SIHA STATEMENT, 15 MAY 2014, KHARTOUM: In a shocking decision that the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) strongly condemns, Meriam Ibrahim, the 27-year-old pregnant Sudanese women charged with apostasy and adultery, was given a sentence today of 100 lashings and execution by hanging at the Haj Yousif Court Complex in Khartoum. In explaining the sentence, the deciding judge, Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa, commented to the defendant, whom SIHA has been publically and confidentially advocating for since February, that, ‘We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death.’ In a show of great bravery given that the charge of apostasy, which carries the death penalty, hinges on Meriam’s claim that she is in fact a Christian, Meriam responded to the judge, ‘I am a Christian and never committed apostasy.’
In the six weeks since the citizens Barakat movement for a free and democratic Algeria was founded it has moved from cyberspace onto the streets. Ahead of this week's election, the voices calling for democratic transition are being heard. Pro-democracy activist Louiza Chennoub spoke to Karima Bennoune
DUBAI, March 18 (Reuters) - An Iranian woman sentenced to die by stoning for adultery and later given a 10-year jail term instead has been allowed to leave prison, the judiciary said, in a new twist to a case that has triggered years of criticism of Iran's rights record.
A judiciary spokesman told Reuters that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani had been given "a leave" from prison several weeks ago for good behaviour. He said, without elaborating, that the decision was a sign of "our religion's leniency towards women".
The Sudanese civil society organizations conventionally celebrate the International Women Day on the 8th of March every year through many events to commemorate and promote the role of the Sudanese women in the society by organizing activities that demonstrate the various issues which reflect women`s contributions to improving their conditions and achieving social and gender justice from their different positions.
This year, after the extensive arrangements carried out by more than 30 organizations, including the formation of committees and designing the programmes and activities which had been planned to be held at the Nubian Club on that day, and which included following-up the procedures of getting police and security permissions a long with the early preparations for the entre details of the celebration which reflected the solidarity among women and the power of collective action, and depicted the organizational skills of each organizing group.
Friday 7th March 2014, Emma Batha - LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After Iranian film actress Marzieh Vafamehr appeared with her head uncovered in My Tehran for Sale, an Australian film critical of her home country, she was sentenced to three months in jail and a hefty fine.
When Iran banned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh from flying to Italy to receive a human rights prize, she sent a video-taped acceptance speech and was promptly fined for not wearing a hijab in the recording.
The actress and lawyer are among hundreds of thousands of girls and women who have fallen foul of Iran’s strict dress code. More than 30,000 have been arrested over the last decade for violating the law, according to a report published on Friday which calls for an end to forced hijab. Some of those detained were as young as 12 years old.
[Trigger warning: details of sexual assault and torture]
This report documents abuses to which the criminal justice system subjects women during arrest, interrogation, trial, and imprisonment. Between December 2012 and April 2013, Human Rights Watch interviewed 27 women and 7 girls, Sunni and Shia; their families and lawyers; medical service providers in women’s prisons; civil society representatives; foreign embassy and United Nations staff in Baghdad; Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputyprime ministers. We also reviewed court documents, lawyers’ case files, and government decisions and reports.
In September, Iranian President Rouhani granted amnesty to 12 political prisoners as he made his way to an annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. But former Evin prison inmate and 2009 IWMF Courage in Journalism Awardee, Jila Baniyaghoob, cautions this isolated act does not signify democratic momentum.