Human Rights Watch Calls For UN Investigation Of Taliban Massacre
In a detailed report Human Rights Watch called upon the United Nation Commissioner for Human Rights to launch an immediate, full-scale investigation into the Taliban's summary execution of hundreds of civilians in central Afghanistan in January. Most of the civilians murdered by the Taliban were members of the Hazara ethnic group.
Eyewitnesses told Human Rights Watch of men being rounded up by soldiers and taken to a relief office in Nayak where most were executed. Other witnesses told of seeing piles of bodies and mass graves at various places in the Yawkalang province. The report states, "ethnic and religious minorities, and the Hazaras in particular, have been especially vulnerable in areas of conflict, and Taliban forces have committed large-scale abuses against Hazara civilians with impunity."
"The Feminist Majority Foundation joins with Human Rights Watch calling for an immediate and full investigation of the execution of Afghan civilians. The Taliban's brutal rule of gender apartheid and genocide violates international humanitarian and human rights laws. The world cannot just stand by while these atrocities continue," says Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Media Resources: Massacres of Hazaras in Afghanistan - Human Rights Watch 19 February 2001, The New York Times 19 February 2001, Washington Post 19 February 2001, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Global Feminist 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. . . .