• GAGGING THE GAYS

    Human Rights

    Civil Rights – Even though the anti-gay propaganda law is still pending, Russian lawmakers are striving to “spread” the law as they’re renewing their call to ban anything publicly gay. St. Petersburg’s terminology of “homosexual propaganda” is just another explicit example of their intolerance.

    The ban is essentially this: LGBT gatherings are forbidden in public areas. Because it’s clearly propaganda. Don’t worry, it’s to protect the impressionable minds of children.

    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak drew some atrocious parallels between homosexuality and pedophilia. To add insult to injury, he called [homosexuality] “disgusting activity” before explaining that, “We should think about this topic on a federal level.”

    Regional governor Georgy Poltavchenko reaffirmed Kozak, stressing how the ban would “serve for the good of public morals” and that “There is nothing more abominable than propaganda regarding such things.”

    With much conviction, prominent gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev tweeted, “Now Kozak and Poltavchenko have backed the bill on propaganda of homosexuality, even at a federal level. It really looks as if they’re going to pass it.”

    Nazi-esque homophobia runs strong in the Arkhangelsk and Ryazan regions of Russia as they have already adopted very similar anti-propaganda laws.

    LGBT groups call for the help of the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights to nix the bill. And to the dismay of these figures like Kozak and Poltavchenko, the State Department has criticized the proposal.

    Read more at Think Progress.

  • ACTIVISET RELEASED

    Human Rights

    Human Rights – Mona Eltahawy, a New York based blogger, award-winning columnist, feminist activist, and public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues, was arrested, beaten, and sexually assaulted by police in Cairo Wednesday. Twelve-hours after her arrest, her friends, family, and thousands of her Twitter followers got the simple message, “I AM FREE.”

    The prominent Egyptian-American who carries dual citizenship was filming the protests in Tahrir square with an award-winning American filmmaker and journalist, Jehane Nojaim, who was also arrested.

    After her release and following hours of questioning, Eltahway said that her “right hand and left arm were broken on Wednesday night by riot police who dragged her by the hair and groped her between the legs.”

    Eltahway said she had been held “for several hours being questioned by the Interior Ministry and Military Intelligence officials before being released” and that they “acted like animals.”

    “I think when they realised I had dual citizenship they were aware they had to be more careful,” she said. “Eventually they apologized for the police behaviour and sent me home in a taxi.”

    Later, via Twitter, she released several disturbing tweets of her experience:

    • 5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded by breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers.
    • They are dogs and their bosses are dogs. Fuck the Egyptian police.
    • Besides beating me, the dogs of CSF subjected me to the worst sexual assault ever
    • Yes sexual assault. I’m so used to saying harassment but those fuckings assaulted me.
    • The past 12 hrs were painful and surreal but I know I got off much much easier than so many other Egyptians.
    • God knows what wuld’ve happened if I wasn’t dual citizen (tho they brought up detained US students) & that I wrote/appeared various media.
    • The whole time I was thinking about article I would write; just you fuckers wait.

    This is yet another disturbing example of the brutality happening globally. And yet, people are not backing down.

    Speedy recovery Eltahway, we can’t wait to read your article.

    Read more at Global PostMSNBC, and Jezebel.

    Follow her on Twitter.

  • RESCUING HAITIAN ORPHANS

    Human Rights

    Authorities permanently closed a Haitian orphanage on Friday due to children living in unsanitary conditions.

    After accusations by a group of U.S. Christian organizations stating that Maccene Hypolitte, The Son of God orphanage director “of neglect, physical abuse and human trafficking,” Hypolitte was arrested in July on suspicion of involvement in child trafficking. Though he has been jailed “pending a judicial investigation” he has not yet been charged.

    After investigations, Haitian officials sealed off the orphanage and the “46 children who lived there were loaded into a UNICEF bus and taken to new homes.”

    Maria Andree Hypolite, the director’s wife, who has been running the orphanage with their daughter, since his incarceration, stated that “the poor conditions of the orphanage, including dirty mattresses on the floor, holes in the concrete walls and the smell of urine, were proof that the family was not involved in any criminal activity.”

    Diem Pierre of the Institute of Welfare and Research stated that the children looked “as though they hadn’t eaten” and “looked malnourished.”

    Seth Barnes, executive director of Adventures in Missions, based in Gainesville, Ga, stated that after a visit to the orphanage last year to “check on donations of clothes and other goods and to see if the children needed any help” they knew there was a problem.

    Barnes stated “they found that donated clothes had gone missing and donated food disappeared from storerooms even as the children appeared to be going hungry.” He added that some children “simply vanished without any records or adequate explanation from the staff at the orphanage.”

    The missionaries are relieved to see that the Haitian officials acted on their report and shut the orphanage down.

    Read more at Hosted AP.

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