TENNESSEE ZOMBIE BIMBOS INSULTED SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS TODAY AS SHE INSISTED THAT AN ADULT MALE BEING ARRESTED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL WAS A STORY FOR THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER AND NOTHING 'RESPECTABLE' PEOPLE WOULD TOUCH.
IT IS THAT KIND OF BULLS**T ATTITUDE THAT ENFORCES THE SILENCE ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND MAKES VICTIMS FEAR COMING FORWARD.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, TENNESSEE ZOMBIE BIMBO REPLIED, "WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? I'D GIVE YOU A COMMENT BUT I'D HAVE TO THINK AND THINKING IS HARD."
TENNESSEE ZOMBIE BIMBO THEN EXCUSED HERSELF EXPLAINING THAT IT WAS HER JOB TO PROTECT ALL FEMALE CHARACTERS ON SCREEN AND SHE'D HEARD SETH ROGAN'S CHARACTER WAS SLIPPING TONGUE IN A NEW FILM.
"IF WE DON'T TAKE FICTION SERIOUSLY," EXPLAINED TENNESSEE ZOMBIE BIMBO, "WE WILL NEVER TAKE FICTION LIKE SERIOUS AND STUFF." FOR MORE, SEE "egalia's a tennessee bimbo zombie."
improved Iraqi legislation; the Press Law of September 2008, for example, expanded freedom of expression, and amendments to the Personal Status Law passed in October 2008 strengthened women's rights. The authorities have also established several bodies to monitor and prevent violence against women, including specialized police directorates and shelters.
Platforms have been established to foster dialogue between the authorities, particularly the Ministry of Human Rights, and civil society organizations on human rights concerns, including violence against women.
Despite these positive and encouraging steps, however, serious human rights violations persist and still need to be addressed. In particular, urgent action by the government is required to ensure that the KRG's internal security service, the Asayish, is made fully accountable under the law and in practice, to investigate allegations of torture, enforced disappearances and other serious human rights violations by the Asayish and other security and intelligence forces. As well, more needs to be done to end violence and discrimination against women, building on the progress achieved so far, and to enhance the standing in society and life choices available to women and girls. Thirdly, the KRG must take steps to
protect and promote the right to freedom of expression, including media freedom, taking into account the vital role of the media in informing the public and acting as a public watchdog.
It is these three areas which form the focus of this report.
Since 2000, thousands of people have been detained arbitrarily and held without charge or trial in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, in some cases for more than seven years. The vast majority were suspected members or supporters of local Islamist organizations, including both armed groups and legal political parties that do not use or advocate violence as part of their political platform. Some were tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention.
Invariably, detentions were carried out by members of the Asayish, without producing an arrest warrant, and those detained were then denied access to legal representation or the opportunity to challenge their continuing detention before a court of law or an independent judicial body, throughout their incarceration. Some detainees were subjected to enforced disappearance, including some whose fate and whereabouts have yet to be disclosed -- typically, following their arrest by the Asayish or the intelligence services of the two main Kurdish parties, their families were unaware of their fate and whereabouts and were unable to obtain information about them, or confirmation of their detention from the authorities.
Dozens of other prisoners, meanwhile, are under sentence of death having been convicted in unfair trials.
Despite welcome government efforts to address "honour crimes" and other violence against women, it is clear from comparing survey data on violence against women with the number of police recorded cases of violence against women that the vast majority of such incidents remain unreported. Even when women have been killed or survived a killing attempt, many perpetrators have not been brought to justice -- often because investigations have failed to identify the perpetrators or because suspects remain at large.
Freedom of expression continues to be severely curtailed in practice, despite the recent abolition of imprisonment for publishing offences. Journalists have been arrested and sometimes beaten, particularly when publishing articles criticizing government policies or highlighting alleged corruption and nepotism within the government and the dominant political parties. Again, the hand of the seemingly all powerful and unaccountable Asayish and other security agencies is alleged to be behind a number of these attacks. One journalist was killed in July 2008 in suspicious circumstances.
This report details a wide range of human rights violations committed in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in recent years. In particular, it sheds light on violations such as arbitrary and prolonged detention without charge or trial, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill treatment, the death penalty, unfair trials, discrimination and violence against women, and attacks on freedom of expression. It includes case studies to illustrate these abuses. The report also puts forward numerous recommendations which, if implemented, would go a long
way towards reducing such violations.
Much of the information contained in this report is the outcome of a fact-finding visit conducted by Amnesty International in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq from 23 May to 8 June 2008, the first such visit by Amnesty International for several years. Amnesty International submitted its findings, in the form of two memoranda on human rights concerns, to the KRG in August 2008 and sought its response. The responses received in communications from the KRG Ministry of Human Rights at the end of 2008 are reflected in this report.
In May and June 2008 Amnesty International delegates interviewed 16 women and girls staying in shelters and 16 women and girls held in detention centres in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This random sample included 20 interviewees who were or had been married. Of these, 12 said that they had been forced to marry, including six who were aged under 15 years when they were married. According to the Iraqi Personal Status Law, forced marriages (Article 9) and marriages of girls younger than 15 are illegal, but they continue to be conducted in private or religious ceremonies without those responsible being held to account.
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