms. Survivors may also experience difficulty sleeping, sometimes sleeping excessively acutely after the injury but changing during the next few weeks to inability to sleep more than two or three hours at a time. A few may develop persistent seizure-like activity several weeks to months after the injury. Unfortunately, standard EEG�s do not always pick up injury in the areas that lightning most often affects leading to a diagnosis of �pseudo-seizures�.
Personality Changes / Self-Isolation
Many may suffer personality changes because of frontal lobe damage and become quite irritable and easy to anger. The person who �wakes up� after the injury often does not have the ability to express what is wrong with them, may not recognize much of it or deny it, becomes embarrassed when they cannot carry on a conversation, work at their previous job, or do the same activities that they used to handle. As a result, many self-isolate, withdrawing from church, friends, family and other activities. Friends, family and co-workers who see the same external person, may not understand why the survivor is so different. Friends soon stop coming by or asking them to participate in activities. Families who are not committed to each other break up.
Obviously, depression becomes a big problem for people who have changed so much and lost so much. Suicide is something that almost all severely injured people have thought about at one time or another. Occasionally, those who do not have access to medical care or who do not understand what is happening may self-medicate with alcohol and other drugs, particularly those who have previously sought solace with these compounds. It is very important that the family and friends of the survivor maintain supportive contact even though it requires an adjustment in their relationship with the survivor. An injury such as this is an injury to the family, not just to the person hit.
Survivors often complain of easy fatigability, becoming exhausted after only a few hours of work. This may be because every task that they used to automatically do without thinking now requires intense concentration to accomplish. Many return to work but find that they cannot multitask and do all of the activities that are required at their job.
There are two kinds of medical tests:
Anatomic ones that take a simple picture (x-ray) or measurement (blood count)
Functional ones that show how something is working (PET, neuro-psychological testing, intelligence testing)
Sometimes function can be ascribed to the anatomic tests but often it cannot so that it is often fallacious on the basis of a normal static picture to ascribe normal function. The mental changes that the lightning survivor has are functional (how the brain works) changes, not anatomic ones so that anatomic tests such as the CT scan and MRI are usually normal. More functional scans such as PET and SPECT may show changes but are hard to obtain due to their relative infrequency in medical centers. To use an analogy: if an electric shock were sent through a computer, the outside case would probably look okay (similar to a photo or x-rays of the person), the computer boards on the inside would probably look okay and not be fused nor melted (CT, MRI for the person), but when you boot up the computer it would have difficulty accessing files, making calculations, printing, etc. similar to a person with brain injury who has short-term memory problems, difficulty accessing and coding information, difficulty organizing output,
A functional test of how a person�s brain is working that is seldom thought of by most non-neurologists is called neuropsychological testing. These tests are administered by a qualified neuropsychologist familiar with the literature in this area, not by a psychiatrist, and consist of a 6-8 hour battery of pen and paper tests including memory, IQ, organizational ability, and other �how the parts of the brain are working� kinds of tests. Survivors of lightning and electrical injury usually have a characteristic pattern of deficits. This type of testing is expensive and not necessary for most but can sometimes be helpful when litigation is involved and there is a doubt about the cause of a person�s injury.
Another common, often delayed problem for some survivors is pain, also a difficult problem to quantify and manage and one that does not always present initially in the full-blown pattern that it may have later. The pain may not only present as the chronic intense headaches mentioned above but may be in the back (perhaps from compression and disc injury from the intense muscle contractions which may throw a person several yards at the time of the injury), or in an extremity. Many may have nerve entrapment syndromes. A small number may eventually develop classic RSD. (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Sympathetically Mediated Pain Syndrome, causalgia)
Sometimes the functional tests that are ordered are testing the wrong thing an electromyogram (EMG) measures only the largest nerve fibers, the motor fibers, which are seldom affected by lightning injury. Smaller pain-carrying nerve fibers are not tested by EMG so that a �normal EMG� means little when ordered for someone with pain. Likewise, the standard EEG does primarily surface readings of the brain and misses seizure activity in several deeper regions. EEG�s may not pick up only 50% of temporal lobe seizures (some personality, organizing ability) and miss 120% of hypothalamic seizures.4
Lack of libido and impotence are often reported. Other common and not so common complaints involve the digestive system, the endocrine (hormonal) system, and the immune system, some of which are currently being studied. It is not clear if these are directly due to lightning injury, to medication side effects, or to other incidental causes unrelated to lightning.
Help Exists – Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors, International, Support Group
An organization that has been of tremendous help to survivors, their families, their physicians and other professionals is Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors, International (LSESSI), a support group formed in 1989 by a gentleman who was injured in 1969 who became tired of no one recognizing or knowing what to do for those with lightning injury. LSESSI has printed materials, offers tremendous support, networks survivors with others in their area, and provides an annual meeting where survivors come together for support as well as for lectures from professionals who work with lightning and electrical survivors and their families. LSESSI can be reached at 912-346-4708, [email protected], http://www.lightning-strike.org/index.html, or at P.O. Box 1156, Jacksonville, North Carolina 28541-1156.
Four Factors Necessary for Recovery
The four most important factors in overcoming disability from lightning injury (or from any illness or major injury for that matter) are:
A supportive family/friends network.
The person or family becoming their own best advocate and learning as much as they can about their disability.
A physician (regardless of specialty) who is willing to listen, read, learn and work with the survivor and their family.
A sense of humor.
Far more important than treating survivors is preventing lightning injury.
Holle RL, Lopez RE, Curran EB: Distributions of Lightning-Caused Casualties and Damages Since 1959 in the United States, 11 Conference on Applied Climatology, American Meteorological Society, January 1999
Cooper MA: Lightning Injuries: Prognostic Signs for Death, Ann Emerg Med 9:134, 1980
Lopez RE, Holle RL, Heitkamp TA, Boyson M, Cherington M, Langford K: The Underreporting of Lightning Lnjuries and Deaths in Colorado. Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 74:2171-78, 1993.
Life After Shock I, Life After Shock II, collections of stories of lightning and electric shock survivors and how it has changed their lives, Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors, Intntl, Morris Publishing, Nebraska,1996/2000.
Heitkamp, Holle, Lopez
Holle, R.L., R.E. L�pez, and C. Zimmermann, 1999: Updated Recommendations for Lightning Safety-1998. Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 80:2035-2041
Cherington M, Cooper MA: eds, Seminars in Neurology, Vols 3&4, 1995, two issues on electrical and lightning injuries
Primeau M, Engelstetter G, Bares K: Behavioral Consequences of Lightning and Electrical Injury, Sem Neurol, 15(3):279-285, 1995.
Pliskin NH, Capelli-Schelpfeffer M, Law RT, Malina AC et al: Neuropsychological Symptom Presentation after Electrical Injury, J Trauma 44(4):709-15, 1998
Heilbronner RL, Pliskin NH:Psychological issues in the neurorehabilitation of electrical injuries, NeuroRehabilitation 13:127-32, 1999.
Groenwald D:Cumulative and Persisting Effects of Concussion on Attention and Cognition, 154 (sorry, no further info on this reference is available to us)
truthtroubles.wordpress.com/ Just an average man who tries to do his best at being the kind of person the Bible tells us we are all suppose to be. Not perfect, never have been, don't expect anyone else to be perfect either. Always try to be very easy going type of a person if allowed to be.