Police Use Water Cannons On Women In India Protesting Rape

[The report of multiple rapes and hangings horrified millions, and throughout India angry protests by women were brutally suppressed by police.  The official response, dismissive of women’s rights, was clear; as The Daily Mail reported, “Three men have been arrested over the killings. Two policemen were held on suspicion of trying to cover up the crime…..Shortly after the incident, a lawmaker from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party described rape as a social crime, saying ‘sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong.’  The controversial remarks came as political leaders of Uttar Pradesh – the state where the two cousins aged 12 and 14 were raped and hanged – faced criticism for failing to visit the scene.  Another regional politician from Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said the crime of rape could only be considered to have been committed if it is reported to police.”  –Frontlines ed.]

Shannon Greenwood, ThinkProgress.org, June 3, 2014

Women protesting the rape and murder of two teenage girls are sprayed with water cannons by police in Lucknow, India on Monday.

Women protesting the rape and murder of two teenage girls are sprayed with water cannons by police in Lucknow, India on Monday.

The brutal gang-rape and murder of two teenage cousins in India last week has sparked a new wave of protests across the country as sexual violence and the government’s response returns to the spotlight.

The two girls, who went missing last Tuesday night after leaving their home in search of a place to find a place to relieve themselves, were found raped and hung from a mango tree in their village the following morning.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014 IMAGE TAKEN FROM VIDEO, BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE, INDIA OUT The father of one of the victims reported the girls missing to authorities, but said it took more than 12 hours for police to begin their effort to find them — by then it was too late. Four suspects have since been arrested, two of whom are police officers.

Continue reading

India: When the State is indifferent to rape, the people take the streets

[Increasingly, acts of protest and resistance are denounced or dismissed as “Maoist” by the the state.  —  Frontlines ed.]

When the ‘Maoists’ Took Over the Streets of Kolkata

Why did the Kamduni incident – the rape and murder of a young college student and the utterly insensitive handling of the issue by the West Bengal government and the ruling Trinamool Congress – spark off such a huge reaction to bring together a wide spectrum of civil society under one umbrella in Kolkata on 21 June?

Vol – XLVIII No. 29, July 20, 2013 Rajashri Dasgupta, EPW

Rajashri Dasgupta (rajashridasgupta@gmail.com) is an independent Kolkata-based journalist specialising on issues related to gender, health, democratic rights and social movements.Civil society members take out a procession in Kolkata to protest the rise in crime against women and recent incidents of rape in West Bengal. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

It was a hot and muggy afternoon on 21 June, when in an incredible display of public solidarity and defiance, thousands of people marched through the streets of Kolkata in silent protest. There were no political parties to manage the swelling numbers, no brandishing of political flags to claim victory for any organisation. Led by respected intellectuals, people poured in from all corners of the city as well as its outskirts to show their support and solidarity – elderly people, some with sticks and crutches; homemakers, for many of whom it was their first rally; working people who spontaneously got off buses or skipped work. There were students in large numbers with banners and placards, teachers, villagers holding hands for safety in an unfamiliar place, rights activists distributing leaflets, feminists with colourful posters, non-governmental organisation workers, actors, academics and journalists – all came together to protest the spurt in crimes against women in the state.

The protest was triggered by the gang-rape and murder of a young college girl Sheila (not her real name) in Kamduni village, Barasat district on 7 June and the insensitive handling of the incident by the state government. It was for the first time that the city, famous for its processions, witnessed an outpouring from such a wide cross-section of society, about an issue generally left to women’s groups and feminists to battle: the safety and security of women.

The rally of more than 10,000 strong was also a political expression of indignation against the constant bogey of “the other” raised by the ruling party to gag dissent. Suddenly, from one section of the rally, young men and women raised slogans demanding azaadi (freedom), startling this reporter since the word is usually associated with the Kashmir issue. For the people of Bengal that afternoon, however, the rallying cry of azaadi snowballed to take on a larger significance. It not only meant freedom of women from violence, but also implied the freedom of citizens to live without fear, the freedom to speak up, to question, and the freedom to protest. Since 2011, with the promise of paribartan (change) that had swept Mamata Banerjee to power in West Bengal, defeating an almost invincible Left Front (LF) rule of 34 years, the chief minister has silenced every question, protest or any whiff of dissent, real or imaginary, by dismissing it as a conspiracy against her from her opponents, whom she dubbed the “Maoists”. Continue reading

Canada: Against Rape and Violence Against Women, The Global Struggle Continues to Grow

Halifax, Nova Scotia protest of the rape and murder of Rehtaeh Parsons

Halifax, Nova Scotia protest of the rape of Rehtaeh Parsons

End violence against women, justice for Rehtaeh Parsons!
National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC) — National statement
For immediate release — April 12, 2013

Toronto, ON–Members of the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC) are deeply saddened and mourn the loss of Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17 year old high school student from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Rehtaeh’s young life was taken away by the grief of a crime committed against her dignity and humanity as a woman. As the news of her rape and the cyberbullying inflicted on her fill the mainstream media, we are reminded of the ongoing brutality of crimes perpetuated against women. We are also reminded that our escalating victimization and violation continue to be bolstered by the institution of patriarchy and male domination in its effort to further subordinate and subjugate women in this society.

Moreover, we are angered and appalled by the obvious neglect of the RCMP to treat Rehtaeh’s tortuous ordeal as a case of violence. By turning a blind eye on the seriousness and the gravity of the assault, the RCMP shows their complicity in condoning the actions of the perpetrators. Thus, their outright denial to do an investigation, when the case was brought to their attention, was and continues to be an outright denial of her worth and value as a woman.

Rehtaeh’s tragic death, along with the countless experiences of women who have been raped, sexually assaulted, physically beaten, and violated on the streets, in schools, and workplaces, is a testament of the increasing and continuing attacks against women’s bodies and women’s lives. We refuse to let these be neglected; last December 16, 2012, Jyoti Singh Pandey, a 23 year old university student from New Delhi, India, was gang-raped and later died from her injuries; the suicide of Amanda Todd from Surrey, British Columbia who committed suicide after pictures of her body was circulated through every school she moved to; the sexual assault and killings of Jessica Lloyd, and Corporal Marie-France Comeau by former Canadian Forces Colonel, Russel Williams; and Rheena Virk from Saanich, British Columbia in 1997, who was beaten to death by so-called close peers. These are all evidence of the increasing exploitation and the rampant assault faced by all women. Indeed, time and time again, we are faced with the bitter reality that the struggle to end violence against women is far from over.

As such, we at the NAPWC vow to continue our fight to stop violence against women, and to end patriarchy at all costs. We support the demands of Rehtaeh’s family for a full investigation on the case. We will also continue in our educating, organizing, and mobilizing to uphold and advance the women’s struggle for genuine liberation in our society.

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For more information, contact:
www.magkaisacentre.org
Twitter: PWC_Ontario
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MAGKAISA CENTRE

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Philippine Women Centre
Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada / Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance
SIKLAB Ontario
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pwc-on@magkaisacentre.org
ukpc-on@magkaisacentre.org
siklab-on@magkaisacentre.org
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DARE TO STRUGGLE! DARE TO WIN!

South Africa: “It is Time for Real Action Against Rape “

8 February 2013  BBC News
There have been further protests in South Africa, over the high incidence of rape in the country. The demonstrations were triggered by the gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world, 
with police figures showing that 64,000 cases were reported last year.
Nomsa Maseko reports.

Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement, Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Thandiswa Qubuda was gang raped in the early hours of the 20th January 2013 at the corner of New Town and E Street in Grahamstown. She is 30 years old and the only one surviving in the family. Both her both parents have died and she was living with her aunt.

She was savagely beaten during the rape and is now permanently brain damaged and lying in hospital. Today at 12 noon the Revered Mzi Dyantyi, family members and the Unemployed People’s Movement held a prayer and anointment in her ward.

The men that were arrested after this rape were granted free bail. The rape case was then dismissed and struck off the role because of the extreme negligence and incompetence of the police. The only charge that is remaining is attempted murder. Witnesses have been subject to serious intimidation by one of the accused. One has been taken to a place of safety after been threatened with death by one of the accused. Another has had to flee to Johannesburg. And yet the accused were given free bail! Continue reading

India: three girls raped and murdered, aged 5, 9 and 11

Outrage over sexual violence given new fuel after police recorded deaths as ‘accidental’ after bodies were found in a well
in Delhi, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 21 February 2013
Women in Delhi

[Women arrive near Indian parliament in Dehli to protest against sexual violence. Photograph: Altaf Qadri/AP]

India has been hit by another case of sexual violence after three sisters aged five, nine and 11 were raped and murdered in a remote village.

The three girls, who lived with their mother in Lakhni village in Maharashtra state, disappeared on 14 February, on their way home from school. Their widowed mother is a poor labourer, and when the grandfather went to the police to report their disappearance there was no attempt to search for them.

The police found the bodies of the three girls in an old well two days later, and recorded the deaths as “accidental”. But it was only after people from the village blocked a national highway on Wednesday in protest against the police inaction that the state home minister finally took notice.

A preliminary medical examination showed that all the girls had been raped before being killed. Continue reading

Arundhati Roy speaks out against Indian rape culture

Channel 4 News, Friday 21 December 2012
The writer Arundhati Roy tells Channel 4 News she believes rape is used as a weapon in India and that women in the country are “paying the price”.

A rape a minute, a thousand corpses a year

 
[Photo:  The lives of half of humanity are still dogged by, drained by and sometimes ended by pervasive type of violence [AFP]]

Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime, the rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, 2012, was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren’t that unusual here either.

Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large. Continue reading