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Archive for May, 2014

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Protest against police … Indian villagers gather around the bodies of two teenage sisters hanging from a tree in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state, India. Photo: AP

Lucknow, India: Facing relentless media attention and growing criticism for a series of rapes, state officials in north India fired two police officers on Friday for failing to investigate the disappearance of two teenage cousins, who were gang-raped and later found hanging from a tree.

One of the father’s of the victims told the BBC that he was ridiculed by police when he went to report his daughter and her cousin missing.

But in a country with a long history of tolerance for sexual violence, the firings also came as the state’s top official mocked journalists for asking about the attack.

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An Indian activist prays as she takes part in a candlelight vigil in Kolkata after the cremation ceremony for a gang-rape victim on December 30, 2012. Photo: AFP

“Aren’t you safe? You’re not facing any danger, are you?” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said in Lucknow, the state capital. “Then why are you worried? What’s it to you?”

The gang-rape, with video of the girls’ corpses hanging from a mango tree and swaying gently in a breeze, was the top story on Friday on India’s relentless 24-hour news stations.

But in just the past few days, Uttar Pradesh has also seen the mother of a rape victim brutally attacked and a 17-year-old girl gang-raped by four men.

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Members of a university students’ union shout slogans during a protest against the gang-rape of two teenage girls in Katra village, outside the Uttar Pradesh state house, in New Delhi. Photo: AP

Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state, with nearly 200 million people.

Official statistics say about 25,000 rapes are committed every year in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people. But activists say that number is very low, since women are often pressed by family or police to stay quiet about sexual assaults.

Indian police and politicians, who for decades had done little about sexual violence, have faced growing public anger since the December 2013 gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a moving New Delhi bus, an attack that sparked national outrage over the treatment of women.

On Friday, the state’s former chief minister lashed out at the ruling government.

“There is no law and order in the state,” said Mayawati, who uses only one name. “It is the law of the jungle.”

Hours later, the chief minister ordered that suspects in the attack be tried in special “fast track” courts, to get around India’s notoriously slow judicial system.

The girls, who were 14 and 15, were raped in the tiny village of Katra, about 300 kilometres from Lucknow.

Police say they disappeared on Tuesday night after going into fields near their home to relieve themselves, since their house has no toilet.

The father of one girl went to police that night to report them missing, but he said they refused to help.

When the bodies were discovered the next day, angry villagers silently protested the police inaction by refusing to allow the bodies to be cut down from the tree.

The villagers allowed authorities to take down the corpses after the first arrests were made on Wednesday. Police arrested two police officers and two men from the village, and were searching for three more suspects.

The girls were Dalits, from the community once known as “untouchables” in India’s ancient caste system. The fired policemen and the men accused in the attack are Yadavs, a low-caste community that dominates that part of Uttar Pradesh. The chief minister is from the same caste.

On Thursday, officials suspended two local police officers for ignoring the father’s pleas for help. They were fired on Friday.

Top state official Anil Kumar Gupta said the two policemen had been charged with criminal conspiracy for refusing to file a complaint or take any action.

Meanwhile, the chief minister’s mocking comments to reporters were not a surprise to many in India.

Last month, Yadav’s father — a former chief minister and head of the state’s ruling party — told an election rally that the party opposed a law calling for gang-rapists to be executed.

“Boys will be boys,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said. “They make mistakes.”

Kavita Krishnan, a women’s rights activist, said such comments make clear to police that rape isn’t taken seriously by officials.

She called the chief minister’s Friday comments “a trivialisation of rape.”

While sexual assaults are reported across India, there have been a string of high-profile attacks in just the past few days in Uttar Pradesh.

On Thursday, police arrested three men for brutally attacking the mother of a rape victim after she refused to withdraw her complaint.

The attack, in the town of Etawah, followed the May 11 rape of the woman’s teenage daughter. A local man was arrested after the mother filed a complaint with authorities.

Five men — including the father, a brother and a cousin of the man accused in the rape — followed the victim’s mother away from her house on Monday and beat her relentlessly, demanding she drop the accusation, said Dinesh Kumar, the town’s police superintendent.

The mother was in critical condition in a hospital, with numerous broken bones and internal injuries.

Police arrested three men on Thursday for the attack and were looking for two others.

On Wednesday, a 17-year-old woman was attacked in a field and raped by four men in southwestern Uttar Pradesh, police said. One man has been arrested.

AP

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Ameer Abdullah, the chief of the local police force, says “Residents informed police after a stench emanated from the house of the two brothers. We raided the house on Monday morning and found the head of a young boy. We have arrested one of the brothers, Mohammad Arif, and are conducting raids for the arrest of the other brother.”

Police are also looking at local cemeteries to see if any other grave sites have been disturbed.

Fakhar Bhatti, who discovered the corpse of a 24-year-old woman at the brothers’ home a few years ago, says “In the middle of the room, I saw a cooking pot which was half full of meat curry. Nearby was a wooden board, a butcher’s axe, and a large kitchen knife. Bits of fat clung to the board and the blade of the axe. It still gives me the creeps; they had chopped off one of her legs below the knee, and the other near the shin. The rest of the body was intact. The curry was made from those parts.”

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THE MURDEROUS RAMPAGE OF ELLIOT RODGER – A COLLECTION OF GALLERY PHOTOS HERE

Californian gunman’s killing spree

Police have confirmed Elliot Rodger, the son of a Hollywood film director, Peter Rodger, was the gunman involved in a drive by shooting in Santa Barbara, after he stabbed and killed three people near his apartment.

Police have removed three bodies from the apartment of a 22-year-old Californian man after a killing rampage that left six dead and seven in hospital

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“A living hell”: Elliot Rodger posted a video on YouTube titled Retribution in which he vowed to take revenge on girls for rejecting him. Photo: Reuters

The killer, Elliot Rodger, died after an exchange of gunfire with police. Authorities said he apparently killed himself.

He also posted a series of videos on social media, concluding with one titled Retritbution, in which he graphically described his resentment and frustration.

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“You forced me to suffer all my life, now I will make you all suffer. I waited a long time for this. I’ll give you exactly what you deserve, all of you,” he said.

“All you girls who rejected me, looked down upon me, you know, treated me like scum while you gave yourselves to other men.

“And all of you men for living a better life than me, all of you sexually active men. I hate you. I hate all of you. I can’t wait to give you exactly what you deserve, annihilation.”

He was enrolled in Santa Barbara City Collegesanta barbars shootervictims-images www.crimefiles.net 620x349

Three of Elliot Rodger’s victims: Katie Cooper, Chris Martinez, Veronika Weiss. Photo: Facebook

Police have not released the names of the victims, but three families have identified their children as among those killed: Veronika Weiss and Katie Cooper, both 19, and Christopher Martinez, 20.

According to police, Rodger’s body was found with a semi-automatic handgun. He also had more than 400 rounds of unspent ammunition in his car.

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The three bodies removed from his apartment are believed to be among the six confirmed dead.

They were reported to have been stabbed, while the other three were shot elsewhere.

Sheriff Bill Brown described the mass killing as a “rapidly unfolding convoluted incident”, which covers “multiple crime scenes”.

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The gunfire continued for 10 minutes as the gunman made his way through the beach community in a rampage that mirrored threats made on a YouTube video posted the same night, authorities said.

Police confirmed Rodger, the son of a Hollywood film director, Peter Rodger, was the gunman.

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According to US media reports, a 140-page “manifesto” outlining his plans was retrieved from the apartment. In it he described his “day of retribution”.

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BIG TIME MAFIA LIKE CRIME BOSS IN CHINA GETS THE DEATH PENALTY

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A former Chinese mining mogul was sentenced to death on Friday after being found guilty of leading a mafia-style operation in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, state-news agency Xinhua reports.

Liu Han — the former chairman of unlisted Sichuan Hanlong Group and once among the richest people in China— and his brother, Liu Wei were accused of ordering nine murders. They also faced charges of assault, extortion, illegal detention and running a local gambling ring with 34 other gang members, one of the largest criminal gangs to be tried in China in recent years.

“Liu Han and Liu Wei were deeply evil,” the court said in its sentence, according to The New York Times. “Their means were extremely cruel, their impact on society was extremely bad.”

Prosecutors say their criminal activities, dating to 1993, helped them amass $6.4bn in assets with businesses in finance, energy, property and mining.

In March, Chinese authorities reportedly seized $14.5 billion dollars worth of assets from the Han’s family members and associates. In addition, more than 300 of his relatives and former colleagues were also reportedly questioned.

Han’s company, a diversified firm with interests ranging from tourism to minerals and assets of more than $3.2 billion, pursued a number of international mining deals.

A few of them have already fizzled, including the $5 billion Mbalam iron ore project straddling Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville in Central Africa with Australia’s Sundance Resources (ASX:SDL), a deal to develop an iron ore and copper-molybdenum mine with Moly Mines (ASX:MOL) in the Pilbara and another molybdenum project with US-based General Moly (NYSE:GMO), of which it owned 25%.

“Framed”

Liu Han, 48, was found guilty of 13 serious charges, including murder, running casinos and illegally selling firearms.

His younger brother, Liu Wei, will also face death row.

Upon hearing the sentence Han yelled to the court he had been “framed” and “wronged,” before being taken away by guards

Upon hearing the sentence Han yelled to the court he had been “framed” and “wronged,” before being taken away by guards, the South China Morning Post reports.

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According to earlier reports, police seized hand grenades, half-dozen submachine guns, 20 pistols and other firearms.

The penalties on Friday come amid an anti-corruption crackdown launched by the president, Xi Jinping, that has reached senior politicians and influential businessmen.

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 ARE ‘SHARIA’ARABS A SICK BUNCH OR WHAT?? THEY TAKE WESTERN MONEY FOR THEIR OIL THEY DO NOT EARN, JUST BECAUSE IT’S THERE & THINK THEY CAN ABUSE PEOPLE BY THEIR PRIMITIVE LAWS & BARBARIC SOCIAL STANDARDS TOWARDS WOMEN & PEOPLES RIGHTS./ DEMOCRACY AT ALL COSTS PLEASE…

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A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced the editor of an internet forum he founded to discuss the role of religion in the conservative Islamic kingdom to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.

Raif Badawi, who started the “Free Saudi Liberals” website, was originally sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in July last year, but an appeals court overturned the sentence and ordered a retrial.

Apart from imposing a stiffer sentence on Badawi in his retrial, the judge at the criminal court in the Red Sea City of Jeddah also fined him one million riyals ($285,000). Badawi’s website has been closed since his first trial.

His lawyers said Wednesday’s sentence was too harsh, although the prosecutor had demanded a harsher penalty, news website Sabq reported. The ruling is subject to appeal.

The prosecution had demanded that Badawi be tried for apostasy, a charge which carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. The judge in last year’s trial had dismissed the apostasy charges.

Badawi was arrested in June 2012 and charged with cyber crime and disobeying his father – a crime in Saudi Arabia.

His website included articles that were critical of senior religious figures such as Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, according to Human Rights Watch.

In a separate ruling on Tuesday, the court also convicted the administrator of a website on charges of supporting Internet forums hostile to the state and which promoted demonstrations, Sabq reported on Wednesday. It said he was sentenced to six years in jail and a 50,000 riyal fine.

The news website said another Saudi was sentenced to five years in jail for publishing a column by a prominent Shi’ite Muslim cleric on his website.

The world’s top oil exporter follows the strict Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam and applies Islamic law, sharia. Judges base their decisions on their own interpretation of religious law rather than on a written legal code or on precedent.

Rattled by the uprisings that destabilised the Middle East in recent years, Riyadh intensified a crackdown on domestic dissent with arrests and prosecutions.

In April, prominent Saudi rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu al-Khair was detained incommunicado after appearing in court in Riyadh on sedition charges, according to his wife.

Also in April, a Saudi court sentenced an unidentified activist to six years in jail on charges including taking part in illegal demonstrations and organising women’s protests.

Another was sentenced to three years in jail for spreading lies against King Abdullah and inciting the public against him.

Reuters

Henry Sapiecha

PACK RAPE OF PORT MACQUARIE WOMAN LEAVES HER UNCONCIOUS

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A woman has told police she “passed out” after she was wrestled to the ground and gang-raped on her way home from a Port Macquarie nightclub.

Police believe three men approached the woman, 20, near a roundabout and pinned her to the ground in the early hours of Sunday. The group then took turns indecently assaulting her.

One of the men then allegedly raped her, before the trio left her unconscious on the ground.

Police have described the attack in the middle of the town as “disgusting” and “brazen”.

Port Macquarie Acting Superintendent Steve Clarke said the woman had been with friends at Altitude nightclub on William Street and left about 2.30am.

She told police she was walking along a footpath when a group approached her near the intersection of William and Murray streets – less than a few blocks from the nightclub.

After the group fled, a passer-by found the woman and called police.

“The seriousness, where it’s occurred and the obvious impact on the girl – it’s just disgusting,” Acting Superintendent Clarke said.

“The poor girl would be … I don’t know the right words to describe it. Obviously she would be devastated.”

The woman was taken to Port Macquarie Hospital where she received treatment for her injuries.

Acting Superintendent Clarke is hoping someone may have seen the group before or after the attack, especially because it occurred in the middle of the central business district.

“We are really keen to hear from anyone,” he said.

Police have described one of the attackers as of “Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander appearance, aged in his early 20s, with short, brown spiky hair and bushy eyebrows, wearing a red and white striped shirt and blue jeans”.

The other two men were only described as aged in their 20s.

Police were reviewing footage taken from nearby businesses and urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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