Don't join any of these group ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Shabab and Boko haram these are human traffickers

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ky. woman charged with human trafficking daughter

Updated 8:00 a.m., Saturday, October 27, 20120

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A southern Kentucky woman has been charged with human trafficking after police say she took money to let a 13-year-old girl have sex with men.
Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron told The Daily News ( ) that the case of 30-year-old Rose Marie Woolbright is "very unusual" and the first of its kind in Warren County.
Woolbright is charged with allowing two men to engage in sexual activities with the girl.
Woolbright is charged with unlawful transaction with a minor and second-degree sodomy. Also arrested and charged with sex offenses were 37-year-old Chad Wayne Simmons and 28-year-old Pedro Lopez Diaz, both of Bowling Green. All three remained in custody on Saturday.
Simmons is charged with two counts of second-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor-illegal sex act with someone under 16. Diaz is charged with second-degree rape. Jail records did not list attorneys for any of the three.
"We anticipate that these charges will go to the grand jury within the next 30 days," Cohron said.
If a grand jury indicts Woolbright on human trafficking, it will be the 16th such indictment in the state since Kentucky passed its human trafficking law in 2007.
Since the law's passage, there have been 15 state grand jury indictments under the statute. The number of indictments for human trafficking is small in comparison to the number of victims served here since 2008. Marissa Castellanos, human trafficking program manager at Catholic Charities of Louisville, said the group has identified 93 human trafficking cases in Kentucky involving 138 victims, some of whom were relocated to the state after being trafficked elsewhere.
Castellanos said 53 percent of the victims were initially trafficked as children.
"Unfortunately, we've had enough prior circumstances where this law became necessary," Cohron said about Kentucky's human trafficking law. "The act of using a child to commit a sex act alone deserves its own punishment as well as the act of the trafficking of the child."
A bill proposed during the last legislative session would have enhanced the penalties for people who pay to have sex with minors. But the legislation stalled in the Senate, Castellanos said. Similar legislation is expected to be proposed again.
"This crime is completely demand driven," Castellanos said. "If we don't go after demand, human trafficking will continue to exist. If you are going after the buyers in some way, that will hopefully go at the issue of demand."
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Smuggler convicted of trafficking, rape

Gulf News

Used witchcraft rituals to force terrified children to work as sex slaves
  • Daily Mail
  • Published: 16:28 October 27, 2012
London: An ‘evil’ Nigerian people smuggler who used witchcraft rituals to force terrified children to work as sex slaves has been convicted of trafficking and rape.
Young victims were raped, sexually abused and subjected to voodoo-style rituals once in the clutches of the trafficking ring.
One girl had hair cut from her armpits by a man wearing feathers. Others were slashed with knives, forced to drink foul-smelling potions and had blood taken with syringes to ‘cast a spell’ over them.
The girls were told they would die or never bear children if they tried to escape or revealed what had happened to them.
The man responsible, Osezua Osolase, 42, was on the surface a recycling worker living in a terraced house in Gravesend, Kent. But he was in fact the British linchpin of a multi-million pound global child sex trafficking ring that used medieval ‘juju’ black magic to control its victims.
His home was a secret staging post for vulnerable teenage orphans as they were smuggled from Africa to several European countries.
Detectives discovered evidence that at least 28 victims were smuggled in and out of Britain by Osolase over a 14-month period, earning him up to £1.5 million (Dh8.87 million).
But the true figure could run into hundreds as the paedophile was overheard by one girl boasting he had been operating for 15 years as he tried to sell her for £60,000.
Deported to Nigeria
This was despite being deported back to Nigeria in 2007 after police caught him trying to use stolen credit cards.
Osolase simply married a mysterious German woman and returned to the country the following year with a five-year visa. As well as his wife, he had a Nigerian mistress in Catford, South-East London, who recently gave birth to his son.
The scale of his crimes can be revealed for the first time after he was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court of trafficking three girls aged 14, 16, and 17.
One was raped and all three endured juju rituals, including one conducted by Osolase himself. One feared she was being taken to another country to be used as a human sacrifice. A jury was told Osolase slashed the chest of his youngest victim with a razor and rubbed black powder into her bleeding wounds.
She was ordered to take an oath of loyalty to him and believed that if she broke it, she would not have children, go mad and die.
Osolase groomed her after the death of her parents by visiting her village with presents and saying she would go to school in Europe.
But he abducted her and said she should prepare for life as a prostitute in Italy where she would be raped by ‘white men who smoked drugs’.
False promises
The other two girls were terrorised by a local witchdoctor in Nigeria shortly before being flown out of the country with promises of an education and modelling work.
The 16-year-old told police she was taken to a ‘place of witchcraft’ where she was told to bathe in a ‘bloody gunk’ and wrap blood-soaked cloth around her.
As Osolase watched, a man wearing feathers on his head cut hair from her armpits, cut some of her finger and toenails and took blood from her hand with a syringe.
She was told that the body parts taken in the ritual would be used to find and kill her if she tried to run away or failed to repay her captor.
The 17-year-old wept as she described how she was tricked into travelling to Britain with the promise that she would go to school. She was made to drink a potion laced with blood. Police found no evidence that Osolase lived a luxury lifestyle and believe he has hidden the profits of his crimes in Nigeria.
Weightage to rituals
Dr Hermoine Harris, an expert in Nigerian religions, told the jury the juju rituals carried huge weight in Nigerian society. She said: “By taking someone’s blood, you hold and control somebody’s very essence and their power.”
Detective inspector Eddie Fox said after the case that Osolase was ‘evil’ and branded him a ‘predatory paedophile’. Osolase was convicted of five counts of human trafficking, rape and sexual activity with a child.

Police raid bar in Mumbai, detain 18 people

Mumbai , Sun, 28 Oct 2012 ANI

Mumbai, Oct. 28 (ANI): The Social Service Branch of the Mumbai Police raided a bar in the city and detained 13 customers, four stewards and one manager.
The raid was carried out late on Saturday. Nine girls were rescued, who were allegedly involved in immoral trafficking.
Mumbai is a popular source, transit and destination station for traffic in women and girls.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police of Mumbai's Social Service branch, Krishna Prakash, they received information that women were indulging in flesh trade at the bar.
"All the accused persons have been detained, which includes 13 customers and four stewards and a manager named Narayanan. The owner of the Nityanand bar is Manoj Shetty, who was not present at the time of raid but as he is the owner, he owes the responsibility," said Prakash.
Prakash further said that huge amount of cash was also recovered.
"Ten girls were present in the bar. One sings with the orchestra and she does not have the counter number. Rest nine girls have also been rescued," said Prakash.
South Asia is the second largest venue for human trafficking in the world, after East Asia, according to the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Police had charged the owners of the restaurant and detained guests under the prohibition act and the Bombay Police Act.
The Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) act is meant to combat trafficking of females as well as prostitution in the city.
Over 150,000 people are known to be trafficked within the region every year - mostly for sex work, but also for labour, forced marriages and as part of the organ trade, according to UNODC officials.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing transnational organised crimes in South Asia.
Traffickers often take advantage of impoverished communities, luring girls and young women and girls with promises of jobs as maids or nannies in wealthy households in the cities. But, activists say, the reality is very different. (ANI)

U.S. ambassador fights slavery, sex trafficking

By Lise Olsen | Saturday, October 27, 2012 | Updated: Saturday, October 27, 2012 10:58pm
Luis CdeBaca was born in New Mexico, where his ancestors settled in the 1500s.
/ courtesy photo
Since 2009, Luis CdeBaca, the U.S. State Department's ambassador-at-large for human trafficking, has been an advocate for trafficking victims worldwide. CdeBaca oversees the State Department's annual reports on all countries' efforts to address modern slavery. He visited Houston this week to speak at Rice University and sat down with the Chronicle for an interview.
Q: Are the cantina-based sex-trafficking rings we've seen in federal cases in Houston unique to this region?
A: These aren't as common elsewhere. Tlaxcala, Mexico- based human slavery rings were historically the suppliers of prostitutes to Mexico City - then they began to export in the last decade. "We saw them here (in Houston cantinas) first and then they popped up in New York as flat-out prostitution."
In Houston, sex trafficking is often "masked by Central American cantina culture. … Along with the hierarchical organized crime groups, there are individual opportunists."
Q: Is Houston truly a hub for human trafficking?
A: Houston is home to a human-trafficking task force that's considered a model for the rest of the country. "You're finding more cases in Houston because you've got more watchmen on the watchtower …"
"Houston is one of the major cities of the world and (human trafficking arrives here) not because it is a transit point, but because people from all over the world come to work in Houston. … Because Houston is a destination city, it's a place where exploitation happens."
"I don't want cities to get into a back-patting contest: 'We're the worst.' "
Q: Recently, teen trafficking victims in Houston were awarded $600,000 from the sale of bars and properties linked to a trafficking ring. But the judge awarded money only to teenagers and excluded older victims.
A: "It will change the lives of the girls who are able to get some money from the sale of that cantina … but the reality of human trafficking is rarely as cut-and-dried as the judge and all of us would have preferred … Was she the girlfriend to a suspect? Had she done (prostitution) willingly previously?
"If they're enslaved, it doesn't matter if somebody was a prostitute before or whether somebody is a 'deserving victim' or not."
Q: How common is restitution for trafficking victims worldwide?
A: "In many ways, the work we're doing in the U.S. is driving international discourse."
CdeBaca has been working with the Brazilian government to push it to use confiscation laws to seize assets of plantation workers caught using slaves. Instead, owners pay relatively small fines.
"If you're going to call it slavery - otherwise you're demeaning the term - slavery should be handled the same level as extortion, kidnapping or as rape, the highest level of crime that's not homicide."

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Al Qaeda's Zawahri calls for kidnap of Westerners


DUBAI - Reuters

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. REUTERS photo
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. REUTERS photo

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, join Syria's rebellion and to ensure Egypt implements sharia, SITE Monitoring reported on Saturday, citing a two-part film posted on Islamist websites.

The Egypt-born cleric, who became al Qaeda leader last year after the death of Osama bin Laden, spoke in a message that lasted more than two hours.

"We are seeking, by the help of Allah, to capture others and to incite Muslims to capture the citizens of the countries that are fighting Muslims in order to release our captives," he said, praising the kidnapping of Warren Weinstein, a 71-year-old American aid worker in Pakistan last year.

Zawahri's message was first released on Wednesday, SITE said, just two weeks after the cleric issued a filmed statement calling for more protests against the United States over a California-made film mocking the Prophet Mohammad.In his new message, he called on Muslims to ensure Egypt's revolution continued until sharia law was implemented and urged fellow Muslims to join the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The release of his message had been delayed, he said, because of the "conditions of the fierce war" in Afghanistan and Pakistan where he said U.S.-led forces had intensified a bombing campaign.U.S. President Barack Obama, whom Zawahri described as a "liar" and "one of the biggest supporters of Israel", has stepped up the use of unmanned drones to target militants in both countries as well as in Yemen."

A LICENCE TO KILL"In a further attack on Western governments and international institutions, Zawahri accused world powers of giving Syrian President Assad "a license to kill" his opponents.

"The U.N., Kofi Annan and the Arab League give the al-Assad regime one opportunity after another to end the rising of jihadi, popular resistance against his oppression, injustice, corruption and spoiling," SITE reported Zawahri as saying.Syria's anti-government rebels include Islamist groups that draw on foreign fighters.

"I incite Muslims everywhere, especially in the countries that are contiguous to Syria, to rise up to support their brothers in Syria with all what they can and not to spare anything that they can offer," he said.

Zawahri, who led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement before joining al Qaeda, called on President Mohamed Mursi, the country's new Islamist leader, to explain his policies on Israel, Egyptian Christians and sharia law.

Islamist militants want Egypt to introduce sharia and to tear up a 1979 peace treaty with Israel and were dismayed when Mursi said he would appoint a Coptic Christian vice president.

"The battle in Egypt is very clear. It is a battle between the secular minority that is allied with the church and that is leaning on the support of the army, who are made up by (former President Hosni) Mubarak and the Americans ... and the Muslim ummah (nation) in Egypt that is seeking to implement sharia," he said.

Man puts padlock over wife's vagina


A padlock was recently discovered over an Indian woman’s vagina after she was brought to hospital following a suicide attempt, the Daily Mail has reported.

The unnamed woman’s husband, who was identified as Chouhan, reportedly affixed the padlock to prevent his wife from “betraying” him.

Nurses had to wait for police forces to locate Chouhan and retrieve the key to remove the padlock.

In addition to the padlock the woman was wearing what was called a “chastity belt,” a piece of clothing that prevents sexual intercourse.

Chouhan, who has been charged with cruelty and voluntarily causing injuries, told the police that he had placed the padlock because other women in his family had "strayed" before.

Chouhan was an alcoholic with mental problems, according to officials.

The woman, who attempted to commit suicide by drinking rat poison, married Chouhan when she was 16, bearing five children.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Police Prepare ‘Arrest Strategy’ as BBC Sexual Abuse Case Grows


LONDON — The number of people who said they were sexually assaulted by Jimmy Savile, one of Britain’s most popular television hosts, expanded to 300 from 200 in just the last week, and other people may have acted with him, the Scotland Yard officer heading the investigation said Thursday.
Mark Allan/BBC, via Press Association, via AP Images
An undated photograph of Jimmy Savile. Hundreds of people have come forward to accuse him of sexually abusing them.
The officer, Cmdr. Peter Spindler, described Mr. Savile, who died last October at 84, as “undoubtedly” one of the most prolific sex offenders in recent British history, during a 50-year career as a self-styled pied piper for the young, the sick and the lonely. Commander Spindler said that in preliminary telephone interviews with 130 of the potential victims, 114 of them had accused Mr. Savile of criminal behavior ranging from “inappropriate touching” to rape. Of the 300 complainants, he said, all but 2 have been female.
Commander Spindler said the “vast majority” of the accusations logged by the police were against Mr. Savile alone, with the remainder involving Mr. Savile and others or episodes in which the entertainer was not implicated. Although the commander specified that investigators had found no evidence of a “pedophile ring,” as some published accounts in Britain have suggested, he said that a number of “living people” were under investigation.
Later, an article on the BBC’s news Web site quoted “sources close to Scotland Yard,” whom it did not further identify, as saying the police were looking at some “figures of high standing” who might have helped Mr. Savile. “It is thought investigations are looking at those who may have assisted Savile, helped organize abuse, cover it up or taken part in assaults themselves,” the BBC story said.
An article on The Guardian’s Web site, citing no sources, said the newspaper “understands” that “names of at least three doctors” who worked at hospitals linked to Mr. Savile over decades had been passed to police investigators, with “claims that they were at the heart of a loose network of child abusers connected with Savile.”
The Guardian story noted that Mr. Savile kept an office and living quarters at the Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security psychiatric treatment center in Berkshire, and a bedroom in the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, in Buckinghamshire, which has one of the largest units in the world that specializes in spinal injuries; both institutions are close to London. The newspaper also said he was given “free rein” at Leeds General Infirmary, in the northern industrial city where he was born and where he found his first job as a boy, working in a mine.
Commander Spindler said his investigation, code-named Operation Yewtree, had not yet led to any arrests, but he implied that they might not be far off when he said that the police were preparing “an arrest strategy.” In the meantime, he said, police investigators were proceeding cautiously with Mr. Savile’s accusers, spending as much as four hours on each initial interview.
“This may be the first time that some people have actually spoken in any detail, and we don’t underestimate how significant an event it is for them to disclose sexual abuse,” he said.
Commander Spindler, who spoke at a news conference and in interviews with British news organizations, did nothing to allay the shock that the Savile scandal has caused across Britain. The weight of the evidence against Mr. Savile, he said, is overwhelming, not least because of the similarities in what the accusers have told the team of officers — raised to 30 in recent days, from an original group of 10 — about the abuses.
“We have to believe what they are saying, because they are saying the same thing independently,” he said.
The BBC reported on Wednesday that Mr. Savile, a bachelor, was investigated but never prosecuted for sexual abuse at least half a dozen times during a television career in which he presented himself as an irrepressibly jaunty figure with a vocation to spread happiness into some of the most vulnerable corners of society. But a cascade of revelations in the past month have suggested that his wildly successful programs, “Top of the Pops” and “Jim’ll Fix It,” as well as charitable work that raised tens of millions and made him a tireless visitor to hospitals, nursing homes and institutions for the emotionally and psychologically disturbed, were vehicles for another career, as a relentless sexual predator.
The scandal has thrown his employer, the BBC, into one of the greatest crises in its 90-year history as Britain’s revered public service broadcaster, drawing in several senior figures there, including its current director general, George Entwistle, who took over in September from Mark Thompson, the incoming president and chief executive of The New York Times Company.
Mr. Thompson was director general of the BBC when the editor of a current affairs program canceled an investigation into Mr. Savile late last year, just as other divisions were planning Christmastime tributes to him, two months after his death.
Mr. Thompson has said repeatedly that he knew nothing about the investigation by the current affairs program, “Newsnight,” while it was under way; had no role in canceling it; and had heard none of the suspicions about Mr. Savile. He has agreed to answer questions from Parliament and from the independent investigators examining the events at the BBC.
The police, the National Health Service and other institutions have been shaken by what the disclosures have shown, and the political shock waves have led the prime minister, David Cameron, to demand that the BBC, in particular, account for its failure to protect Mr. Savile’s victims, some of whom were said to have been abused in his BBC dressing rooms.
Commander Spindler suggested the scandal and the subsequent investigation of the sexual abuse of children would have a cathartic impact on Britain. He said the events of the past month had been “a watershed” that would force public institutions to develop new and tougher programs to detect and combat the sexual exploitation of children, push the police to intensify their own procedures and encourage victims to come forward.
“I think what’s happened with this inquiry,” he said, “is that they do have a voice, and that they will be heard.”
John F. Burns reported from London, and Alan Cowell from Paris.
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Human trafficking, prostitution thrive in Afghanistan

A twelve year old Afghan bride during the wedding ceremony in Herat; Photo: FARAHANAZ KARIMY (c) dpa - Report


Thousands of Afghan girls and boys are trafficked into neighboring countries and sold into slavery each year. Though it is taboo, prostitution is alive and thriving - at the cost of those forced to work in it.
It is the oldest trade in the world and exists in probably every country in the world. Yet prostitution is not a dream job. Most female sex workers are forced to make a living through prostitution.

In conservative Afghanistan, prostitution is illegal. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Human trafficking is booming - young women are being sold and sent over to neighboring countries, mostly to Pakistan.
Heather Barr  
Heather Barr says the government has a number of other issues to tackle as well

Many people are unaware of just how many women are forced to work as prostitutes, according to Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division.
"HRW did a report that was released in March this year about women in prison for moral crimes. And one of the things that I found really surprising by doing those interviews, was how many women I met, had been forced in prostitution often by their husbands and in-laws."
Women sold as commodities
The reason, she explained, that women were forced into the sex trade by their families was due to poverty and drug addiction - usually of a husband or brother or both. The families often saw women as a source of money and take advantage of it.
Women from Pakistan are also been bought and sold to Afghanistan. Poor or practically non-existing security at the border means criminals smuggling and trafficking goods and people can easily get away with it. When the trafficked people arrive on the other side of the border, they are fully at the mercy of their pimps.

One woman from Pakistan who wished not to be named is now in Jalalabad - far away from her home in Karachi.
"We are poor and helpless. What are we supposed to do? We don't have anything to eat. That's why the "big man" brought us here from Karachi. No one likes doing this work, but I don't have any other choice," she told DW.
The young woman speaks neither of Afghanistan's official languages - Dari and Pashtu. She said she didn't know who to turn to and was afraid of the consequences she would face should she run away and the authority of her pimp, the "big man," as she called him. But he himself also cited poverty as a reason to force women into prostitution.
Sahar Gul, 15, lies on a hospital bed after being brutally tortured, beaten and locked in a toilet by her husband's family for months after she refused to become a prostitute. Photo: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani  
Sahar Gul, 15 years old, was tortured for months by her in-laws for refusing to prostitute herself
"I do this because I am poor and I want to be able to feed my children. I am aware that there are dangerous consequences, harsh punishments for this kind of work - for instance death or being ostracized and other things."
But he insisted he did not force anyone to work - that the women who work for him prostituted themselves because they wanted to.
Prostitution, whether out of one's own will or not, is illegal according to Islamic law. The cleric Nek Mohammad works for the court in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar and offers consultations on Islamic law. All forms of position are illegal, he told DW.
"At least four people have to bear witness to the crime. And should the prostitute or the person who buys her be married, his or her spouse will have to be stoned. If there are no married people involved, then they receive lashings."

But punishment is not the only thing to worry about. Most of the prostitutes are unaware of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV and do not use condoms. The number of cases of STDs had sharply risen in the past few months, according to Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzad, head of Nangarhar province's health ministry.
Afghan woman walks in the Old City of Herat, This is one of the photos of “die Blauen frauen “photo exhibition in Gottingen city of Germany, this exhibition made by Mohammad Shoib Rezayi an afghan photographer who is living with a German family us a asylum in Gottingen, Germany.26.06.2012. Photo :Mahammad Shoib Rezayi / DW Prostitutes pose as beggars on the streets of Afghanistan
"Our doctors confirm that many young men who have come to us recently have had urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases. If prostitution is allowed then it is no wonder there is an increase in such problems in Nangarhar."
Nonetheless, doctors should promote educational campaigns, said Sherzad. The government should tackle the problem. Yet the government had a whole set of other problems: "Think about child marriage, forced marriage, domestic violence, the sale of women for marriage and other purposes, forced prostitution, self immolation - honestly the government hasn't been dealing very effectively with any of those issues," said Heather Barr.
She said it was unfortunate that there was a lack of political will to solve these issues. Progress was only made very slow.

As of recently, it is now illegal to lock up women for running away from home, which is just a further symptom of the violence and forced prostitution women continue to face in Afghanistan.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Terrorism, Salafi Jihadism, and the West

By Tariq Ramadan
Swiss Muslim Thinker
Thursday, 18 October 2012 00:00
Terrorism, Salafi Jihadism, and the West
We have entered an age when all problems are being islamicized, simultaneously crucial issues of governance and justice are depoliticized. (Reuters)
When will it ever end? Month after month, year after year we are assured that extremist and terrorist networks have been uncovered and/or dismantled in the United States, in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Headline news and spectacular arrests carry a powerful symbolic impact. But our troubles are far from over; despite the killing of Usama bin Laden, fully operational cells remain capable of striking highly symbolic targets: public places, schools, religious institutions, sometimes specifically Jewish ones. “Islamic terrorism” is the specter that haunts our era, and is likely to do so for a long time to come.
I have frequently stated what must be tirelessly repeated: these tiny groups do not represent the values of Islam, their actions are overtly anti-Islamic, and can only be condemned. There can be no justification for the killing of innocents, for attacks on civilians and public institutions. While criticism of the State of Israel, like that of any other state, is legitimate and justifiable it cannot excuse—in any way, shape or form—anti-Semitism, which is likewise anti-Islamic.
In fact, recognized Muslim scholars (Sunnites and Shiites alike) along with the overwhelming majority of ordinary believers firmly condemn the violence of extremists and the actions of Salafi jihadists, wherever they raise their ugly heads. The world must hear this message, and the Muslims must repeat it continuously. About this we must be perfectly clear.
Gullible Youth and Political Agendas
So intense is the demonizing of Muslim extremists today that, in dealing with individual suspects, everything seems to be permitted.
Internationally, the Salafi jihadists and the extremists have long pursued dangerous political positions whose first victims, after those they have executed, are the Muslim populations as a whole. Extremism and terrorism do not afflict the West alone, but also Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Today such movements — standing ideologically between conservative literalism and jihadism — are gaining a foothold in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, and in northern Mali, while maintaining an active presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is imperative to confront the views of these groups, and above all to curtail their ability to promote unrest. Over the last fifteen years, but particularly during the last five years, they have demonstrated their capacity for bringing people into the streets in times of crisis. Though they remain marginal and opportunistic, the impact of their murderous and shocking acts on the perceptions and the imagination of a greater number of people cannot be discounted.
The young people who join extremist groups are clearly suffering from massive deficiencies in religious knowledge, and are often politically gullible (when they are not attempting to salve pangs of conscience by cutting themselves off from a life of delinquency). They can easily fall victim to the kind of radical or populist rhetoric propagated by jihadist circles, just as they may become the instruments of predatory and manipulative government intelligence agencies. From Pakistan to the United States, by way of Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Syria, not to mention England, France, Germany and Denmark, informers and provocateurs have successfully infiltrated these groups.
Behind the religious sincerity and the political gullibility of youthful radicals often lurk religious or political authorities, or even government secret services. All are totally devoid of religious sincerity and driven by a political cynicism as blatant as it is deadly. The ideology of extremism and the organizations that embody it are dangerous in many ways; condemnation of them must be firm and decisive, accompanied by a rigorous analysis of their causes, their principle protagonists and their zones of darkness. There can be no room for naïveté.
To this analysis must be added the strategic connection between the presence of such groups in the West and in Muslim-majority countries. Confronting terrorism, and the cells that come into being in an apparently informal and disconnected manner, presents particularly forbidding obstacles, as can be observed in Germany, the US, England, France, and elsewhere. Above and beyond acts of terrorism that are followed by immediate political and military reaction by the affected countries, like the US in Afghanistan, then Iraq in the wake of September 11, 2001, the fact remains that operations against local cells, accompanied by intense media coverage, cannot be entirely disconnected from the foreign policies of the Western nations.
Behind the Fine Words
We may praise equal rights and equal status for all, but in everyday life and behind bars contempt, ordinary racism, and islamophobia are tangible realities.
In fact, where terrorist actions occur, Western military intervention is never far behind. Terrorism has been successfully used to justify increased surveillance of citizens in the West and military operations abroad once public opinion had been primed to accept it (as the jihadist threat had become plausible at home). It may well be that France, whose president and its prime minister proclaim that they will combat Islamic extremism wherever necessary, will soon seek a pretext for greater involvement overseas, particularly in Mali, now that the threat has been felt on its own soil (and that French hostages are still being held). The region is a strategic one, and the petroleum reserves recently discovered there are at least as extensive as Libya’s: worth remembering in order to keep our feet on the ground.
Such considerations aside, we must remain focused on our responsibilities, and refuse to cast ourselves as victims. Once again Muslims — religious representatives, community leaders, and ordinary believers — must speak out loud and clear in condemning what is done in their name by the extremists. Likewise, politicians and the media must take pains to avoid guilt by association. Not only by affirming, in times of crisis or terrorist actions, that the jihadists and extremists do not represent all Muslims, but by finding ways to speak of Muslims in positive ways, and not only in time of crisis.
So intense is the demonizing of Muslim extremists today that, in dealing with individual suspects, everything seems to be permitted. While it is normal to detain persons who are acting suspiciously in order to forestall terrorist actions, the arrest and indefinite preventive detention of individuals without respecting their right to a legal defense cannot be considered legitimate. Today, men are imprisoned in England, Germany, France, Canada, and the United States who do not know what they are accused of and without judgment. They find themselves in a judicial “black hole” where all is permitted in the name of the “terrorist threat.” In any self-respecting democracy, not only must the jihadist-Muslim linkage be rejected, but the former must also be dealt with according to the rule of law. They must be allowed legal representation, a fair trial and an equitable verdict. These are the unalienable rights we all hold dear.
What we observe today in the West is a danger above all for the West itself, which appears to be abandoning its principles: extraordinary illegal renditions, detention without explanation nor reason, the sub-contracting of torture, incarceration and solitary confinement (as in the United States) or, in Europe, degrading treatment, are incompatible with the professed values of human rights and dignity. It is not because we fight against terrorists—or those accused of terrorism—that we can transform ourselves into monsters at the very heart of a system based on the rule of law, granting ourselves the extraordinary right to violate the very rules we claim to protect.
The treatment of prisoners is a case in point. Such is the climate of mistrust that to practice Islam in prison has become all but impossible. In many Western prison systems, in the United States and Canada, and more and more frequently in Germany, Britain, and France, treatment of Muslim prisoners (who account for between 20 and 50 percent of the prison population in some European countries) is blatantly discriminatory and frequently degrading. Inmates find it difficult to pray, their food is inappropriate, spiritual counseling is absent or left in the dangerous hands of uneducated, self-proclaimed preachers. The root of the problem lies within the system itself. What is the point of reacting with horror to the radicalization of Muslim prisoners unless specific measures are adopted to provide prisoners of all confessions with equal access to a chaplain’s services? The choice is a political one.
In the prison system the contradictions inherent in states themselves — particularly with regard to the oft-proclaimed equitable treatment of all citizens — are simply amplified. We may praise equal rights and equal status for all, but (as though seen through a magnifying glass) in everyday life and behind bars contempt, ordinary racism, and islamophobia are tangible realities. Were the intent to produce radicalism, a better way could not be found. Democratic citizens must demand, and states must institute reform on an urgent basis. The treatment of convicts tells us much about the realities that lie hidden behind the fine words mouthed in celebration of our democratic societies.
So Wealthy and Fearful, is a West Adrift
When violence walks the land and our societies feel threatened, it is entirely legitimate to expect clarification and a basic explanation from the authorities.
Likewise, it is essential that the public be fully informed about the incidents that recur again and again. When violence walks the land and our societies feel threatened, it is entirely legitimate — after terrorist attacks and/or failed attempts — to expect clarification and a basic explanation from the authorities. The question is not one of accrediting conspiracy theories, but of insisting on citizens’ fundamental rights to information and protection: rights that cannot be compromised. How to explain that in the wake of unfortunately successful terrorist acts there have been no independent commissions of inquiry to report on whatever investigation took place? How to explain that, in the name of the fight against terrorism, citizens are left adrift in the face of contradictory official statements from governments that admit no liability, since the terrorists are, by definition, “diabolical?” How to explain that arrested terrorists are systematically killed or reduced to silence so that their version of events is never heard? No commission of inquiry has ever completed its work; no conclusions have been reached; no explanations offered. A dire threat hangs over our heads, and black holes surround us.
While conspiracy theories should be rejected, we must claim our right to information and security while at the same time defending the rights of accused or suspected persons. How often we have been wrong! In France, Germany, Canada and Italy, in Great Britain, and in the United States, women and men have served years in prison before it was realized that they had been unjustly incarcerated. Some were released without any apology or compensation whatsoever, and at Guantanamo persons known to be innocent continue to be held as criminals.
The suspicion of terrorism has transformed individuals into de facto “terrorists” enjoying no rights and being dealt with as such, whether guilty or not. Faced with terrorism our societies have been transformed; our freedoms have been sacrificed, and humiliating treatment has been normalized, and we must never forget it. Terrorism may well ultimately confront the West with its own dark image: in refusing to discuss the causes of terrorism, in doing no more than condemn actions, and in dehumanizing the guilty as well as simple suspects, we are normalizing fundamentally racist and discriminatory attitudes.
No amount of pious declarations after the damage has been done will change a thing. The belittling of Islam in public speech, the horrified condemnation of extremists and jihadists, and the shameful treatment of prisoners are forging a negative image of the Muslims among us. If we add the steady stream of crises (caricatures, videos, etc.) that fuel tension, we can grasp the outlines of a new enemy, both within and internationally. Islam suddenly explains everything involving Muslims, whether it be urban violence, social marginalization, unemployment, popular frustration, dictatorship, or opposition to Israeli policies, to name but a few. No need for political, socio-economic, or geopolitical analysis.
We have entered an age when all problems are being islamicized, while simultaneously crucial issues of governance and justice are depoliticized. When religion becomes the over-simplified reason, when we cease to consider the complexity of political life, we turn to a populism that narrowly defines the other, and holds him responsible for all society’s ills because of what he is: precisely the definition of racism and of the politics of fear. A West so wealthy and yet so fearful is a West adrift, so far from its ideals, so near to its demons.

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France's Muslims feel hated

Published on Oct 23, 2012 by
A new book has been published revealing Muslim experiences of hate crimes in France. The book explores how French Muslims believe they are the target of an Islamophobic campaign fueled by the state, its institutions, ideologies and policies. Our correspondent Hassan Alkatib has more on the story.

Discrimination, abuse and Islamophobia. France's Muslim population reveal their experiences of bearing the brunt of anti-Muslim hate crimes in a new book published by the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The study looks into how France's institutions, political culture and attitudes towards Islam have created a hostile and dangerous environment against Muslims.

Arzu Merali, who co-authored the book, has observed that Muslims in France believe much of the blame lies in the media, but they also feel they are being systematically targeted by the state itself and the ruling elites.

'It's important to listen to the people who are suffering as to what they believe is the cause of it. So they will see a link between a politician saying something and them being spat upon. They will see a link between a minister saying something and war graves of Muslim soldiers being desecrated and vandalized. So there is a key experience between what the ruling class says and what Muslims suffer on the ground.'

In London, an event was held to address the growing concerns of Muslim demonization in Europe. Communities were encouraged to foster better understanding in order to counter the inflammatory propaganda against Islam.

In the current political climate Muslims have been the target of attack after attack in the Western media. The panel here are discussing whether this virulent form of Islamophobia is being passed off as freedom of speech in Western discourse, speech which if targeted against any other community would be seen as unacceptable.

The main speaker at the event was Marwan Muhammad, a French Muslim rights activist who set up the Collective against Islamophobia in 2003, an organization fighting anti-Muslim hate crimes and discrimination. He sees a direct link between Islamophobia in the media and psychological and physical assaults against Muslims.

'From 2011 we had 298 cases mostly directed at individuals and institutions, these are hate crimes in the streets, women assaulted with their hijab taken off and spat at their face. Kids discriminated in schools, Mosques that had pig heads hung on the doors. So this is the situation we are in, an upside train of Islamophobia, more and more in Western countries.'

'Islamophobia is the most serious form of racism in modern society, certainly in Western societies and in Britain. It passes off as a cultural critique; it's presented as being a kind of argument about religion and modernization and so on. But really it's racism.'

Experts warn that offensive and insulting media propaganda against Islam is now being seen as normal in a growing number of circles within Europe. They argue that this allows far right groups, such as the English Defence League in the UK and the National Front in France, to openly promote their hatred against Islam, resulting in far more serious attacks on Muslims in the West. Hassan Alkatib, Press TV, London.

International Justice Mission Launches Online Action Center To Mobilize Anti-slavery Movement

Published: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 - 7:10 am provides first-ever ratings for members of Congress on anti-trafficking support; equips Americans to connect and take action in their communities
WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency that brings rescue for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression, launched The Freedom Commons (, an online destination for anti-slavery advocates to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
The Freedom Commons features a first-of-its-kind congressional scorecard to equip everyday Americans to track and hold members of Congress accountable for their anti-slavery records, promote strong anti-trafficking legislation at the federal and state level by engaging in action-based campaigns, and connect with others in locally and nationally.
IJM led a critical online movement in the U.S. this year, garnering 73,000 signatures for an anti-slavery petition asking President Obama to exert his leadership and eliminate slavery in U.S. supply chains. On September 25, one of IJM's main requests in the petition was met, as the President addressed the issue of modern-day slavery and delivered an executive order to eradicate slavery in U.S. government contracts, while also explicitly recognizing IJM as leader in the abolitionist movement.
"Advocates absolutely make a difference—especially today when individuals are equipped with more online and offline tools than ever to create social demand and build political will," said Holly Burkhalter, vice president of government relations at International Justice Mission. "The Freedom Commons will empower advocates further – to learn more about what their own policymakers are doing about slavery so they can get engaged with tangible action and connect with like-minded abolitionists locally."
The Freedom Commons' first national call to action is directed towards the future U.S. president and calls on 25,000 Americans to urge both President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney to make ending slavery a priority in the next term if elected. Other priorities include passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, the blueprint for U.S. leadership in the fight against trafficking, and a campaign asking major supermarket chains to guarantee slavery-free tomatoes.
Users can take action on The Freedom Commons through:
  • Tracking elected officials' engagement in anti-slavery policies through the Justice Campaigns Congressional Scorecard this unique scorecard tracks all U.S. members of Congress – Senate and House of Representatives – and their activities to support anti-trafficking legislation.
  • National Advocacy – members can engage on national-level anti-trafficking legislation change and learn more about federal bills and programs.
  • State Advocacy – the site provides the latest information on existing laws and pending anti-trafficking legislation in every state, ways to take action to strengthen anti-trafficking policies, and directly reach out to members of Congress.
  • Local Groups – anyone passionate about ending slavery can create or join a local group, finding local events and connecting with other abolitionists in their communities.
Already working at the forefront of anti-slavery casework in several developing countries around the world, IJM created The Freedom Commons to amplify the social demand of millions of Americans and empower them to lead the charge to eradicate modern-day slavery.
About International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work in 16 communities in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems - police, courts and laws - effectively protect the poor.
Learn more at  
CONTACT: Lacey Hanson 703-465-5495
SOURCE International Justice Mission

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Nigerian Bags 10 Years For Human Trafficking

Elizabeth Love
ELIZABETH INABA Love, a 41-year old Nigerian has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in hard labour by a Takoradi Circuit Court for attempting to traffic seven young women from Nigeria to Ivory Coast for prostitution. 
The court charged the convict with seven counts and sentenced her to ten years on each count to run concurrently.
Love pleaded guilty to the charges and was handed the sentence by the court presided over by Kwesi Boakye.
The court also ordered that the convict should be repatriated to her home country after she had served her jail term and also pay a fine of GH¢200 or its Naira equivalent for each of the seven victims.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Alice Parker-Wilson told the court that the complainant was a Nigerian Evangelist and a member of the Nigerian Diaspora Organization in Ivory Coast.
She noted that on September 30, 2012, Love recruited seven young women between the ages of 20 and 25 years specifically from Delta State in Nigeria to Ivory Coast for prostitution.
The prosecutor further stated that on October 7, 2012, the convict and the young women arrived at Elubo in the Western region in a Ford vehicle from Aflao in the Volta Region.
Due to the closure of the Ghana-Ivory Coast border, Love and the seven victims became stranded and in an attempt to cross the border through an unapproved route, the complainant intercepted them.
The prosecutor continued that during interactions between Love and the complainant, the Nigerian Evangelist identified Love as the one whom about three years ago, trafficked some 15 young women and was wanted by the Nigerian Diaspora Organization in Ivory Coast.
The evangelist then reported the matter to the police and Love was arrested.
Investigations by police revealed that the seven ladies were the third batch of young women Love had trafficked to Ivory Coast within this year.
Love admitted the offence but explained that she charged the victims a certain amount of money to find them hairdressing jobs in Ivory Coast and not prostitution.
Before passing judgment, the circuit court judge bemoaned the rate at which human trafficking was rising along the coast of West Africa.
He noted it was the duty of the court to protect young and innocent women from being lured into prostitution which put their future and lives in danger.
The judge also ordered the Western Regional Police Commander to liaise with the Nigerian High Commissioner to ensure the seven young women were sent back to Nigeria safely.
 From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi

Man believed to be on PCP bites off own finger and swallows it after naked carjack try, authorities say

Ron  Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
on October 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM, updated October 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Man strips naked in carjack try, then bites off finger and swallows it: cops
Enlarge Jargget Washington, 29, of Jersey City, who police say stripped naked and tried to carjack a driver at West Side and Communipaw avenues. Man strips naked in carjack try, then bites off finger and swallows it: cops gallery (8 photos)

A Jersey City man believed to be high on PCP tried to gnaw off his own wrist in a holding cell, defecated in the back of a Jersey City police cruiser and then bit off his own finger and swallowed it at Hudson County jail Sunday night, authorities said. Jargget Washington, 29, of Union Street, is charged with carjacking, throwing bodily fluids at law enforcement officers and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance.
Police say that Washington stripped naked at the intersection of Communipaw and West Side avenues and started pounding his fists on cars and screaming incoherently.
Washington also tried to pull a driver out of a car at the intersection after he jumped on the hood and roof of the car, police said. The driver managed to fight off Washington
before police arrived at 7:54 p.m.
When policed arrived, Washington took up a fighting stance and said "Come on, come on," to cops, reports said. Washington was restrained and brought to the Jersey City Medical Center, where he was medically and psychologically cleared, police said.
While in a holding cell and still handcuffed, Washington became belligerent and began to spit at officers and ate the medical bracelet issued by the JCMC, police said. In an attempt to escape his handcuffs, Washington then began chewing on his own wrists, police said.
After refusing to cooperate with police, the 29-year-old was placed in a spit hood and leg irons, police said. He again was brought to the JCMC and later cleared to be processed by police.
It was on the way to the jail that Washington, still in hospital garb, defecated in the back of the police cruiser, police said. While at the jail, Washington bit off one of his fingers and swallowed it, a spokesman for the county confirmed.
Jail officials could not immediately be reached for more details on the incident and Washington's condition. Washington is currently being treated and evaluated at the Jersey City Medical Center.
"When (Washington) was released the hospital felt that he wasn't a threat to himself or others," hospital spokesman Mark Rabson said.
Washington served slightly more than three years for selling drugs, according to Department of Corrections records. He was released in January.
PCP, or phencyclidine, can cause hallucinations and make the user extremely violent.

Ventnor man charged with human trafficking, prostituting young vulnerable men

Joe Green/South Jersey Times By Joe Green/South Jersey Times
on October 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM, updated October 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM

police tape large
VENTNOR — Authorities have charged a city man with human trafficking in running a male prostitution ring involving at least one minor.
Marc A. Branch, 39, allegedly had young men use heroin and cocaine as he prostituted them to male clients from his apartment. According to investigators, he did the following to his victims:
Branch lured the young men - ranging in age from their teens to early 20s - by offering them money, drugs, friendship and - in some instances - shelter. He targeted youngsters estranged from their families.
Branch then fed their substance addictions with alcohol and drugs to maintain control over them, authorities said, as clients paid up to $200 for a sex act. Investigators added that he gave the victims a share of the revenue at times.
Branch sought his clients on the Internet, posing nude photos of the young men on Craigslist. He also used Twitter, Facebook and other websites to prostitute the victims.
He also gave drugs to a victim under age 18 and allowed a client to sexually assault him.
Branch was arrested just after 11 p.m. Friday at his North Newport Avenue apartment. Detectives and agents soon after searched the apartment on a warrant and seized “numerous pornographic videos and magazines,” authorities said, along with imitation firearms, two cell phones, a computer and drug paraphernalia.
Branch was charged with human trafficking, sexual assault, prostituting a minor, operating a house of prostitution and promoting prostitution. He was committed to the Atlantic County Jail in default of $250,000 bail. Authorities said they expect to file more charges.
“The allegations in this case fit a classic pattern for human sexual trafficking in which a predator enslaves vulnerable victims in prostitution by weakening them with drugs and isolating them from any protective support,” New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said.
“When we developed information about Branch’s alleged crimes, we moved quickly to arrest him and rescue his victims,” Chiesa continued.
“The new Human Trafficking Unit we formed earlier this year in the Division of Criminal Justice will continue to cooperate with partners like the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to aggressively investigate any cases of human trafficking in New Jersey.”
As a first-degree crime, the human trafficking charge carries a sentence of 20 years to life in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
The second-degree crimes of which Branch is accused - sexual assault and prostituting a minor - which carry a five to 10-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $150,000. The remaining charges - alleging third degree crimes - carry three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Contact Joe Green at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ظاهرة سقوط الأسماك من السماء في الهندوراس

India court dismisses Rahul Gandhi 'rape' allegation

Rahul Gandhi  
Rahul Gandhi is seen by many as a future prime minister
India's Supreme Court has dismissed a petition which accused Congress party MP Rahul Gandhi of raping a woman.
The court also ordered the petitioner, a former legislator, to pay 500,000 rupees ($9440, £5,852) in damages to Mr Gandhi for defaming him.
Kishore Samrite of the regional Samajwadi Party had alleged that Mr Gandhi had abducted and raped a woman in Uttar Pradesh in December 2006.
Mr Samrite said he made the allegations based on a website report.
The report apparently said that Mr Gandhi and his friends kidnapped and raped a girl living in his parliamentary constituency of Amethi.
The Supreme Court said the petition was "without substance" and had damaged Mr Gandhi and his family's reputation.
"The allegation is without substance and without an iota of evidence," Press Trust of India quoted a bench of Justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar as saying.
"The reputation of Rahul Gandhi has been damaged by the undesirable act of the petitioner Kishore Samrite," the bench said.
The court ordered Mr Samrite to pay a fine of 2m rupees ($37,760, £23,401) for "abusing the process of law on the basis of incorrect statement".
It also asked him to pay damages of 5m rupees each to Mr Gandhi and the family of the girl.
Mr Gandhi's lawyer, PP Rao, had told the court that Mr Samrite's allegations were a "clear case of sinister political mudslinging against a promising young leader of the country".
Mr Samrite is a former legislator from the regional Samajwadi Party, which is in power in Uttar Pradesh.
Mr Gandhi had campaigned extensively for his party during the state elections at the beginning of the year.
The state was once a Congress stronghold, but the party has lost ground over the years to regional parties and the Congress lost heavily this year.

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