Protests Spread As Alleged Attackers Plead Not Guilty to Violent Rape
Three of the five accused attackers in a violent gang rape of a medical student in India will enter pleas of not guilty, according to the BBC.
Manohar Lal Sharma, who is representing three of the five men accused of told the BBC that he would be filing representation letters for the three accused men challenging the way the police handled evidence in the case. "I believe the accused should get a fair trial and I have come forward to represent them," he stated.
This news comes a day after the court ruled that the preliminary hearings for the case will be heard privately. Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal declared "It has become completely impossible to proceed" after a hearing on the case was delayed for two hours when police were unable to restore order in a court room filled with over 100 lawyers and reporters. As a result she determined that neither the media, public, nor lawyers who are not directly related to the case will be allowed in the court room.
Meanwhile, international outrage over the incident as well as several domestic rape cases has sparked protests in the neighboring country of Nepal. "The media attention to protests in Delhi has raised awareness on issues of violence against women in Nepal," said Manju Gurung, a member of an organization that advocates for female migrant workers, Pourakhi. Demonstrators as part of the Occupy Baluwatar movement have been protesting outside the prime minister's residence and other official buildings. Occupy Baluwatar has been raising awareness for a rape case that gathered national attention in Nepal at the same time as the case in New Delhi became public.
Media Resources: BBC 1/8/2013; Businessweek 1/8/2013; CNN 1/8/2013; Feminist Newswire 1/2/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .