Leaders must boycott G20 summit over Saudi rights abuses | Law | The Times

Saudi Arabia will host the G20 summit starting on Saturday, a date that marks almost a month since Loujain al-Hathloul, a local women’s rights activist who has been in prison for two years, started a hunger strike to protest against being barred from seeing her family.

Hathloul is not the only activist suffering at the hands of the Saudi government. She was one of several women arrested at different points in 2018 for fighting for women’s rights. While some have now been released pending trial, Nouf Abdulaziz, Aida al-Ghamdi, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah remain detained in unacceptable conditions.

They have suffered enormous injustice at the hands of the Saudi government, especially since Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, assumed the reins of control. In a cruel twist, shortly after they were arrested, it was announced that one of the things they were fighting for — the right to drive — would be granted.

In a recent report for the human rights institute of the International Bar Association, I urged participant states to demand the immediate release of these women. The country’s leaders should refuse to attend the summit until this is done. A boycott will send the clear message that human rights abuses will no longer be tolerated.

Saudi Arabia should not have been allowed to host the summit after the murder of Khashoggi. We cannot allow the detention and torture of women activists to become another transgression that the world is willing to ignore. There must come a point at which impunity for crimes must end and that point has arrived.

Source: Leaders must boycott G20 summit over Saudi rights abuses | Law | The Times

Mexico police open fire on femicide protest in Cancún | Global development | The Guardian

 

Human rights activists in Mexico have expressed indignation after police opened fire on protesters who tried to force their way into Cancún city hall during a demonstration against the country’s femicide crisis.

Four journalists were injured in the incident late on Monday, including two who suffered bullet wounds. Eight protesters were reportedly detained after the shooting.

The demonstration was called after the dismembered body of 20-year-old Bianca “Alexis” Lorenzana, was found, days after she disappeared. It was the latest in a string of grisly crimes against women and girls in the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo.

Approximately 10 women are murdered in Mexico each day, prompting protests by an increasingly outspoken feminist movement over successive governments’ apparent inability to stem the violence.

Source: Mexico police open fire on femicide protest in Cancún | Global development | The Guardian

Transgender Activist Ordered To Stand Trial For Oakland Triple Murder – CBS San Francisco

A transgender activist and former teacher was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on three counts of murder for the shooting and stabbing deaths of a teenage man and two women in East Oakland in November 2016.

Dana Rivers, 63, of San Jose, is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on March 21 to have her trial date set.

She’s accused of killing 19-year-old Toto M. Diambu, who was also known as Benny Diambu Wright, 57-year-old Patricia Wright and 56-year-old Charlotte Reed.

Oakland police who came to the gruesome scene said Rivers was covered with blood, was holding a gasoline canister and was about to flee when she was arrested by officers who responded to reports of gunfire at a house in the 9400 block of Dunbar Drive at about 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2016.

Source: Transgender Activist Ordered To Stand Trial For Oakland Triple Murder – CBS San Francisco

Rivers was an organizer and participant in “Camp Trans”, the largest organized protest in transgender history. Camp trans was a campaign against the rights of lesbians to hold an annual women-only music festival called “Michfest” on private land.

After 40 years Michfest buckled under the pressure of the boycott and ceased to exist in 2016.

A few months later, in November 2016, David Warfield/Dana Rivers went on to brutally batter, then stab, shoot, and burn two women who were long time Michfest attendees and their adopted son. David/Dana was charged with stabbing, shooting, and beating Patricia Wright and Charlotte Reed and their son Benny, and then burning them.

Source: https://www.gendertrending.com/2019/08/13/media-blackout-on-dana-rivers-michfest-murder-trial/

 

Deaths in custody: David Dungay’s mother tells NSW parliament ‘the system is broken’ | Indigenous Australians | The Guardian

The mother of David Dungay, an Aboriginal man who died after being held face down by five Sydney prison guards, said it was a “slap in the face” that the public prosecutor would not investigate whether criminal offences might have been committed by the officers involved.

Aboriginal women who are fleeing domestic violence and find themselves homeless are reluctant to access support services for fear of losing their children to the foster care system, they said.

“It’s harder for women to get support these days,” the Women’s Legal Service’s First Nations community officer, Gail Thorne, said.

The Redfern Legal Centre lawyer Samantha Lee said it was common for Aboriginal women who call the police to report domestic violence to end up in custody themselves.

“The police then go to speak to the husband and they form the view that they are going to take the husband’s story and put that ahead of the woman’s story, and what they do is end up arresting the person who has called triple zero and place them into custody.

“One of the problems is [police] are quick to judge and usually they are very quick to judge First Nations people and women.”

The parliamentary inquiry has been set up to look into “the unacceptably high level” of Aboriginal people in custody, the suitability of the organisations that investigate deaths, and how they could be improved.

Source: Deaths in custody: David Dungay’s mother tells NSW parliament ‘the system is broken’ | Indigenous Australians | The Guardian

Transgender Serial Killer Who Took Selfie in Dress of Murder Victim Will Seek Gender Surgery on Release | Women Are Human

AU — New South Wales. A serial killer who photographed himself wearing the dress of the fiancée he had just bludgeoned to death is due for release into society. The killer, who began referring to himself in the feminine during his prison stay, is expecting to receive taxpayer-funded gender-affirming plastic surgery following release.
Reginald Arthurell has served 23 years of the 24-year sentence he was handed after murdering 54-year-old Venet Raylee Mulhall in 1995.

Mr Arthurell was an inmate with two manslaughter convictions on his record when, through letters, he charmed Ms Mulhall, a devout Christian serving in the Prison Fellowship. The convict was baptized in prison after claiming he had found God due to Ms Mulhall’s influence. A divorced mother of four, Ms Mulhall was five years Mr Arthurell’s senior, with a face left permanently paralyzed and disfigured by an operation to remove a brain tumor. She helped Mr Arthurell secure parole, agreeing to have him released into her care.

Source: Transgender Serial Killer Who Took Selfie in Dress of Murder Victim Will Seek Gender Surgery on Release | Women Are Human

Hundreds of women detained in latest Belarus protests

Thousands of women marched in protests in Minsk over the weekend, calling for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Since the country’s election on August 9, mass protests, attended mostly by women, have been weekly occurrences in the Belarusian capital of more than 2 million people.

Critics of Lukashenko’s leadership purport that voting was rigged and that opposition rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya should have been rightfully elected. Fearing for her safety, Tikhanovskaya has since taken refuge in Lithuania.

Source: Hundreds of women detained in latest Belarus protests

300 years on, will thousands of women burned as witches finally get justice?

It spanned more than a century and a half, and resulted in about 2,500 people – the vast majority of them women – being burned at the stake, usually after prolonged torture. Remarkably, one of the driving forces behind Scotland’s “satanic panic” was no less than the king, James VI, whose treatise, Daemonologie, may have inspired the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Now, almost 300 years after the Witchcraft Act was repealed, a campaign has been launched for a pardon for those convicted, an apology to all those accused and a national memorial to be created.

“In Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, there are monuments to all sorts of men on horseback, and even a full-size statue of a named bear. But there is nothing to commemorate the hundreds, if not thousands, who died as a result of one of the most horrible miscarriages of justice in Scottish history,” Mitchell said.

Those arrested under the Witchcraft Act were usually tortured into making confessions. Women, who made up 84% of the accused, were not permitted to give evidence at their own trials. Those convicted were strangled and burned at the stake so there was no body to bury.

Source: 300 years on, will thousands of women burned as witches finally get justice? | Scotland | The Guardian

Pregnant woman, 28, arrested in front of kids inside her home over Facebook post ‘slamming lockdown’

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Zoe Lee was handcuffed and charged with incitement in front of her children and partner at home while wearing her pyjamas in Victoria, Australia.

Several officers entered the house in Ballarat, northwest of Melbourne, with a search warrant and began reading the young mother her rights.

The offending post said: “Anyone from Ballarat please join us in our fight for freedom and human rights!”

However, Ms Lee’s “peaceful protest” even stressed that attendees follow restrictions like wearing masks and social distancing “so we don’t get arrested.”

Source: Pregnant woman, 28, arrested in front of kids inside her home over Facebook post ‘slamming lockdown’

Parramatta Girls Home Employed Child Sex Offenders

The Parramatta Girls Training School was an institution sadly run like many others throughout the 1950s to the 1970s.

Sexual abuse, psychological abuse and state-sanctioned slave labour weren’t just accepted regular practice at Parramatta Girls Home – these crimes were built into the foundation of the organisation.

Superintendent Percy Mayhew ruled Parramatta Girls Home like a ruthless warlord. He taught new officers to fondle, beat and rape the girls.

Parramatta Girls Home was the largest institution in New South Wales for girls.

Inmates were a mix of juvenile offenders, girls charged with exposure to moral danger and those deemed “uncontrollable” by the Children’s Magistrate.

Attempts to fight the system led to solitary confinement, or worse – the girls would be threatened with a trip on the overnight train to the dreaded Hay Institute (a maximum security prison for girls in the Riverina district that remained a guarded state secret until the early 2000’s).

Source: Parramatta Girls Home Employed Child Sex Offenders – Kelso Lawyers

I’m here to call out the psychiatric diagnosis of victims of sexual abuse and violence.

It’s time to stop the practice of diagnosing humans with psychiatric labels and allow them to naturally experience distress, trauma and shock when they are abused and violated by another human being. 

Borderline Personality Disorder has a pretty (shall we say… inclusive?) set of criteria, meaning that most of us who have ever experienced a period of distress would fill enough criteria for a diagnosis.

In fact, a piece of research by Middleton (2013) showed that people who have experienced a complex trauma such as sexual abuse, neglect, rapes or exploitation, on average, would have enough ‘symptoms’ to be diagnosed with between 10 and 12 disorders at any one time. You read that right.

Instead of saying:

“You are showing symptoms of BPD. That’s why you are feeling like this. Not the abuse. You have a personality disorder. Here are some pills that will mask the feelings.”

Why can’t we simply say:

“You have seen and experienced things that have changed your life. Those people hurt you and they have scared you. They have changed the way you react to certain environments and feelings. They have heightened your senses and your emotions. And you know what? That’s totally normal and totally understandable. You are entitled to respond like this. Is there anything I can do to help you to cope with these feelings and thoughts? What do you need right now? What helps and what hinders you?”

Source: I’m here to call out the psychiatric diagnosis of victims of sexual abuse and violence.