In its annual report released yesterday, Amnesty International documented human rights abuses in 142 countries and territories, including the abused committed by Afghanistan's Taliban regime.
According to Amnesty, the Taliban massacred thousands of civilians and tortured thousands more in 1998. The report documented the Taliban's attacks surrounding Mazar-e-Sharif, where Taliban guards "deliberately and systematically killed thousands of ethnic Hazara civilians." It also recorded the lives of thousands killed "deliberately and arbitrarily" by various warring factions and noted that more than 1,000 people lives were taken by land mines.
Amnesty International also charged the Taliban with detailing and torturing Hazara, Tajik, Uzbek and Panjsheri men and boys. "Almost all prisoners detained on suspicion of opposing the Taliban were reported to have been tortured or ill-treated," read the report.
Regarding the Taliban's treatment of women, Amnesty wrote "Tens of thousands of women effectively remained prisoners in their homes. Fears of punishment prevents tens of thousands of women from seeking education and employment or leaving home without a close male relative."
Women and men caught defying the Taliban's harsh edicts were publicly humiliated and beaten by officers of the Department for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Other punishments included eight floggings, fourteen public amputations, and ten public executions .
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .