Equal prayers for Jewish women in Israel?


This 20 July 2017 video is a satiric animated cartoon from the Women of the Wall movement in Israel.

It says about itself:

Bibi froze The Wall

Give us a couple of minutes, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Kotel Agreement, and make you laugh in the process.

It is about Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu reneging on an earlier plan to give women more praying rights at the Kotel (Western wall) in Jerusalem.

Being pro-democracy is ‘terrorism’ in Bahrain


This video says about itself:

Ebtisam Al Saegh: We are looking forward to a decision that protects human rights defenders

23 September 2016

A Bahraini human rights defender who works for Salam for Human Rights and Democracy, Ebtisam Al Saegh was recently prevented from leaving her home country.

That was then. Now, things are even worse for her.

From Amnesty International:

Bahrain: Human rights defender charged with terrorism

19 July 2017, 18:08 UTC

Her only ‘crime’, is her bravery in challenging the government’s appalling human rights record.

Samah Hadid, Middle-East director of Campaigns for Amnesty International

The Bahraini authorities’ decision to bring terrorism charges against Ebtissam al-Saegh, a human rights defender detained since 3 July 2017, is a chilling blow to human rights in the country, said Amnesty International.

Ebtisam al-Saegh was previously tortured, including by being sexually assaulted by members of the Bahrain National Security agency while she was held in custody last May.

“Ebtisam al-Saegh is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released. Her only ‘crime’, is her bravery in challenging the government’s appalling human rights record. By charging her with terrorism for her work on human rights, the Bahraini government is itself attempting to intimidate and silence civil society in Bahrain,” said Samah Hadid, Director of Campaigns for the Middle-East at Amnesty International.

“Amnesty International has strong reasons to believe that Ebtisam al-Saegh is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. When she was arrested in May 2017 she was beaten and sexually assaulted by members of the National Security Agency. We are deeply concerned for her well-being.

“There must be public outcry over the deteriorating situation in Bahrain. The silence of the UK government, which continues to insist that Bahrain is on a path to human rights reform, is deafening and shameful, and appears to have played a part in emboldening the Bahraini government to commit more human rights violations.”

Ebtisam al-Saegh was charged on 18 July 2017, in the presence of a lawyer, by the Terrorism Crimes Prosecution office, with “using human rights work as a cover to communicate and cooperate with Al Karama Foundation to provide them with information and fake news about the situation in Bahrain to undermine its status abroad”. She has been detained for six months pending completion of the investigation.

Ebtisam al-Saegh was arrested on 3 July 2017 after tweeting about the abuse of female detainees in Isa Town detention centre for women. She has been on hunger strike since, in protest at her arrest, her lack of access to her family and the fact that her lawyer is not allowed to attend her interrogation despite her requests to this effect.

Amnesty International learned that she was being interrogated for 12 to 13 hours daily at an undisclosed location. When not interrogated, she is being held in solitary confinement at the Isa Town detention centre for women, on the outskirts of Manama.

On 15 July, prominent human rights defender and prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab, told his family that he had seen Ebtisam al-Saegh on a stretcher at the Ministry of Interior medical facility in al-Qalaa and asked them whether she had been involved in a car accident. He was unaware of her arrest.

Ebtisam al-Saegh’s husband who was able to visit her for a few minutes on 16 July said she was in a wheelchair at the time.

Saudi woman arrested for miniskirt


This video says about itself:

Saudi Arabian Woman Arrested For Wearing Mini Skirt In Public

18 July 2017

A woman in Saudi Arabia has been arrested for a video that was widely shared online which showed her strolling along an empty street wearing a skirt and crop top, Saudi state TV channel Ekhbariya reported on Tuesday.

The clip had incensed some social media users in the conservative Muslim kingdom who vented their anger using the hashtag “Model Khulood must be tried” — a reference to what they said was the woman’s Snapchat name.

The video of the woman was uploaded to Snapchat over the weekend. It was rapidly shared across the internet by people who supported her display and – perhaps more interesting – by those who opposed it, resulting in an official investigation.

In the short clip, filmed mostly from behind, the woman is shown walking through the ruins of an ancient fort in Ushaiager, a town in Najd province. Najd is the birthplace of the country’s ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement.

In response to calls for the woman’s arrest, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which employs the Saudi religious police, wrote on Twitter on Monday that it had “intercepted a clip of a girl in inappropriate clothing” and had opened an investigation with the “relevant authorities.”

On Tuesday the state TV channel said she had been detained.

“Riyadh police have detained the woman who appeared in indecent clothing in Ushaiqir and referred her to the public prosecutor,” Ekhbariya said on its official Twitter account, including the popular hashtag.

Saudi law imposes stringent rules on women’s appearance and behaviour. Saudi women are required to wear a black garment, called an abaya, that covers everything but the face, feet and hands. They must also keep their heads covered, and are not permitted to drive, or to socialise with men who are not related to them.

According to Dutch NOS TV today, Khulood may now be punished by flogging or imprisonment if she is from a non-elite family. If she is from a rich family, that probably won’t happen.

Saudi police hunting woman for wearing miniskirt


This video says about itself:

Saudi Arabia investigates woman who wore miniskirt in public

17 July 2017

A Saudi woman who posted a video of herself wearing a miniskirt and crop top in public is being investigated by the country’s religious police.

The young woman, a model reportedly called Khulood, posted the short clip on Snapchat showing herself walking around a historic fort in Ushaiger.

Ushaiger Heritage Village, which is about 96 miles from Riyadh, is in Najd – one of the country’s most conservative provinces.

Since the video was shared online, many Saudis have called for Khulood to be arrested for breaking the country’s strict dress code.

Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear ‘abayas’ – loose-fitting, full-length robes – and headscarves.

According to the BBC, journalist Khaled Zian tweeted: ‘The return of the Haia [religious police] here is a must.’

And another user argued: ‘We should respect the laws of the country.

In France, the niqab is banned and women are fined if they wear it. In Saudi Arabia, wearing abayas and modest clothing is part of the kingdom’s laws.’

But many other Saudis came to the woman’s defence, calling her ‘brave’ and pointing out the hypocrisy of calling for her arrest, while praising western women who dress in the same way.

Wael al-Gassim, the writer and philosopher, told the BBC he was ‘shocked to see those angry, scary tweets’. ‘I thought she had bombed or killed somebody. The story turned out to be about her skirt, which they did not like,’ he said.

Some also noted that Melania Trump chose not to wear an abaya during her husband’s visit to Saudi in May, and yet was praised for her choice of dress.

Fatima al-Issa tweeted in Arabic: ‘If she were a foreigner, they would sing about the beauty of her waist and the enchantment of her eyes… But because she is Saudi they are calling for her arrest.’

Saudi’s religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, tweeted that it was aware of the video and was in contact with the relevant authorities.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Police in Saudi Arabia are hunting a woman in miniskirt

Today, 08:44

The religious police in Saudi Arabia are investigating a video of a woman wearing a short skirt and top. Also, she does not have a headscarf.

The young woman was filmed as she walked through the historic town Ushaiger. The police still do not know who she is.

Oppressing women for wearing miniskirts is as despiceable as, in other countries, oppressing them for wearing maxiskirts, headscarves or so called ‘burqas’.

United States pro-peace woman interviewed in Britain


This 12 July 2017 video from the Stop the War coalition in Britain says about itself:

Medea Benjamin: Trump, The Special Relationship & The ‘War on Terror

Known for her fearless protests in the face of US presidents and author of the books Drone Warfare and Kingdom of the Unjust, Medea Benjamin, has become one of the 21st century’s most prominent activists. Tune in and listen to her thoughts on Trump, the “special relationship“, arms sales to Saudi Arabia & the “War on Terror

English racist anti-Muslim women violence


This video from England says about itself:

Maz Saleem at Cambridge Stand Up to Racism

7 November 2015

Campaigner Maz Saleem talks about her experiences after her father was murdered by far-right racist terrorists.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Spate of attacks on Muslim women prompts protest

Thursday 13th July 2017

CAMPAIGNERS will hold a demonstration in Cambridge today in response to a spate of “cowardly” attacks on Muslim women in the city.

The past week has seen an escalation in targeted attacks on hijab-wearing women including an incident where a mother was abused while collecting her children from Mayfield School. When onlookers came to her aid they were also attacked.

In a separate nearby incident a Muslim woman had an egg thrown at her from a passing car.

Campaigners said that the attacks have led to the victims feeling “insecure, fearful and reluctant to leave the house.”

In response, campaign group Stand Up to Racism is co-ordinating a Solidarity Walking School Bus in which parents, children and supporters will show their solidarity with the victims by walking together along the route where the school run attack took place.

The group aims to show that “anti-racists are the vast majority and that we won’t let the weak but nasty racist minority divide us.”

Local Labour MP Daniel Zeichner said: “Racism and Islamophobia has no place in our society.

“Any attack on a person because of the colour of their skin or religious belief is an attack on us all.”

Protest organiser Zareen Taj, who is also a parent-governor at Mayfield School, said: “The local community based around the school immediately rallied around to show their solidarity with the women faced with these cowardly attacks.

“By organising a Solidarity Walking School Bus we aim both to support them, but also to show that racists are a tiny minority, and are not welcome here.”

The rally will leave Mayfield Primary School on Warwick Road at 3.15pm today.

Korean sex slaves of Japanese army, first video ever


This video from South Korea says about itself:

Footage of Korean women sexually enslaved by Japanese soldiers in WWII revealed for the first time

Japan’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War Two

More than just another unresolved issue that strains bilateral relations, there are survivors of the atrocity and their families who more than deserve apology and compensation.

However, Tokyo has been devoted to denying and burrying its wartime sins.

At long last crucial evidence that should aid efforts to corner Japan into acknowledging historic facts and facing reality has been found.
Lee Ji-won tells us more.

Women,… with faces full of fear,… are lined up against a wall.

A man, presumed to be a Chinese officer, talks to them.

This short 18 second video is of seven Korean women sexually enslaved by the Japanese soldiers in Yunnan province, southwest China, around the end of World War II.

It is the first-ever video footage of Korean victims that has been found. On Wednesday, Seoul city and Professor Chung Chin-sung of Seoul National University unveiled the video from 1944,… which had been stored in the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States for over 70 years.

Previously,… footage of Chinese comfort women had been found,… but there were only pictures and documents on the Korean comfort women.

But after the professor and his research team were certain that a video on the Korean victims existed, they spent two years searching for the footage,… and they finally found what they were looking for amongst hundreds of film reels last month.

The footage was taken by an American combat photographer just after the region was reclaimed from Japan by the Chinese. During World War II, an estimated 200-thousand women, mostly Koreans, were kidnapped and forced to become sex slaves for Japanese troops.

While an agreement between Korea and Japan was made by the previous Park Geun-hye administration in 2015,… where Japan financially compensated the victims with one billion yen, or about 8-point-9 million U.S. dollars, thousands of citizens and the surviving victims criticized and refused the deal as Tokyo claimed there was no evidence of the Japanese military forcing the enslavement of women.

But with Korea’s newly elected President Moon Jae-in calling for renegotiation of the deal,… the research team says that they hope the footage will work as a tool to open up such talks. “We hope the new findings will bring the public’s attention and interest on the matter,… so that when President Moon has his first bilateral talk with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, at the G20 summit later this week, an atmosphere for renegotiation can be made.”

With only 38 Korean victims still alive,… the research team stressed their determination to uncover this video evidence of Japan’s sexual slavery so that there’s a chance for the issue to be resolved within their lifetimes.

Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.