There will be a full investigation into the case of two convicted rapists who were given a pardon by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in May. The victim, Sara, discovered that the men had been released from prison when she they saw them walking in their village and she has since been forced into hiding with her husband, Dilawar, according to BBC News.
In 2005, Sara was brutally gang-raped, knifed with a bayonet in her private parts, and left to walk home half-naked after she and her husband publicly spoke out about their missing son, who had been forcibly taken by armed men, according to The Independent. Three rapists were sentenced to 11 years in prison, a sentence that was upheld by Afghanistan's Supreme Court.
Norah Niland, Chief Human Rights Officer of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a press release, "while there appears to be conflicting reports on the circumstances of the release of these prisoners, whatever the circumstances, this is clearly an injustice against the victim, the victims' family and all Afghan women. Such injustice can only promote a culture of impunity for violence perpetrated against women."
Media Resources: BBC News 8/27/08; The Independent 8/24/08; Statement of Norah Niland 8/26/08
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. . . .