Amnesty International Condemns Mass Execution By Taliban
Amnesty International reports that Taliban officials issued an order to its forces to kill all men between the ages of 13 and 70 living in the Yakawlang area. “These deeply disturbing reports once again underline the need for action by the international community to ensure protection of the civilian population in Afghanistan,” says Amnesty International. Numerous reports have emerged regarding the Taliban’s latest acts of atrocities committed against the predominately Hazara population in central Afghanistan. Non-governmental organizations calculate that approximately 600 Afghans were killed and dozens more injured by Taliban forces, including humanitarian aid workers and even patients in medical facilities. According to the Afghan Islamic Press, opposition forces in Afghanistan have discovered three mass graves, containing at least 70 bodies including those of “many women and children”, found 28 miles north of Taloqan.
The discovery of mass executions of civilians by the Taliban comes at a time when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that at least 120,000 Afghan refugees have fled to Pakistan within the past five months. In addition, both UNHCR and the World Food Program (WFP) have issued emergency appeals for more aid to assist with the Afghan refugee crisis. On January 24 the WFP office in Pakistan announced that they were likely to run out of food for Afghan refugees in the next three months unless the agency receives urgent aid. Yusuf Hassan Abdi, spokesman for UNHCR said last week “unless more funds are available we will simply no be able to cope with this refugee crisis.” UNHCR estimates that everyday between 200 to 600 Afghan families arrive in Pakistan seeking safety.
The Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan joins UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Amnesty International in strongly condemning the latest wave of Taliban atrocities. “As each day passes, thousands of Afghan women and children are suffering and dying along the borders of Afghanistan as they seek safe refuge in neighboring countries,” says Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. “The new US administration must increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and continue to refuse official recognition of the Taliban’s brutal gender apartheid regime,” adds Smeal.
Media Resources: The Associated Press 19 January 2001, Amnesty International Press Release January 23 20001, AFP 24 January 2001, The Guardian 25 January 2001, Feminist Global News Wire
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. . . .