Germany Condemns Taliban; Amnesty International Confirms Massacre of Civilians by Taliban
During the six-week session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer condemned the Taliban for “completely depriving” Afghan women and girls of their human rights, and for destroying ancient Buddha statues in the region. Italy is expected to issue a resolution against the Taliban before the session ends.
The Taliban, a fundamentalist militia that controls 90 percent of Afghanistan, has stripped women and girls of their rights, including the rights to education, work, and mobility. Amnesty International released a report earlier this week detailing the January massacre committed by Taliban forces against 300 unarmed men and a number of women and children in the Yakaolang district. Eyewitnesses reported that the Taliban arrested and executed Hazara people, and deliberately killed dozens of civilians, including women and children, who were hiding in a mosque. The Taliban denies that the massacre occurred, and has banned journalists from the district.
Media Resources: Amnesty International, Press Release – March 28, 2001 and Reuters – March 27, 2001
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. . . .