Showing posts with label International Justice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Justice. Show all posts

August 17, 2013

Gay Ugandans Under Fire Can Sue Preacher//Faces Crimes Against Humanity

 Pastor Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, recently sat down with SandyEScott Lively evangelical minister, founder and president of Abiding Truth Ministries,
   must face claims that he conspired in the persecution of gay and lesbian Ugandans, advocating that they face the death penalty, a federal judge ruled.
     Sexual Minorities Uganda is an umbrella organization whose members advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the East African country.
     It claims Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries and self-described expert on the "gay movement," has conspired to commit crimes against humanity by persecuting LGBTI people and campaigning for a Ugandan law that would make homosexuality punishable by death. Lively's ministry is based in Springfield, Mass.
     Lively's campaign began after the Ugandan High Court affirmed that LGBTI persons enjoy basic protections of the law in 2008.
     Their 2012 complaint states: "Lively's 2009 work in Uganda and his call to arms to fight against an 'evil' and 'genocidal', 'pedophilic' 'gay movement', which he likened to the Nazis and Rwandan murderers, ignited a cultural panic and atmosphere of terror that radically intensified the climate of hatred in which Lively's goals of persecution could advance. Shortly after Lively's pivotal 2009 work in Uganda, one member of Parliament expressed, 'We must exterminate homosexuals before they exterminate society.'
     "Among the shocking, repressive measures undertaken after 2009, is the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (also referred to as the 'Kill the Gays Bill'), which proposed the death penalty for a second conviction of consensual sex between adults of the same gender, and imprisonment for failure to report on others suspected of being 'homosexual', and for advocacy in any way on issues related to homosexuality. While Lively has half-heartedly tried to distance himself from the death penalty provision of the bill, he still considers it the 'lesser of two evils' as compared to recognizing the humanity of LGBTI individuals or permitting their speech or advocacy.
     "In 2010, a tabloid newspaper - parroting characterizations of gays and lesbians repeatedly made to Ugandan officials by Lively - published an article 'outing' SMUG [Sexual Minorities Uganda] advocacy officer David Kato (and others), under the headline, 'Hang Them'. Four months later, Mr. Kato was bludgeoned to death in his home. On Feb. 14, 2012, a private training on human rights and public health conducted by SMUG and one of its member organizations was raided by Ugandan government officials who declared the gathering 'illegal' and called those gathered there 'terrorists.' The member organization's executive director had to flee in order to avoid arrest and detention."
     Homosexuality in Uganda is currently punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
     On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor refused to dismiss the allegations against Lively, permitting the case to move forward.
     "Plaintiff has stated a claim for persecution that amounts to a crime against humanity, based on a systematic and widespread campaign of persecution against LGBTI people in Uganda," Ponsor wrote. "The allegations feature defendant's active involvement in well orchestrated initiatives by legislative and executive branch officials and powerful private parties in Uganda, including elements of the media, to intimidate LGBTI people and to deprive them of their fundamental human rights to freedom of expression, life, liberty, and property."
     The judge called it "utterly specious" for Lively to argue that his actions did not violate international norms because LGBTI people face discrimination all over the world.
     "The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBTI people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law," Ponsor wrote. "The fact that a group continues to be vulnerable to widespread, systematic persecution in some parts of the world simply cannot shield one who commits a crime against humanity from liability," the 79-page opinion said.
     Lively's alleged conduct additionally may not qualify as free speech because "it is well-established that speech that constitutes criminal aiding and abetting is not protected by the First Amendment," the judge added.
     Ponsor clarified: "In making this decision, the court is mindful of the chilling effect that can occur when potential tort liability is extended to unpopular opinions that are expressed as part of a public debate on policy. However, at this stage, the amended complaint sets out plausible claims to hold defendant liable for his role in systematic persecution, rather than merely for opinions that plaintiff finds abhorrent."
     In response to the decision, defense attorney Horatio Mihet told Courthouse News: "We are disappointed that the lawsuit's been allowed to move forward because we believe that it is foreclosed by the First Amendment and by the Supreme Court's decision in the Kiobel[v. Royal Dutch Petroleum] case. This was decided in April and the court decided that the Alien Tort Statute cannot be used to bring claims for events that happened outside of the U.S."
     "We're still evaluating the court's opinion, and we're determined to continue to fight for Mr. Lively's constitutional rights, and we're confident that ultimately he will prevail," Mihet said.
     Mihet works for Liberty Counsel, a firm "dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family," according to its website.
     Pam Spees with the Center for Constitutional Rights meanwhile applauded the ruling. "We are gratified that the court recognized the persecution and the gravity of the danger faced by our clients as a result of Scott Lively's actions," Spees said in a statement. "Lively's single-minded campaign has worked to criminalize their very existence, strip away their fundamental rights and threaten their physical safety.”

April 9, 2013

Saudi Arabia Buried in Black Gold and Sand Will Cut Your Head or May be Paralyze You

Setting up a mock gallows with a dummy on a rope, about 25 Lebanese human rights activists protest outside the Saudi embassy in Beirut on April 1, 2010 against capital punishment as Lebanon's envoy to Riyadh said he has yet to be informed of a Saudi decision to behead a Lebanese former TV presenter convicted of sorcery. The United Nations says Saudi Arabia has seen a sharp rise in executions in 2011. (ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)Saudi execution

 Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice issued a series of tweets denying reports that a prisoner was to be paralyzed by the authorities for having allegedly paralyzing someone, describing the account as "untrue," according to CNN
Apparently, the paralysis measure was actually considered -- the judge "dismissed requests for such punishment," said the ministry, reported CNN
"We hope that everyone attempts to verify the facts and be accurate," the ministry added. 
The account, first published in The Saudi Gazette, was picked up by human rights organizations as well as news organizations -- including, full disclosure, GlobalPost. Even the British government weighed in
The Saudi Gazette identified the prisoner as 24-year-old Ali Al-Khawahir, said to have been imprisoned since the age of 14 on charges of stabbing a former friend, leaving the friend paralyzed.
The report claimed Al-Khawahir had been given a sentence of surgical paralysis unless he could pay one million Saudi Riyals. 

January 9, 2013

She Was a Minor and The Baby in Her Care died-She Most Die too and Did

Saudi Arabia drew widespread censure today as it ignored personal pleas from the Sri Lankan President and executed a migrant worker for the death of a baby in her care, despite her being a minor at the time of the crime.

The news of the beheading – which was followed by a minute’s silence in the Sri Lankan parliament – came as Colombo was preparing to send an emergency delegation to Saudi Arabia in a last-ditch attempt for a resolution. The Sri Lankan President President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had written to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to appeal for clemency, said he “deplored” the decision.
The daughter of a woodcutter from a small village in eastern Sri Lanka, Rizana Nafeek was 17 when the four-month-old baby in her care died, meaning the execution is in breach of an international treaty to protect children to which Saudi Arabia is a signatory. Amnesty International said the execution showed that the religiously conservative kingdom, which executed 79 people last year, is “woefully out of step with international standards on the death penalty”.
The case once again throws a spotlight on the vulnerability of migrant workers in the country and their treatment under its legal system – where human rights groups say access to adequate translation and legal assistance is severely limited. Rights groups raised concerns about the fairness of the trail as Ms Nafeek was denied access to legal representation and adequate translation.
Indonesia last year banned its nationals from working in Saudi Arabia, when a maid was beheaded after confessing to killing her employer, claiming he abused her.
Tales of mistreatment are all too common. Two years ago, a 49-year-old maid returned from Saudi Arabia her body studded with iron nails which had been driven into her flesh by her employer – she said she was afraid he would slit her throat if she screamed as they were hammered in. Surgeons removed 23 nails and needles from her body when she returned home, though Saudi authorities reject her story.
Like many of the Gulf’s migrant workers Ms Nafeek’s parents say they were forced to send her overseas to supplement the struggling family’s income. They say the employment agency forged her documents to make it appear she was an adult and could legally seek employment in the oil-rich Gulf state. Her passport says she was born in February 1982, but rights groups claim she was not allowed to present her birth certificate or other evidence of her age to the court during her trial in 2007.
Ms Nafeek had been in the country for a matter of weeks when the baby in her care in the town of Dawadmi died in 2005. The Saudi Interior Ministry say that she smothered the child after an argument with her employer and that the sentence was carried out “legitimately and honestly”. The maid initially admitted to the crime but later retracted her confession saying it had been extracted under duress, saying the baby had choked on milk. 
“One issue that we have continuously highlighted is the treatment of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, not only at the hands of their employers who mistreat them, refuse salaries and refuse time off, but also at the hands of the authorities,” said Dina El-Mamoun, Saudi Arabia researcher at Amnesty International. “When migrant workers come into contact with the law they are often dealt with harshly and not given their rights, despite being the most vulnerable section of society.”
The execution coincided with an International Labour Organisation report which urged nations to urgently adopt and implement new laws to protect domestic workers, with just 10 per cent given the same legal protection as other workers. “The lack of rights, the extreme dependency on an employer and the isolated and unprotected nature of domestic work can render them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse,” the report said.

November 19, 2012

Bolivia Will Start Castrating Sex Offenders and Cut off Hand of Thieves

Bolivian journalists dead 2012 02 29
An Aymara woman walks in the Villa Ingenio cemetery in El Alto, 25 km west of La Paz, on November 2, 2011, during the religious festivity of the Day of the Dead, also known as All Souls Day in Bolivia. (AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

{There is also an unconfirmed report out there that Texas is going to return to the Joan o’Arc times and Cut off heads of Evolutionists that are prong to thinking too much.}

Thieves will have their hands amputated and rapists will be chemically castrated under a controversial new law for Bolivia's indigenous people in the city of El Alto.
Trained doctors will be paid to operate on convicted criminals in El Alto after they have been sentenced by a newly created court,according to the New York Daily News. If medical professionals refuse to perform the surgery, indigenous doctors from the rural, highland provinces will be paid to do the work.
 Carmelo Titirico, leader of the National Council for Ayllu and Marka People, said the controversial punishment has been approved by the indigenous community "as it's the only way to stop those crimes," the Daily News also reported. "Indigenous justice is handled differently, not between four walls as ordinary justice is. We will not be sending people to jail in these cases."
Titirico noted that the new punishments are protected under Bolivia's "community justice law," reported Fox News. Under President Evo Morales, Bolivia is considered a plurinational state, permitting the existence of multiple political communities and constitutional asymmetry.
He insists that his council won't back down on its ruling, even though the measure could lead to widespread anger among the area's indigenous peoples.

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