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

Friday, February 20, 2015

Child Marriage

Abducting and selling babies in Bangladesh



New parents describe 'nightmares' after their newborns were kidnapped from hospitals - a rising trend in the country.

Syed Tashfin Chowdhury | | Crime, Bangladesh, Asia

The number of infants abducted from hospitals doubled last year, a worrying trend for parents [Sourav Lasker/Al Jazeera]
The number of infants abducted from hospitals doubled last year, a worrying trend for parents [Sourav Lasker/Al Jazeera]
Dhaka, Bangladesh - It should have been one of the most joyous moments in the lives of Torikul Islam and his wife Rubina - the birth of their daughter. Instead it turned into a nightmare after the baby was abducted from the hospital.
Stealing and selling newborns from public hospitals is on the rise in Bangladesh with at least 16 such incidents over the past year, according to police and non-government organisation statistics.
With only five babies recovered over the past year, the trend has spread fear among would-be parents, especially rural dwellers and lower income groups who use the services of public hospitals for free or nominal fees.
Torikul - a farmer living in Rajshahi division, 240km east of the capital Dhaka - admitted his pregnant wife Rubina Begum at the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital on December 28, 2014. She gave birth to a baby girl that night.
"As she is the first baby in our family, most of my relatives came to the hospital to see her the next day. There was this woman in a veil in the neonatal ward who sat near us," Torikul told Al Jazeera.
The week we passed without Ekhlas was filled with nightmares. We never expected to find him again.
Runa Akhter, mother of missing newborn
He said he went out to bid farewell to relatives leaving only his elderly mother-in-law with the baby.
"We learned later that the veiled woman had advised my mother-in-law to wipe the face of the baby, and when she had turned to look for a cloth, she fled with the baby," said Torikul.
Although hospital authorities immediately locked down all exits, the baby thief still managed to escape.
Unlike other parents, the family's horrifying story had a happy ending, as police recovered the baby on January 1.
"After investigating the outsiders who frequented the hospital, we managed to arrest four people including a hospital staffer," said Anisur Rahman, the officer-in-charge at the Rajpara police station.
Kaosar Hossain's baby boy was stolen from Dhaka Medical College Hospital in August 2014.
Two days earlier, Kaosar, who works at a neighbourhood clinic and earns a monthly salary of $84, had admitted his wife Runa Akhter.
"She required a caesarean operation as we were expecting twin baby boys," said Kaosar.
"My wife was feeding Yasin, one of the twins, in a bed of the neonatal ward. As Ekhlas, the other one, cried, a woman who had been occupying one of the beds in the ward ... walked over and tried to calm Ekhlas," said Hossain.
When Runa turned around a minute later, she found that both the woman and Ekhlas had disappeared.
A week later a unit of the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite paramilitary force, recovered Ekhlas from Gazipur area, some 30km outside Dhaka and made two arrests.
"The week we passed without Ekhlas was filled with nightmares. We never expected to find him again," Runa told Al Jazeera.
Stealing babies
According to Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum, a Dhaka-based NGO that monitors child rights, at least 16 babies were stolen - double the number from the previous year - and only five were later recovered.
In 2014, 16 babies were stolen and only five recovered [Sourav Lasker/Al Jazeera] 
The group said the actual number is likely to be higher as "most newborn thefts in public hospitals at rural locations remain unreported".
Officials said it appears the demand for babies is among childless couples and that is driving the infant trade.
Stolen babies are later sold for about $500.
One of the arrested culprits had been delivering babies for poor parents in clinics, and "often lied to the parents by telling them that their babies were stillborn. Later, she often sold the same healthy baby to childless couples", said Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan of the Rapid Action Battalion.
In the case of Torikul's baby, the kidnappers confessed to police that they were desperate for a child after their two-year-old died, said investigating officer Anisur Rahman.
The rise in baby abductions, meanwhile, is driving away patients from public hospitals. Fahad Ahmed, a Dhaka-based businessman, said he and his wife would go to a private hospital and pay more because of the situation.
In a bid to allay such fears, the public hospitals are bolstering security.
"We are increasing supervision in the different wards by installing more closed circuit cameras and also increasing accountability among ward in-charges, nurses and other staff," Dhaka Medical College Hospital official Mushfiqur Rahman Al Jazeera.
 Source: Al Jazeera
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Friday, February 13, 2015

'I’ll bury you next to them': School bus driver's chilling cemetery threat after raping girl aged 5


Brave Rebecca Leyland has revealed the horror she went through as a child but has reused to let rapist Frederick Roskell hurt her future

Beast: Twisted Roskell, left, raped Rebecca when she was just five
A brave woman has relived the horrific moment a school bus driver raped her when she was just five-years-old and then took her to a cemetery and threatened to bury her there if she told anyone.
Vile Frederick Roskell launched his brutal attack on terrified Rebecca Leyland after gaining the family’s trust though dating her aunty.
Rebecca, now 22, said the beast raped her on the back sat of the school bus he drove, before dragging her to a cemetery and pointing to two graves.
He then violently warned the shuddering child not to tell anyone, because if she did “I’ll bury you next to them.”
The horrific assault ended a happy child ooh spent with her mother Sandra, now 45, and triggered a lifelong phobia of school buses and she would stay late at school and walk home, so scared she was of getting on one.
But the young woman decided she had to face her fears and speak to police after she became a mother herself at the age of 18 as she did not want other innocent youngsters to be abused.
Rebecca, of Preston, Lancashire, told how she was five when Roskell would take the school bus at weekends and drive his girlfriend’s family to parks and the coast.
PA Rebecca Leyland aged 4
Innocent: Rebecca Leyland, aged four here, was robbed of her innocence when she was raped
They also visited a local cemetery where they would play hide and seek, but one weekend he let all the children off the bus except Rebecca.

“The other kids jumped off but he stopped me and held me back,” she recalled. “His big, bulky body loomed over me and then he pinned me down.
“I didn’t know what it was at the time. I was only five. But he raped me on the back seats of the school bus.
“I was confused and I didn’t know what was happening. I just knew that it hurt and I didn’t like it. When it was over I burst into tears.”
Rebecca said she asked Roskell: “Why did you hurt me? I just wanted to play with the others.”
“But he ignored me, and dragged me off the bus and into the cemetery,” she continued.
“He took me to two graves and pointed at them. He said, ‘That’s my mum and dad and if you tell anyone what I did I’ll bury you next to them.’ I was terrified.”
From them on the abuse took place regularly.
PA Frederick Roskell - Roskell was a school bus driver who repeatedly attacked & abused a young girl on a school bus
Fiend: Frederick Roskell raped Rebecca on the back seat of a school bus
She said: “He would abuse me whenever nobody else was around. The outings on the school bus that had once brought me such joy filled me with dread.
“I knew what he was doing was wrong, but I was too afraid to tell anyone in case he killed me.”
When she was seven Roskell split up with her aunt, who asked not to be named, and Rebecca did not see him again.
She said: "I was so thankful that I wouldn’t have to endure anymore of his abuse. But what he had done stayed with me.
“As I got older I suffered terrible flashbacks and I refused to get on a bus ever again. I’d hide at school until the school bus left and then I’d walk home.
“I was desperate to tell someone the truth, but I was still terrified that Frederick would hunt me down and kill me.”
She suffered depression and anxiety, but in 2007, when I was 15, she met Anthony, then 17.
PA Family photo of Rebecca Leyland, boyfriend Anthony, daughter Alexis
Brave: Rebecca decided to speak up after meeting her boyfriend Anthony and having a daughter - Alexis
Rebecca said: “He was kind, sensitive, and caring, I felt myself opening up to him. I told him about what happened six months later. He was shocked but he held me as I cried.
“He convinced me to tell mum. More than a decade had passed and I was worried she wouldn’t believe me.”
Rebecca’s mum told her to report Roskell to the police but she refused.
“His threat still rang in my head,” she admitted. “I was still too scared to speak up, petrified that people wouldn’t believe me and would label me a liar.
“I told my mum I wanted to forget it happened. But burying it was impossible. I hadn’t seen Frederick in years, but whenever I saw a man his age, my heart pounded with fear.
“I was constantly looking over my shoulder, afraid of who might be behind me.”
PA Rebecca Leyland
Future: Rebecca Leyland has said she is looking forward to the rest of her life
When Rebecca was 18 she fell pregnant and gave birth to her daughter Alexis, who is nearly four, in March 2011.
She continued: “As soon as I held her I felt an overwhelming rush of love. I knew I couldn’t let him abuse anymore innocent children.”
She went to the police station in Preston and officers took her statement - a move that Rebecca said was incredibly hard.
“Reliving every detail was awful, it brought back so many painful memories,” she said.
“But Frederick had stolen my childhood and my innocence. I wanted him locked up for what he’d done.”
In 2011 Roskell was arrested but it was July 2013 before the case went to court.
PA Rebecca Leyland with daughter Alexis when she was one week old
Mother: Rebecca felt she had to speak out after giving birth to Alexis
Frederick Roskell, then 56, and of Blackburn, Lancashire, appeared at Preston Crown Court charged with six counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, and rape of a child under 13 – Rebecca.
He denied the charges but Roskell was found guilty of all the counts which referred to both Rebecca and another child.
In August 2013 he was jailed for 16 years and Rebecca was there to see her abuser, who she said looked weak and pathetic, sent down.
She said: "In that moment I realised, I was no longer scared of him. He was a monster, who’d taken advantage of an innocent young girl.
“Leaving the court felt like a huge weight being lifted. I’m now working to put the past behind me, and I’m focusing on my future.
“My rapist may have stolen my childhood, but he can’t take away my future.”
Detective Sergeant Jamie Lillystone, from Lancashire Constabulary, paid tribute to both Rebecca and the other victim and stressed how the historic nature of the crimes made the case complex.
She added: “It has undoubtedly removed a very dangerous man from the streets of Lancashire.”

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Minneapolis police's Somali outreach gets national attention
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At Minneapolis City Hall, Sgt. Mohamed Abdullahi, right, and officer Abdiwahab Ali of the Minneapolis Police Department help run the Somali American Police Association, which is being held up as a model for police departments around the country and in Canada. Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatatarii , Star Tribune

By Libor Jany & Nicole Norfleet

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
The Minneapolis Police Department’s work forging deep ties among local Somali immigrants is gaining national recognition as officers help replicate their efforts in other cities.

For the past few years, officer Abdiwahab Ali and Sgt. Mohamed Abdullahi have helped Toronto authorities work with Somalis and assist troubled youths.

Only a few years ago, Ali says, the Canadian city had a serious problem after a series of unsolved killings of Somali youths and little cooperation from residents. Perhaps more alarmingly, several dozen Somali-Canadians had left to join extremist groups in the Middle East such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria.

In 2012, Toronto police officials visited Minneapolis, which had been lauded as a model for other law enforcement agencies struggling to hire more East African officers and improve relations with immigrants. Several members of Toronto’s newly formed Somali Liaison Unit returned to the Twin Cities the following year, as part of an officer exchange program between the two police departments.

It is the latest sign that the police department’s work to turn its outreach effort into a national model is working.

Ali and Abdullahi said even basic police work must be delicate and nuanced to build credibility.

“One example is if you don’t know the culture of a police officer knocking on the door,” Ali said in a recent interview.

A Somali woman is likely to say, “Give me a minute,” Ali said. That can be troubling for unfamiliar police officers, who might start kicking the door and saying, “What the heck, why isn’t she opening the door?”

“Which if you know the culture, a Somali female is going to go cover her hair because of the religious thing,” Ali said. “Knowing that little thing can make a big difference.”

Ali says that gaining the Somali immigrants’ trust has proved challenging because a legacy of police corruption in their war-torn homeland has tainted their perception of law enforcement.

Toronto law enforcement officials found the information invaluable after a recent visit by Ali and Abdullahi.

“I am confident that the knowledge and information gained through the day’s discussion will bolster efforts to strengthen the relationship between the police and the Somali-Canadian community,” said Toronto Police Services Board Chairman Alok Mukherjee.

Now, officials say, crime in Cedar-Riverside — home to a large percentage of Minneapolis’ Somali immigrants, as well as other ethnic groups, including Oromo, Amharic and Eritrean — has fallen steadily in recent years.

Minneapolis’ troubles once mirrored those in Toronto.

In Minneapolis, Deputy Police Chief Kris Arneson chatted with officer Mohamed Abdullahi and Sgt. Abdiwahab Ali about a bike program that has helped Somali-American youths. Richard Tsong-Taatatarii , Star Tribune

Several young Somali-Americans were being recruited to fight for terrorist groups in their violence-scarred homeland, while a few were charged with funding terrorist activity.

The area was once rife with gangs and drugs, police and Somali leaders say.

A soon-to-be-released Police Executive Research Forum report is expected to say that by forging such ties, Minneapolis police have created a national blueprint for fighting crime in immigrant neighborhoods.

Law enforcement officials recently launched a federally funded policing initiative aimed at strengthening ties with Somali-Americans. They are doing this by having police working with elders and young people, probation officers, prosecutors, business owners and law enforcement experts to improve relations and reduce crime.

Ali recently recounted how he had responded to a missing-person call involving a Somali youth.

The teenager’s mother said she was worried because her son had been running with a bad crowd, staying out late and getting into fights. The teen eventually returned home, but Ali could not shake the feeling that there was more to the case.

“The comments that he makes in front of the mom, for us, we realized that the kid seemed that he’s being brainwashed as far as a religious way,” Ali said. “The comments that he made that really gave us a red light was that he said … ‘I can disobey my mom, based on the religion,’ which was really false.”

The teen later entered a diversionary program that kept him out of jail.

Ali and Abdullahi are founding members of the Somali-American Police Association, a national organization that “provides a network for Somali-American law enforcement professionals and strives to recruit more police and law enforcement officers of Somali heritage to our various law enforcement communities.”

Five of its 11 local members are with the Minneapolis Police Department; the others hail from St. Paul (which recently hired its first female Somali-American liaison officer), Mankato, Columbia Heights, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit police.

In St. Paul, police officials say they have worked relentlessly to build good relationships with Somali-Americans.

“Somali-American officers are the key to reduce Somali youth violence, which affects the peace of our Twin Cities,” said Hassan Mohamud, imam at the Minnesota Da’wah Institute in St. Paul, who is currently traveling in Somalia.

Jaylani Hussein, the new executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said police have made great strides in improving relations.

“I personally believe that they are breaking boundaries and being really a great resource for building the bridges between the Somali community and the police department,” Hussein said.
Libor Jany • 612-673-4064 Twitter:@Strib Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495 Twitter:@stribnorfleet

How a Trafficked Somali Migrant was Rescued in Libya

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
When 21-year-old Fartuun* left Somaliland 15 months ago, she weighed 60 kilos. Today, at 25 kilos, she is a pale reflection of the vibrant girl who left home in 2013 to seek her fortune in Europe. But now she’s home safe after an ordeal that took her from her village to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and eventually, Libya. “Fartuun made the return trip to Somaliland from Libya with an IOM medical escort, because she is paralyzed from her waist down and is not able to walk without support,” said IOM Libya’s Dr. Aladin Abukashim.
Her rescue is as remarkable as the rigors she endured during her journey – which included riding in a car trunk part of the way, before travelling by sea to the Arabian Peninsula and then across the desert to Egypt and Libya.

Twenty-one-year-old Fartuun (name changed to protect her identity) was trafficked in 2013 by a human smuggling ring moving young people from Somaliland to Saudi Arabia. IOM was able to rescue her in Libya and helped her get back home. © IOM 2015

Like thousands of young Africans, the high school graduate and young mother thought she would find work as a cleaner in Europe and earn enough to pay her way back to school, so that she could realize her dream of becoming a teacher. In 2014 over 5,700 Somalis with similar dreams risked their lives at sea to reach Italy in small boats from North Africa – a journey migration experts consider to be one of the most dangerous on earth.
An unknown number of Somali, Eritrean and Ethiopian migrants were among the 3,279 migrants who died in the Mediterranean, according to Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost during Migration, a report published by IOM’s ongoing Missing Migrants Project (
“We thought she was joking when she said she wanted to travel to Europe. Even though our family might not have everything in the world, we could have definitely taken better care of her than those men in Libya who took advantage of her,” said Suleiman**, Fartuun’s brother.
Her ordeal began in 2013, when she fell in with a group of young men operating a human smuggling ring moving young people from Somaliland to Saudi Arabia. The trip to Libya took about two weeks, traveling the whole way with Somalis.
But in Libya things began to fall apart. She tried to work odd jobs to pay for passage to Europe, but with civil war raging across the country, safety – not income – became her top priority. The smugglers who had taken her to Libya grew impatient, finally making her their prisoner.
“They confiscated her travel documents and threatened to report her to the authorities if she tried to escape. She was held against her will for six months, repeatedly abused and eventually fell seriously ill,” said an IOM Libya staffer.
Fartuun’s case was brought to IOM’s attention when her mother, who lives in Somaliland, contacted IOM after she listened to an IOM radio show that draws attention to the dangers of irregular migration. The radio show, which is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, is part of an information campaign that sensitizes Somali youth to the dangers of irregular migration.
It took IOM staffers over a month to find her in a crowded Tripoli hospital, injured and close to death. She also was responsible for an enormous medical bill, which she could not pay. In collaboration with local police, IOM had her moved to another hospital for her protection.
IOM offices in Libya and Somalia then arranged temporary travel documents for her and organized her evacuation from Libya last week, flying through Istanbul, then on to Somaliland, where she was reunited with her family in Hargeisa.
As thrilled as the young mother was to be home, the IOM team was just as gratified.
“Congratulations goes to my colleagues at Operations in IOM Somalia, who from thin air started building this case and never gave up even when things felt like she would not be found,” said Mohamed Omer, an IOM officer in Hargeisa. “I also congratulate IOM Libya colleagues for never giving up.”
“I have been assisting migrants’ return to Hargeisa for the last five years at this very airport, but I never felt so emotional like this one,” Mr. Omer added. “The mother has been crying and kissing everybody with an IOM badge, while receiving her daughter – it was my proudest moments in line of duty.”
IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Gerry Waite said: “As the Missing Migrants Project shows, thousands of young migrants from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans – are exposing themselves to these terrible risks and feeding a humanitarian crisis. Increases in overall numbers of arrivals and deaths at sea in the Mediterranean and Horn of Africa underscore the high demand for smuggling services and the complex and profitable criminal networks that move people across borders. Inter-regional commitment and action are urgently required to protect migrants.”
Fartuun’s assisted voluntary return was funded by IOM Libya’s NOAH II regional project, which responds to shifting migratory flows and increasing migrant vulnerabilities. NOAH II is sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).
*name changed to protect her identity **name changed to protect his identity
For more information please contact IOM Somalia. Julia Hartlieb, Tel.:+254 731 988 846, Email: jhartlieb@iom.intor Feisal Muhamud, Tel. +254 721 290 074, Email: