Skepticism

Global Quickies: Jailed for Tweeting, Child Marriages, and Fliers in Cologne

SWEDEN
“Swedish police have confirmed that there were widespread sexual assaults at a music festival in Stockholm last summer but denied allegations of a cover-up.”

UK
“A teenage recruit discovered dead at Deepcut army barracks was being sexually exploited by senior ranks and could have been raped the night before she was found with a gunshot wound to her head, an inquest has been told. The shocking claims, by lawyers representing the family of Private Cheryl James, were made during a pre-inquest hearing into the teenager’s death at the army barracks in Camberley, Surrey, in November 1995.”

NETHERLANDS
“The Dutch refugee settlement agency COA has told young asylum seekers not to attend services at the Eritrean orthodox church in Rotterdam because of concerns they will be at risk of abuse, the Reformatorisch Dagblad says on Monday. The organisation says it is has been made aware that young women may be being abused within the church community and that a large number of Eritrean girls have become pregnant.

NORTHERN IRELAND
“A Co Down woman has appeared in court accused of using a poison to procure her own abortion. The 21-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faces two charges over allegedly supplying and administering harmful substances.”

KENYA
“The top leadership of Pentecostal and evangelical churches in Kenya on Monday gathered in Nairobi vowing to fight regulations intended to streamline religious organisations in Kenya.” The regulations include requiring that every pastor should have a minimum qualification of knowledge in theology, asking tax returns from branch churches, and a ban on broadcast preachings and appeals in which audiences are asked to contribute money.

SAUDI ARABIA
“One of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent female human rights campaigners has been arrested and jailed for allegedly running a Twitter account. Samar Badawi is the ex-wife of influential human rights lawyer Waleed Abulkhair, and according to activists has been accused of running his Twitter account after he was jailed in 2014. One of the most well-known campaigners for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, Ms Badawi received the 2012 International Women of Courage award, presented by Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.”

GERMANY
Fliers written on behalf of Syrian refugees are being handed out in Cologne, condemning the New Year’s Eve attacks in the city.”

FRANCE
After a Jewish leader urged men to stop wearing the skullcap “to avoid being identified as Jewish” following anti-semitic attacks, a funny Twitter campaign started asking everyone, Jewish or not, to wear the kippah.

GERMANY
At least 231 children at a famous boys’ choir school in Germany were victims of physical abuse, according to a lawyer tasked by the Catholic institution with investigating allegations, giving a far higher figure than thought for the scandal, which dates back decades. […] The choir was run by Pope Benedict’s elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, from 1964 to 1994 when most of the claimed abuses took place.”

NIGERIA
“Miss Cynthia Ugbah, winner of Queen of Trust International 2015, has resigned her position over an alleged claims of sexual harassment by the organizers of the pageant.”

FRANCE
“One person has been left “brain-dead” and five more have been hospitalised after a clinical trial on an experimental drug went wrong in France.”

BURUNDI
“Burundi’s security forces are engaging in gang rape during a crackdown on political opponents that has included a sharp rise in torture, killings and disappearances in the past month, the top United Nations human rights official said on Friday, sounding an alarm over the increasingly ethnic character of the violence.”

GAMBIA
“Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has scrapped a decree which ordered female government employees to cover their hair at work.”

PAKISTAN
“Another move to ban child marriages in Pakistan has fallen at the first hurdle. The bill to prohibit underage marriages has been withdrawn after the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) declared it un-Islamic.”

 

Featured image: Flier handed out in Cologne

Daniela

Daniela

Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at esceptica.org.

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9 Comments

  1. January 16, 2016 at 1:21 pm —

    After a Jewish leader urged men to stop wearing the skullcap “to avoid being identified as Jewish” following anti-semitic attacks, a funny Twitter campaign started asking everyone, Jewish or not, to wear the kippah.

    Might be a good idea to ask some Jewish people what they think of this. This sounds like a case of cultural appropriation, which could result in some Jews feeling that the skullcap’s meaning is being trivialized. Alternatively, they might appreciate the support. Cultural appropriation is far from clear cut. But I think this deserves a bit more consideration, in any case.

  2. January 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm —

    The regulations include requiring that every pastor should have a minimum qualification of knowledge in theology, asking tax returns from branch churches, and a ban on broadcast preachings and appeals in which audiences are asked to contribute money.

    See, if only they’d stuck to just regulating theology, nobody would have bothered to complain. However, once you mess with the revenue stream, expect trouble.

  3. January 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm —

    On the Fliers in Cologne story, I was reading this one ealier in the week:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35251167

    The horrified response of the other Syrian refugees to the outrage on NYE needs to be more widely known.

    • January 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm —

      The “other Syrian refugees”? It turns out the rapists in Cologne weren’t even Syrian.

      • January 17, 2016 at 8:59 pm —

        Sure. It was a quick comment and I was going to say “Arab” but I’m not sure even that covers it.

        I guess I was working from this story:
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/12086473/Suspects-in-Cologne-sex-attacks-claimed-to-be-Syrian-refugees.html

        Certainly Syrians have been prominent among those expressing outrage.

        AFAIK out of over 600 reported assaults, one Iranian and one Iraqui have been detrained. I do not claim to know the nationality of all 600+ and it probably matters little.

        You and I would probably both be classed as Americans to many of the perpetrators – ironic to be sure! Similarly, in the Bali bombings, the bombers thought the victims were Americans.

        • January 19, 2016 at 5:04 pm —

          That reminds me of how all carbonated sugary drinks are called Coke in the South. “What kind of Coke?” “Pepsi.”

  4. January 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm —

    “earlier”

  5. January 17, 2016 at 3:44 pm —

    Is anyone surprised that Pope Benedict’s brother was a child molester? I mean, given the former Pope’s sympathy for pedophile priests…

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