04 Sep 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's rights


Iran: Arrests of lawyers and women’s rights activists signal intensifying crackdown on civil society
Amnesty International, 03 Sep 2018

The Iranian authorities have arbitrarily arrested three human rights lawyers and a women’s rights activist over the past four days, as part of an escalating crackdown to quash Iran’s civil society completely and leave human rights defenders in a suffocating climate of fear, Amnesty International said today. Human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist Hoda Amid was arrested at her home on 1 September, just a day after the arrests of human rights lawyers Payam Derafshan and Farokh Forouzan. Payam Derafshan and Farokh Forouzan were arrested on 31 August while visiting the home of another recently jailed lawyer, Arash Keykhosravi, in the city of Karaj, north-west of Tehran.

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Malaysian Muslim lesbian couple caned in public punishment
The Washington Post, 03 Sep 2018

Two Malaysian Muslim women convicted under Islamic laws of attempting to have sex were caned Monday in a rare public whipping that was slammed by lawmakers and rights activists as a form of torture. Lawyers and activists said the women, aged 22 and 32, were seated on stools facing the judges and given six strokes from a light rattan cane on their backs by female prison officers. More than 100 people witnessed the caning in a Shariah courtroom in northeast Terengganu state, they said.

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Tanzania: Tarime On Alert As FGM Season Nears
All Africa, 03 Sep 2018

With only a few months remaining before the next Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) season in Mara Region, Children's Dignity Forum (CDF), a non-governmental organisation, is intensifying campaigns in order to save schoolgirls from undergoing the cut. The NGO conducted its latest anti-FGM public awareness campaign in the village of Mbogi Ward in Tarime District on Saturday.

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Warning system in airport toilet cubicles to help victims of FGM
The Guardian, 31 Aug 2018

Travellers who fear they are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) or trafficking can now alert the authorities through a colour-coded warning system in airport toilet cubicles. Stickers displayed in toilets at Birmingham airport ask passengers at risk of FGM, trafficking or modern-day slavery to call West Midlands police. Each cubicle is assigned a colour, so that specialist staff can identify and reach anyone who needs support.

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Saudi Arabia banned from advertising reform agenda on British TV
The Guardian, 28 Aug 2018

Saudi Arabia has in effect been banned from paying to promote its reform agenda on British television after a ruling by the media regulator. The kingdom had paid to air a minute-long advert – which included images of women driving, cinemas being reopened and members of the Saudi royal family – during this year’s visit to the UK by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudi government said the advert, which was broadcast 56 times in three days on Sky 1, was simply designed to promote trade with the UK. Ofcom, however, decided that Riyadh had been attempting to influence British public opinion and had broken the UK’s strict ban on paid political advertising on television and radio stations.

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