Myanmar's military regime has faced weeks of peaceful protests sparked by a staggering increase in fuel prices in August. Buddhist monks and nuns, along with students and human rights activists, have emerged as leaders of the protest movement, which has now escalated into the biggest challenge to the junta in nearly two decades. The protestors are being subjected to daily violence, arrests and repression and the fatalities are rising.
Detained Iranian-American academic Dr. Haleh Esfandiari was suddenly released from a notorious Tehran prison Tuesday after spending months behind bars on charges of endangering Iranian national security — allegations her family vehemently denies. However it remains unclear if Haleh Esfandiari, 67, will be allowed to leave the country.
Updates and Clarifications: There has been considerable confusion on various aspects of this case and the situation Shahzina Tariq and Shamial Raj are in, especially since people in Pakistan and elsewhere have been misinformed. Nighat Said Khan of the ASR Resource Centre clarifies:
Women Action Forum (WAF) and Joint Action Committee (JAC) Karachi have organized a number of demonstrations and press conferences to draw government’s attention towards the issue of the ordeal faced by Ms. Nasima Labano, who was abducted, raped and forced to parade naked in January 2007.
On 28 June 2007, the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued orders to release Shamial Raj and Shahzina Tariq on bail on a security bond of Rs 50,000 each. However, the jail authorities have not released the two as yet.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws supports Shamial Raj and Shahzina Tariq who were sentenced by Lahore High Court (LHC) to three years rigorous imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine on charges of perjury. Presently, Shahzina is imprisoned in Central Jail, Faisalabad, and Shamial in Kot Lakpath, Lahore.