Archive for February, 2014

No freewill 708 children fell prey to forced marriages in 2013

KARACHI: At least 708 boys and girls fell prey to forced and early marriages in Pakistan in the year 2013, which included 264 such cases in Punjab, 199 in Sindh, 143 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 102 cases in Balochistan, said the founder of Madadgaar Helpline, Zia Ahmed Awan at a roundtable conference titled, ‘Addressing Gender Base Violence: Focusing on early and forced marriages in Pakistan’, at Madadgaar Helpline office on Friday.

Awan said that 684 cases of forced and early marriages were reported in 2012. Around 276 forced marriage cases were reported in 2012, which increased up to 284 in the year 2013. He said these were the cases reported in media but the exact figures would be far more than this. Awan highlighted national and international laws that forbid parents and couples to get married before they attain the age of 18 years. Pakistan is signatory to the international charters that forbid it.

 

Read More: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675486/no-freewill-708-children-fell-prey-to-forced-marriages-in-2013/

17-year-old girl forced to marry six times

INDIA: Married six times in the past six years.

This was what happened to a 17-year-old girl from Hafeezbabanagar, India who was forcibly married off by her parents, reported Malaysian Nanban. The girl was married off by her father, Mohammed Akhbar who owned a pawnshop, together with the help of his third wide Niloufer, sister Mehrun-nisa and a marriage broker for Rs30,000 (RM1,600) to a man named Basheer in 2012.

Three months later, Basher abandoned her, and girl was married off to a London-based man in Pune for RS30,000 (RM1,600).

Her third and fourth marriage last year were in Mumbai to Saudi sheikhs for amounts ranging from Rs 50,000 (RM2,668) to Rs1 lakh (RM5,337) where the victim spent three months with each of her exploiters.

Her fifth marriage was in Hyderabad to a Bahrain national for the sum of Rs1 lakh (RM5,337).

On February 14, the girl was married off to a 50-year old man from Sudan, but managed to escape and approached the Hyderabad police with the help of a representative from a non-governmental organization on Wednesday.

Read more at:http://english.astroawani.com/news/show/17-year-old-girl-forced-to-marry-six-times-30704?cp

Malaysian court jails man who raped then married 12-year-old girl

A Malaysian court has sentenced a man to 12 years in jail for raping a child whom he later married.

The district court in Sabah state, Borneo island, found former restaurant manager Riduan Masmud, 41, guilty of raping the 12-year-old in February last year, his lawyer, Ram Singh, said. The father of four was charged with rape shortly after the act, but in May told the court that he had married the girl. The case caused an outcry and prosecutors continued to pursue the rape charge.

“The court says even though the marriage is still valid, he is guilty” of rape, Ram said, adding he would appeal against the verdict. Riduan was also sentenced to a fine and two strokes of the cane. The court deferred the sentence pending appeal. Ram said Riduan was also facing bribery charges in a separate court for paying the girl’s father 5,000 ringgit (£920) to give his consent to the marriage.

MDG : woman leaning on window pane

Child marriages are not uncommon in the conservative south-east Asian country, where some 60% of Malaysia‘s 28 million people are Muslim. Girls below the age of 16 must obtain the permission of Islamic courts, which regulate civil matters for Muslims. But rights activists say such permission is too readily granted.

Muslims are allowed to have up to four wives in Malaysia. Riduan’s children from his first wife are aged three to 18, Ram said.

 

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/05/malaysia-man-jailed-rape-child-marriage

 

Police target secret network of travel agents, doctors and taxi drivers who help female genital mutilation continue in Britain

Police are targeting a secret network of travel agents, money lenders, doctors and taxi drivers who help female genital mutilation happen in Britain, it emerged today.

Officers believe the network is allowing the brutal practice to continue under the radar as thousands of girls in the UK remain at risk.  The crime ring uses doctors willing to prescribe pain relief to victims, travel agents who arrange flights to countries where the cutting takes place and money lenders to provide finance for families.

Pain: A nine-year-old girl winces in pain after undergoing female genital mutilation (file image)Pain: A nine-year-old girl winces in pain after undergoing female genital mutilation (file image)

FGM has been illegal in Britain since 1985 but there has never been a successful prosecution. However, the country’s first trial for female genital mutilation is expected to take place within weeks, following a concerted campaign to bring FGM to an end. Experts have warned though that prosecutions are being hampered because doctors, teachers and social workers are systematically failing to report cases of genital mutilation to the police.

 

Read More:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2560518/Police-target-secret-network-travel-agents-doctors-taxi-drivers-help-female-genital-mutilation-continue-Britain.html

Shame of our child brides: Court hears how woman was raped and beaten as it’s revealed hundreds are forced into arranged and unregistered marriages across NSW

A 14-YEAR-OLD girl was forced into an Islamic marriage with a western Sydney drug gang member who raped and beat her and later physically abused their daughter.

Details of the now 25-year old victim’s ordeal surfaced in the Federal Circuit Court where the victim was fighting to have the man banned from seeing their daughter.

This Sydney woman spoke out last year after being married off as a child bride.

So appalling was the woman’s life of abuse, which included claims that her father told her she could only leave her marriage “in a coffin”, that Judge Joseph Harman made an unprecedented public appeal in his judgment for authorities to act.

The story came to light after the Daily Telegraph reported the arrest of a man who had been living with a 12-year-old as his wife in Sydney. The imam who married the pair, Riaz Tasawar, was yesterday arrested by police.

“Upon publication of these reasons and should any agency wish to investigate matters … they are in a position to make application to the court for leave to inspect the file and obtain material,” he said.

That would include the child dispute conference memo in which an admission is made by the father in the following terms: “The father admitted that he knew at the time of the Islamic marriage to the mother that she was 14 years of age.”

Read More: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/shame-of-our-child-brides-court-hears-how-woman-was-raped-and-beaten-as-its-revealed-hundreds-are-forced-into-arranged-and-unregistered-marriages-across-nsw/story-fnii5s3y-1226824176047

Australia: Forced Underage Marriage Is Common

Forced marriages of underage girls might be commonplace in certain communities in Sydney, according to the NSW Minister for Community Services, Pru Goward, who spoke yesterday following the arrest of a 26-year-old man charged with 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. The man, who for legal reasons cannot be named, allegedly met the then 12-year-old in the Hunter region in 2012 and became involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with her, with the pair then allegedly moving to a house in Sydney’s southwest.

Australia - Forced underage marriage is common

Police claim the man and child were married in a religious ceremony last month. Appearing in court yesterday speaking through an Arabic-language interpreter, he made no application for bail, which was formally refused. It is believed that the case came to light when the girl went to Centrelink seeking assistance for the man to obtain a visa.

Centrelink notified the Department of Community Services and the police and the girl was removed and put into care. Ms Goward said she was horrified by the case. “I think we are all extremely distressed, and I expect the full force of the law will be brought in this case.

“The message is very simple. Whatever the cultural practice, whatever the religious practice, there is no law in Australia above Australian law.

“In this country, little girls have rights, and in particular they have the right to their childhood free of this sort of abuse.”

Ms Goward said there were a significant number of unlawful, unregistered marriages to underage girls in NSW, underage forced marriages, but it was difficult to say how many as the practice was kept secret. “This is not an unknown practice and indeed might be quite common in particular areas of southwest Sydney, western Sydney and the Blue Mountains,” she said.

 

Read More: http://www.updatednews.ca/2014/02/07/australia-forced-underage-marriage-is-common/

Focus on child marriage in Australia

The issue of forced marriages is back in the spotlight in Australia, following reports that an imam in New South Wales allegedly married a 12-year-old girl to a 26-year-old man. The imam’s been charged with solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person, while the 26-year-old has been charged with multiple counts of having sex with a child.

But as Erdem Koc reports, it highlights the complexity of the dealing with the issue. While child marriage is often associated with countries in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, it’s also a custom which is practised in some communities in Australia.The case of a New South Wales imam being charged with marrying an underage girl to an adult male has prompted calls for more awareness to be raised about the issue.

Authorities say the girl has been placed in foster care, and the man, who is of a Lebanese background, has been refused bail. New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has welcomed the charge against the imam.

“I’m delighted charges have been laid against the celebrant who allegedly solemnised this wedding that was clearly illegal. We have rules in this country, in this state, about those who celebrate marriages, whether they’re religious celebrants or civil celebrants, and those rules say people have to be over the age of 18 unless a court has decided otherwise.”

In 2013, the federal parliament passed legislation making the coercing of someone into marriage a serious crime, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The change was welcomed by child advocacy groups, but they say it still doesn’t go far enough.

The chief executive of the Australian Childhood Foundation, Joe Tucci, says the message needs to be communicated clearly.

 

Read More: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/02/11/focus-child-marriage-australia

British Police Failing to Record ‘Honor’ Violence

(BBC) — One in five UK police forces is failing to properly record cases of so-called honour violence against women, according to a support group.

It said there was a “postcode lottery” when it came to recording such crimes. The report, from the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), also highlighted a lack of proper risk assessment of victims. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said “significant progress” had been made by forces. The report follows the 2006 killing of Banaz Mahmod, who was murdered by her family because they disapproved of her boyfriend.

Since Miss Mahmod’s murder, police forces are supposed to have had a sharper focus on all honour-based crime, including beatings and death threats. But failings identified in the report included in some areas with communities in which honour-based violence is most likely to occur.

Derbyshire Constabulary, Gloucestershire Constabulary and Staffordshire Police were among those with the most significant failings, according to the report, as well as half of all Scottish police forces before they amalgamated into Police Scotland last April. Diana Nammi, executive director of IKWRO, said there may be only one chance to protect someone at risk from a so-called “honour killing”. ‘Not acceptable’

 

Read More: http://www.aina.org/news/20140206150312.htm

Forced marriage fear of Preston girl flown to Pakistan

A teenage girl missing since she flew to Pakistan with her younger sisters may have been forced to marry, a High Court judge has heard.

Alyssa Din, 16, and her sisters Safia, five, and Amani, four – all from Preston – have been missing since flying to Karachi via Islamabad in October.

Their parents Ilyas and Mazeley Din were jailed over their disappearance.

Mr Justice Hayden said he was extremely concerned about Alyssa’s welfare.

‘Brainwashed the children’

Mr and Mrs Din were jailed in December for contempt of court for failing to provide details of their children’s whereabouts.

Mr Din, who is in his late 40s, was given a 12-month term and Mrs Din, who is in her 30s, a six-month sentence.

 

Read More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-26076914

Pakistan: Christian Sisters in Hiding After Kidnap and Forced Religious Conversion Attempts

Washington DC: February 1, 2014. (PCP) Responsible for Equality and Liberty R.E.A.L has received a report of the human rights violations of two women in Lahore, Pakistan. International human rights sources have advised that Christian sisters, “Hina” and “Marina” from Lahore have gone into hiding, after attempts by Islamist extremist to kidnap them, to force marriage on them, and to forcefully convert them to deny their Christian religion.

Mr. Jeffrey Imm, CEO of R.E.A.L said “In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Responsible for Equality And Liberty continues to support the universal human rights, religious liberty, and freedom for all people, including religious minorities oppressed in Pakistan. We urge the Pakistan authorities to drop any charges against minority Christians being oppressed, harassed, and threatened, including these two Christian sisters, who have reportedly been threatened by attempts at abduction, forced marriage, and forced religious conversion. Responsible for Equality And Liberty also calls for the Pakistan government to end the oppressive blasphemy law used to oppress and harass religious minorities and so many other individuals. Responsible for Equality And Liberty also calls upon on our colleagues in human rights organizations to share this story and call for human rights protection for these sisters”

 

Read More: http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=4681

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