‘Peacekeepers’ accused of gang-raping Somali woman


This video about Somalia is called Amisom Rape Allegations.

From Sabahi:

Somalia: Human Rights Watch Criticises Response to Alleged Amisom Rape Case

11 November 2013

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called Monday (November 11th) for Somalia‘s government to order a new, impartial and transparent investigation into an alleged gang-rape by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldiers, AFP reported.

HRW said the response to the incident “has been marred by mismanagement, opacity, and the harassment of the female rape survivor and support service providers”.

A Somali woman alleged in August that she had been stopped on the streets of Mogadishu by three soldiers from the Somali National Army, blindfolded and forced into a car, before being handed over to AMISOM troops, where she says she was repeatedly raped.

The woman, in her late 20s with a young baby, was unconscious during the attack and says she does not know how many men raped her.

AMISOM said at the time it had launched an investigation. But Human Rights Watch said that “three months on, the government’s investigation into the case has been mismanaged and no findings have been made public”.

Somali civil society activists called on the government last week to complete the investigation and make the results public.

British Conservative politician charged with rape


This video is called Britain: Legislator Is Charged With Sexual Assault and Rape.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Deputy speaker Nigel Evans to be charged with sexual offences

Commons deputy speaker resigns from role after CPS announces charges of sexual assault, indecent assault and rape

Ben Quinn

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Nigel Evans has resigned as a House of Commons deputy speaker after the director of public prosecutions announced that the Conservative MP would be charged with sex offences against seven men.

The 55-year-old politician, who denies all of the allegations and pledged on Tuesday night to continue working as an MP from the backbenches, is accused of two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one rape count.

Evans, who represents the Ribble Valley constituency in Lancashire, answered bail on Tuesday having previously been arrested in May and June. He was rearrested and interviewed by detectives throughout the day before being charged. …

The indecent assaults are alleged to have been committed between 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2004; the sexual assaults between 1 January 2009 and 1 April 2013, and the rape between 29 March and 1 April 2013. He will appear before magistrates in Preston on 18 September.

Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, said on Tuesday night: “Following an investigation by Lancashire police, the Crown Prosecution Service has received a file of evidence in the case of Mr Nigel Evans MP which concerns allegations of a sexual nature.

“After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Mr Evans.

“Lancashire constabulary has therefore been authorised to charge two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape relating to a total of seven alleged victims.

“The decision in this case was taken by Joanne Cunliffe, an experienced specialist rape prosecutor, in consultation with John Dilworth, head of the CPS north-west complex casework unit, and in consultation with an external and highly experienced criminal QC.

“I have also been consulted on this case. The decision has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the CPS legal guidance on rape and sexual offences.”

In all of the cases, for which Evans was arrested in May and June, the complainants were men who were in their 20s at the time of the alleged offences.

Evans was first elected to parliament in 1992, regaining Ribble Valley from the Liberal Democrats at the general election in that year.

MP Nigel Evans moaned yesterday about facing “financial ruin” after clearing his name of sex assault charges in court — despite voting to cut legal aid for Britain’s poorest: here. And here.

Maldives raped girl anti-whipping victory


This video says about itself:

Aug 22, 2013

100 lashes sentence to Maldives girl

A 15-year-old girl who was sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex has had her punishment overturned by a Maldives court. …

The case caused outrage among rights groups who welcomed the latest ruling.

“We are relieved that the girl will be spared this inhumane ‘punishment’ based on an outrageous conviction, which we hope has also been quashed,” said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International‘s deputy Asia-Pacific director.

“No-one should ever be prosecuted for sex outside marriage in the first place.”

Ms Truscott said that flogging amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. She called on the Maldives government to annul all outstanding flogging sentences.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

High Court overturns flogging for raped girl

Thursday 22 August 2013

A Maldives court has overturned a public flogging sentence on a 15-year-old rape victim whose conviction sparked international outrage.

The High Court said on Wednesday that the girl had been wrongly convicted by a juvenile court of having premarital sex.

Her stepfather is on trial for her rape, though she was charged after police allegations that she had consensual sex with another man.

The court said the sentence had been based on a confession the child made while she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, adding she had been “unfit for trial.”

The Maldivian government had appealed on behalf of the teenager following an international outcry over the February sentence of 100 lashes when she reached the age of 18.

Premarital sex is illegal under Maldivian law, which is based on British common law but also has a sharia element.

Blaming rape victims in the USA


This video, from Wales, says about itself:

Is it possible that a woman who drinks, dances and flirts, ALL in a short skirt, is doing it for her own enjoyment? Rape. Sexual assault. Let’s STOP blaming the victim.

For more information and support visit http://www.stopblame.org or call the helpline on 0808 80 10 800.

If a woman gets raped in the United Arab Emirates, then she may get arrested. If a woman gets raped in Afghanistan, then she may be jailed. If a girl gets raped in the Maldives, then authorities may have her whipped. If a woman soldier gets raped in the United States armed forces, then she may be persecuted. In Somalia, police may rape a woman, and then jail her.

The problem is more widespread.

By Rebecca Leber in the USA:

Until Last Week, The Official Policy Of One Virginia City Was To Assume All Rape Victims Were Lying

August 13, 2013 at 11:18 am

Until last week, Norfolk, Virginia police classified sexual assault claims to be “unfounded” — or not valid — by default. According to the Virginian-Pilot, a 22-year-old woman’s case prompted Norfolk police chief Mike Goldsmith to update the policy so that officers must now assume rape victims are telling the truth.

The woman reported the attack immediately to police, only to be told, “If we find out that you’re lying, this will be a felony charge.” Before giving her a medical examination, officers subjected the woman to interrogations during which they said things like, “You’re telling us a different story than you told … the other detectives,” and “This only happened hours ago. Why can’t you remember?” Having had enough, the woman cut off the interview.

The police eventually arrested and charged the attacker for multiple other sexual assaults and felonies, and Goldsmith apologized for mishandling the woman’s initial allegations. Now that Goldsmith has updated the policy for handling sexual assault cases, the department will also undergo training for post-traumatic stress disorder and rape trauma.

Many other areas have this same problem. In light of a Baltimore investigation on the city’s high number of unfounded cases, the Police Executive Research Forum noted, “Unwarranted ‘unfounding’ of cases can result in offenders remaining free — and in victims losing trust in the justice system.” This classification also leads to lower reports of rape, because “unfounded” cases are not included in crime stats.

For law enforcement to assume that rape victims are usually lying is a gross misunderstanding of the number of false rape accusations. Only two to eight percent of reported rapes are false reports, and even fewer ever include a specific false accusation. In fact, the real problem is that most rapes go unreported.

Nearly one in four young men in Scotland still blame rape victims for drinking or dressing “provocatively,” alarming new research found today: here.

Dubai jails Norwegian woman for having been raped


This video is called Woman Sent To Jail For Getting Raped – Marte Deborah Dalelv.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Raped Norwegian warns about Dubai

Sunday 21 July 2013

by Our Foreign Desk

A Norwegian woman who was given a 16-month jail term in Dubai after reporting being raped has warned other outsiders about misunderstanding the city’s legal system.

Marte Deborah Dalelv had worked for an interior design firm in Qatar since 2011 and said she was sexually assaulted by a coworker while on a business trip to Dubai.

She said she fled down to the hotel reception, where staff questioned her desire to report the incident to the police.

Police gave the 24-year-old a medical examination and blood test for alcohol, she said.

She was then detained for four days, accused of having sex outside of marriage – a crime not normally pressed against foreigners.

Ms Dalelv called her stepfather in Norway from prison. “He answered the phone so I said that I had been raped, I am in prison … please call the embassy,” she said.

“And then I went back and I … just had a breakdown. It was very emotional, to call my dad and tell him what happened.”

Diplomats managed to secure her release and she is staying at the Norwegian Seamen’s Centre in Dubai while she prepares her September appeal.

Ms Dalelv said the man who attacked her was handed a 13-month sentence – three fewer than she got – for extra-marital sex and alcohol consumption.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth said: “This verdict flies in the face of our notion of justice,” calling it “highly problematic from a human rights perspective.”

UPDATE: as a result of public indignation, Ms Dalelv has been pardoned.
See also here. Unfortunately, her rapist was pardoned as well.

US women soldiers raped, then persecuted


This video is called The Invisible War (Rape In The US Army) Part 1.

And here come parts 2 to 6.

From Associated Press:

Stacey Thompson, Military Rape Victim, Says Retaliation Prevalent For Those Who Speak Out

By JULIE WATSON 05/31/13 06:22 AM ET EDT

SAN DIEGO — Stacey Thompson had just been stationed at Marine base in Japan when she said her sergeant laced her drinks with drugs, raped her in his barracks and then dumped her onto a street outside a nightclub at 4 a.m.

The 19-year-old lance corporal was not afraid to speak up.

She reported it to her superiors but little happened. She said she discovered her perpetrator was allowed to leave the Marine Corps and she found herself, instead, at the center of a separate investigation for drug use stemming from that night. Six months later, she was kicked out with an other-than-honorable discharge – one step below honorable discharge – which means she lost her benefits.

Now, 14 years later, she has decided to speak out again, emboldened by the mounting pressure on the Pentagon to resolve its growing sexual assault epidemic.

She went public with her story Thursday in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. She is among the scores of service members who have lived in silence for decades and are now stepping forward to fight for an overhaul of the military’s justice system and demand their own cases be re-examined.

“To see that what happened to me 14 years ago is still continuing to happen now, for me that was a big reason why I felt the need to come forward,” she said. “I can finally say I have the strength.”

Marine Corps and Navy officials declined to comment, saying they do not discuss specific cases. The Marine Corps has said it takes sexual assault allegations seriously and continues to improve in responding to and preventing rapes within the ranks. All branches have been implementing sexual assault prevention programs in the past year.

Retaliation is part of a military-wide pattern that has prevented countless cases from being reported and investigated, exacerbating the epidemic, according to victims’ advocates. A Pentagon report released earlier this month found 62 percent of sexual assault victims in the military who reported being attacked say they faced some kind of retaliation afterward.

“It’s an ongoing problem that is not getting better, it’s getting worse, as the latest statistics out of the Pentagon show,” said Brian Purchia, spokesman for Protect Our Defenders, which has been helping Thompson. “Unfortunately commanders are conflicted: When a sexual assault occurs on their watch, it reflects poorly on them and that’s why it’s shoved under the rug. The perpetrators frequently out rank the victims, which is also why there is this bias. They’re going to trust people they’ve known – not an 18 or 19-year-old just new to the service.”

Thompson said military culture will not change until the system changes. She will speak Friday at a news conference in Los Angeles with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to show her support for her bipartisan bill that would put the cases in the hands of military trained prosecutors.

Service members now must report any crimes to the chain of command, even when their superiors have been involved.

“Too many survivors of military sexual assault are afraid to report these crimes because they fear retaliation, and they don’t believe they will get justice,” Boxer said. “They deserve a system that encourages victims to come forward knowing that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.”

Thompson said she was not afraid to report the crime but paid heavily for doing so.

The investigator called her a liar, and military authorities checked her hands for needle pricks after accusing her of using drugs. She said she never used drugs. She was reassigned to another unit, removed from her job and told to report to an office, where she had nothing to do for months.

Then she was kicked out. She continues to suffer from her other-than-honorable discharge, which stripped her of her benefits and she believes has led to her missing out on Defense Department jobs.

“I felt the Marine Corps re-victimized me again after getting raped,” said the 32-year-old mother of three.

Thompson said she shut down after getting out, refusing to talk about her rape. She was afraid of men, especially Marines. To this day, she keeps her dog nearby when she showers and sleeps with lights on in her house, even when her combat Marine husband is home.

“That fear is still with me 14 years later,” she said.

But the fight is there too. Thompson requested her records in December. She said they showed the drug use allegations against her came from her perpetrator’s friends.

She is now appealing her case to the Department of Veterans Affairs and is seeking compensation related to military sexual trauma. After that, she plans to also appeal her discharge status to get it upgraded to honorable.

Several service members have filed lawsuits in the past two years, alleging retaliation after they reported being raped. Among them was another former Marine, Elle Helmer, who said in her lawsuit that after reporting her sexual assault in 2006, the military investigated her for public intoxication and unbecoming conduct. She left the military soon after.

The extent of the assaults came to light when the Pentagon released a report earlier this month estimating that as many as 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year and that thousands of victims are unwilling to come forward despite new oversight and assistance programs. That figure is an increase over the 19,000 estimated assaults in 2011.

Only 3,374 of these crimes were reported, resulting in just 238 convictions. The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing next week on legislation to combat military sexual assault, including the bill sponsored by Boxer and other lawmakers.

Britain: Lawyers for former soldier Donna Rayment, who alleged she was sexually assaulted whilst serving in the army, said yesterday they are going back to court in a bid to force a prosecution: here.

British Conservative sexual abuse scandal


This video from Britain is called Nigel Evans: Rape Arrest.

After earlier British Conservative party sexual abuse scandals, today from weekly The Observer in Britain:

Tory MP Nigel Evans arrested after sex assault claims by two men

Deputy speaker in House of Commons held and house searched following allegations

Lin Jenkins

Sunday 5 May 2013

MPs from across the political spectrum have expressed shock after the House of Commons deputy speaker and Conservative MP Nigel Evans was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

Detectives visited his home in Pendleton, Lancashire, on Saturday morning following allegations made by two men who were in their 20s at the time of the alleged attacks, which are said to have taken place at the property in July 2009 and March 2013.

The house and his car were searched by officers while Evans was held in custody at Preston police station. He was released on police bail until 19 June.

The prime minister, David Cameron, is understood to have been informed about the arrest of the 55-year-old, MP for Ribble Valley since 1992, one of the few Tory strongholds in the north.

Evans is openly gay, having come out as homosexual in 2010, the year he was elected to his current post. In the 2010 general election Evans retained his seat with a majority of 14,769 over Labour, with Ukip making a then strong showing in fourth place with 3,496, or 6.7% of the vote.

If the police take further action the Tory party will face the prospect of a potentially difficult byelection. With Ukip support surging, Nigel Farage’s party is bound to see the vacancy as an opportunity to establish a foothold in the House of Commons for the first time.

Lancashire police said: “A 55-year-old man from Pendleton in Lancashire has today, Saturday, 4 May 2013, been arrested by Lancashire Constabulary on suspicion of rape and sexual assault. The man will be interviewed at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day. The offences are alleged to have been committed in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013.”

Evans, who earns £102,000 a year as an MP and deputy speaker, was first elected as a councillor, while working in his family’s newsagent business, to West Glamorgan county council in 1985. Five years later he became leader of the Conservative group.

Evans is known as a rightwinger who voted against the minimum wage and is a strong Eurosceptic. Originally from Swansea, he was John Major’s spokesman on Welsh affairs. He held various positions as a parliamentary private secretary in Major’s government including to Tony Baldry in the ministry of agriculture, food and fisheries. In 1999 he was appointed as vice-chairman of the Conservative party, a post he held until 2001.

At the time of his coming out as gay he said he was tired of living a lie and dealing with threats of blackmail from political enemies. He came out at the launch of a parliamentary group set up to help MPs and staff at the Palace of Westminster to be open about their sexuality.

“I could not afford it to be used as leverage against me. I couldn’t take the risk. I don’t want any other MP to face that kind of nastiness again. I am sure there are other gay MPs who would like to be open about their sexuality but are fearful of the consequences. I hope this new group will help them to do so,” he said.

In an interview shortly after announcing he was gay he said he regretted supporting section 28, the law introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government banning the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities in schools.

He said: “I was confused about how to protect youngsters at school. The law did the opposite of what was intended. We shouldn’t have been telling young people that being gay was wrong.”

Asked in a newspaper interview why it had taken him so long to publicly disclose his sexuality, he said: “Growing up in the 60s, it just wasn’t done.

“There were just as many gay politicians as there are now but none of them was out. I realised I was gay when I was about 12 or 13, though at the time I wished I wasn’t. I thought I might just be going through a phase and that it would fade away. I had a girlfriend.

“I suppressed it. In those days you kept it quiet. It was more or less impossible to enter politics – in either party – as an openly gay person. When Margaret Thatcher was asked about homosexuals in the party, she said: ‘Oh, we don’t talk about those sort of things.’ It was all swept under the carpet.”

UKIP Scotland spokesman under fire for saying ‘selfish’ gays want to ‘destroy our society’: here.