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Posts Tagged ‘forced’

An Afghan nightmare: Forced to marry your rapist

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) It is an unimaginably hideous outcome.

To be raped by your cousin’s husband; be jailed for adultery as your attacker was married; to suffer the ignominy of global uproar about your jailing and assault, but be pardoned by presidential decree; and then to endure the shame and rejection from a conservative society that somehow held you to blame.

The solution in this society? Marry your attacker.

That’s what happened to Gulnaz, who was barely 16 when she was raped. She’s now carrying the third child of her attacker, Asadullah, who was convicted and jailed — though this was then reduced.

Gulnaz’s plight — like so much in beleaguered Afghanistan — disappeared from the world’s gaze once she was pardoned and released courtesy of a presidential pardon. Instead of a new start, what followed for Gulnaz was a quiet, Afghan solution to the “problem” — a telling sign of where women’s rights stand in Afghanistan despite the billions that have poured into this country from the U.S. government and its NATO allies during more than a decade of war.
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Dramatic Video Shows Stark Contrast Between Life As A Child Bride And As A School Girl

Girls give up a lot when they are forced into marriage.

A video produced by UNICEF highlights how different life is for a child bride as compared to a girl who can access an education.

The PSA — which focuses on child brides in Chad — begins with a girl who died during childbirth. It follows the girl’s life in reverse, reliving each step that preceded her death, before revealing how her life could have unfolded, had she avoided marriageand gone to school instead.

It ends with the girl happily attending class and meeting new friends.

“Girls who are married before their 18th birthdays are not only denied their childhood, but are often socially isolated and subjected to violence and limited opportunities for education and employment,” Bruno Maes, UNICEF representative in Chad, said, according to the organization. The humanitarian group notes that, in Chad, a girl is more likely to die giving birth than to attend secondary school.

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The Rising Sex Traffic in Forced Islamic Marriage

In 2008, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and Nicholas Phillips, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, both suggested that the UK could consider, in Lord Phillips’s words, “embracing Sharia law” because “there is no reason why Sharia Law, or any other religious code should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution”. Williams commented: “it’s not as if we’re bringing in an alien and rival system”.

However, two recent widely reported cases of marriage between Muslim men and under-age girls raise troubling questions about these assumptions. One case in New South Wales where an imam married a twelve-year-old girl to a twenty-six-year-old man with her father’s consent is before the court.

In another case involving a custody battle, however, a judgment has been made that questions the way Western jurisdictions interact with sharia marriage regulations, specifically in relation to the widespread practice of conducting private, unregistered religious marriages. A Sydney Muslim girl aged fourteen was forced by her parents to become the child “bride” of a twenty-one-year-old man. Her mother had told her she would “get to attend theme parks and movies and eat lollies and ice-cream with her new husband”. Instead she endured years of sexual and physical abuse and intimidation before fleeing with her young daughter. Her story only saw the light of day ten years after her wedding when she pursued custody of her daughter through the courts.

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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.

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.

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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”


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East Lancs mosques to step up anti-violence campaign

THE campaign against domestic violence is being stepped up at East Lancashire mosques.

Blackburn with Darwen community organisation One Voice has joined forced with charities and masjids to highlight the issues of domestic abuse, honour based violence and forced marriage to the local black, minority and ethnic population.

A recent event at the Darassalam Education Centre on Whalley New Road in Blackburn, saw the Imam talking about how such behaviour is completely unacceptable in the Islamic faith.

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Rights group says laws failing to protect girls from forced early marriages

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Cultural traditions and a lack of legal protections are driving tens of millions of girls around the world into early marriage, subjecting them to violence, poverty and mistreatment, an international human rights group says.

Equality Now, citing the United Nations Population Fund, said in a report issued over the weekend that more than 140 million girls over the next decade will be married before they turn 18. “When a young girl is married and gives birth, the vicious cycle of poverty, poor health, curtailed education, violence, instability, disregard for rule of law … continues into the next generation, especially for any daughters she may have,” the report said.

The 32-page report found that despite laws that set a minimum age for marriage in many countries, social norms continue to provide a veneer of legitimacy to child marriage in remote villages and even in developed countries. Child marriage is defined as a marriage before age 18.

“Child marriage legitimizes human rights violations and abuses of girls under the guise of culture, honour, tradition and religion,” the report said. The report gave examples of cases in countries such as Afghanistan, Cameroon, Guatemala, India, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi and Mali.

Often when child brides are married off to older men, it is to restore or maintain family honour, or to settle a father’s debts or obtain some other financial gain. A girl married off is seen as one less mouth to feed, and the wedding dowry is spent by her family to support itself.

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Woman with learning disability was forced to have Pakistani’s baby so he could stay in UK

Mrs Justice Parker at the Court of Protection described the ‘grossly cruel’ ordeal of the woman who has a reading age of seven

A British woman with serious learning difficulties married a Pakistani immigrant and had his baby as part of a plan to help him remain in the UK, a secret court heard.

The 37-year-old woman – who has a reading age of a child of seven – was even slapped around the face by her mother to force her to smile for the wedding photograph. On the day the couple attended a register office to give notice to marry, an anonymous caller rang the office to allege that her parents had been paid £20,000 to marry off their daughter to the Muslim student.

Incredibly, although registrars were concerned about the ‘demeanour and vulnerability’ of the bride and feared she was being ‘manipulated’ as part of a visa scam, the civil marriage went ahead two months later. By then, the woman was pregnant and she went on give birth to a boy. Her 33-year-old husband, from Lahore, is now using his human right to a family life to try to stay in the UK, and lawyers expect him to be granted indefinite leave to remain.

The case was heard earlier this year by the Court of Protection, which has the power to make life-or-death decisions on behalf of people deemed to lack mental capacity.

It emerged with the publication of an ‘anonymised’ judgment. In her ruling, Mrs Justice Parker said: ‘I think there is a very significant possibility that this marriage was entered into, and indeed this child created, for reasons solely to do with immigration status. ‘To inflict pregnancy and childbearing on a person who cannot consent to that state is about as gross a physical interference as can be imagined.

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Is the law in Yemen moving closer to a ban on child marriage?

(WNN/EQ) Amman, JORDAN, WESTERN ASIA: The Human Rights Ministry of Yemen has confirmed that one of its officials has helped to prevent the wedding of a 12-year-old girl, which was due to take place earlier this month. Hiba was to be married in Taiz, Southern Yemen, but the official notified local police who ensured an immediate divorce. There have been reports too of similar interventions taking place in other parts of the country.

With no minimum age of marriage in Yemen, while Hiba and others are out of danger for the moment, without any legal sanctions to support them, these girls remain at serious risk.

However, things may be about to change at last. The Human Rights Ministry, under Hooria Mashhour’s strong leadership, has put child marriage at the top of its agenda. This ministry has been responsible for putting pressure on other members of government to ensure that a minimum age of marriage draft bill is introduced at the next opportunity as part of the ‘National Dialogue’, the process which has followed the country’s recent political uprising.

Fouad Al Ghaffari from the Ministry has indicated that this bill might be introduced by the Minister of Legal Affairs in the very near future. It will probably be based on a 2009 bill, which had proposed fixing the minimum age of marriage for girls at age 17. This was initially backed by Yemeni women and children’s rights organizations, but in late 2010, it was effectively blocked by traditional and religious leaders and the parliament’s Shariah committee. It is hoped that there will be more support on this occasion, but it is far from certain.

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